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By Ralph Benko. Reprinted from Huffington Post. I’ve written here before about the Trump Revolution, the progressive counter-revolution, and the secret counter-counter-revolutionaries (like me) who hold that it is more valuable for both sides to be listening to, rather than shouting at, one another. Call it Occupy Our Minds. We’re the guerrilla force hiding out in the wilderness in obscure but places like livingroomconversations.org, allsides.com, and hifromtheotherside.com. The counter-counter-revolutionary Read More...

by Joan Blades Critics of dialogue often ask, "what's the point of talking?  It's not like it's going to change anything, right?" In January of 2013, a Living Room Conversation took place between Joan Blades, co-founder of MoveOn and Mark Meckler co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.  After being surprised to discover how much they all agreed about criminal justice reform, Joan and Living Room Conversations partners decided to make this topic a priority in future efforts.    Front page coverage Read More...

Thanks to those who participated in our survey last month - exploring your interests, hopes and suggestions for the new year!  We wanted to share five standout themes from the results below.   1. We’re not the only ones concerned at what’s happening in our country’s current ability to connect across difference:    I think people's inability to talk about differences is destroying families, decency, and democracy. People sometimes converse more with those who already agree with Read More...

"It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question." - Eugene Ionesco Twenty seven years ago, after watching a televised debate evolve from "disrespectful to angry to chaotic," Laura Chasin asked a brilliant question.  Posed to her family therapist colleagues at the Family Institute of Cambridge, Laura asked in essence:  "Could the same methods that help families have safe, constructive conversations in counseling sessions also help people talk with each other in situations where there Read More...

The practice of dialogue itself has a unique power to begin shifting dynamics between us (similar to what the practice of mindfulness meditation does within us). Most people who let themselves sit in dialogue with ‘those people’ (whoever that is), come away with a better understanding of how and why someone else might feel or see or experience things differently (without being the devil incarnate!) Read More...

Everyone in the room knew each other—our small university town of Bolivar, Missouri ensures a great deal of connectedness—and the conversation we were having was civil and dignified. Our civility was in stark contrast to the civility of the thing/online commentary we had gathered to discuss. Together we dissected and examined the increasing amount of vitriol and hate speech on the internet, which continues to be one of the many growing pains of the world wide web. Read More...

This fall, Harvard Negotiators was excited to partner with Living Room Conversations to offer structured, facilitated dialogue sessions on the Harvard Law School campus. Harvard Negotiators is a volunteer student organization based at Harvard Law School that aims to provide opportunities for students to explore the theory and skills of negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution. Thanks to seven enthusiastic first-year students, who hosted the conversations, and a project manager, third-year Read More...

Eating Hummus with 'the Enemy': Defrosting the Cultural Divide Tracy Hollister & Jacob Hess As the plane descended above the lights of Salt Lake City, I thought, "what are these Mormons going to be like? How open would they be to me, as a gay person? What was I getting myself into?" I (Tracy) was flying to Utah to co-host two “Living Room Conversations” between gay and lesbian couples and their Mormons neighbors, with a friend from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Read More...

Report to California Endowment - October 2014 Parts I and II Overview Living Room Conversations introduced a new type of conversation to Fresno and San Joaquin Counties of California. We reached out to community leaders, faith communities and school communities to recruit co-hosts Living Room Conversations. Additionally Living Room Conversations hosted two community events that were open to the public. Overall, people gathered in 36 small groups to talk about Realignment with subtopics on: Read More...

SEDONA'S LIVING ROOM CONVERSATIONS PROJECT a blog post by Paul Friedman, Ph.D. I am a long-term believer in the value of dialogue. I was on the Communication Studies faculty at the University of Kansas for 35 years. Nearly 10 years ago, I retired and moved to Sedona, Arizona, a town with about 10,000 residents, nestled in an attractive locale, which attracts many tourists and retirees. There, I coordinate a free community mediation center and am active in a local, member-run, adult education Read More...