Unity & Politics
Background Information:A primary message of the new Presidential administration is a call for “unity.” The response to this call varies greatly across our nation. The concept of “unity,” what a “united nation” looks like and how we get there means different things to many of us. This conversation explores the ways we approach and understand unity, particularly within a political context. Participants will be able to grapple with the many facets of unity, how that relates to our experiences, and what it might take to be able to move forward together.
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Unity & Politics (~40 min)
One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk.
- What does “unity” look like? Where have you seen it in action?
- Where do you feel you have achieved unity? Where do you struggle with achieving unity?
- What is at stake as we reckon with local and national unity? What, if anything, might we lose in working towards unity? What, if anything, might we gain?
- What makes you nervous, frustrated, or optimistic about the state of unity locally and / or nationally?
- What is something you’ve learned about what it takes to build unity? What, if any, preconditions are involved in moving towards unity?
- What are you personally willing to do to address the state of unity in your community?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?