Amongst my friends and family, I'm pretty well known for being the person who will talk about THAT THING that no one wants to bring up. Politics, religion, poverty, structures of violence and generational oppression? I am very much there for those conversations, but not everyone can be. After several Teen Advisory Board meetings where attendees strayed from the agenda items to talk about the racism that they encounter in the hallways at school,  eating disorders and their struggles with social anxiety and depression, we decided to just go for it and offer a series of programs that sound downright uncomfortable to the average Library user. "Tough Topics" is a monthly series of programs where we have invited a guest speaker from our community to talk about issues that teens in Kitsap County are facing. These are open conversations for teens (and parents!), so that they can begin to get a handle on some of the things that seem much bigger than they are.

In January we invited Peggi Erickson of the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights to talk about race and racism. The teens even asked her to stay late so that they could practice having tough conversations about race with friends and family. By February, we were tackling eating disorders by working with the National Eating Disorders Association and hosting a "Love your Body Day" with a guest speaker from the Diabulimia Helpline in Seattle. The conversation centered around one woman's story of recovery from her eating disorder which was complicated by her diabetes. The teenagers in my library are ready and eager for these conversations. It is incredibly important to validate the experience of kids and teens and also support them in finding out who they want to be in the world. Are you ready to be uncomfortable with others in a public setting and unpack some topics that can be pretty scary? Stop by one of our upcoming Tough Topics programs on the 4th Thursday of the month. 

Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence

Thursday, March 23, 6-7:30 p.m.

LGBTQ+ POC, say what?

Thursday, April 27, 6-7:30 p.m.

Dating & Relationships

Thursday, May 25, 6-7:30 p.m.

Depression & Anxiety in Teens

Thursday, June 22, 6-7:30 p.m.

We're here, we're queer!

Thursday, July 27, 6-7:30 p.m.

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