Weekly Update

Check out our recent musings

Political Peace Building

A recent headline read “The Choice Between Trump and Biden is Increasingly a Choice Between Good and Evil.” Where can you possibly go from there? Yet, for many Americans, this is, increasingly, the dualistic lens

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Nourishing Community During A Pandemic

Rainer Marie Rilke, in his book “Letters to a Young Poet,” writes about the notion of “living the questions.” When we are confronted with questions we can’t answer, we are called to live into the

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Online Connections During a Pandemic

  How about some good news to start off your Monday? The New York Times reports, in a new piece about meeting new people from a distance, what our community has long known: The questions that are at the heart

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Let’s Talk About Race: Part II

Many of us want to have more effective conversations on race, and struggle to know when it makes sense to talk across racial lines, and when it doesn’t. This week, we’re continuing our conversation with

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Let’s Talk About Race: Inner Group Conversations

At Living Room Conversations, we’re known for bringing different perspectives together through conversation. Certain issues, like racial equity, are often more effective when conversations are held within affinity groups, rather than across differences. Both mixed

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Longing to Connect Across Generations

What does it mean to be a citizen? To engage in civil discourse? To learn from experiences different from your own, and being open to allowing those perspectives to shape your views? For Sophia He,

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Life Moves Pretty Fast Sometimes

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller Life has been moving fast here at Living Room Conversations.  As we respond to the

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Life Moves Pretty Fast Sometimes

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller Life has been moving fast here at Living Room Conversations.  As we respond to the

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When Youth Lead, We Follow

Young people are engaging with Living Room Conversations in record number.  We are so moved by their passion and commitment to finding new ways to build our common life together. Today, we’re featuring Peilin Lu,

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Becoming the Parents America Deserves

Eric Lui tells a story in Become America about the writer Saul Bellow walking through his Depression-era childhood streets of Chicago. He could hear the same fireside chat by President Roosevelt streaming through every parked car and

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Tools for Living in the Promise of America

Doing the heavy lifting of living into the promise of America is going to take all we’ve got. We’re roiling through weeks of massive protests, the beginnings of policy changes, resignations, and raised awareness. Is this

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Conversations for Grateful Living

What does it mean to live gratefully? What personal and social qualities support grateful living? How can cultivating understanding, generous listening, and honest sharing support a peaceful, thriving, and more sustainable world? Joan Blades explored

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Bending the Arc of the Universe

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” is one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most inspiring quotes. But this arc does not bend on its own. It bends because

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The Power to Give

So much about this moment is discovering our power in the face of uncertainty. What do we have the ability to influence? How will we respond in the face of heightened anxiety–in our community, in

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The Surprising Delight of Shock Value

It’s not often you get to shock Glenn Beck. But that’s exactly what happened when the well-known conservative voice and complicated figure in American media discovered his guest Joan Blades was the Co-Founder of the

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Allsides Connect Coming to You Soon

Many of us are getting more comfortable with Zoom for our Living Room Conversations. While we’ve been hosting video conversations for years, we are grateful that so many of you have shared how easily you’ve transitioned

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The Braver Angels of Our Nature

The Coronavirus is challenging everyone in our movement to find creative ways to carry on the vital work of revitalizing the fabric of America. At Living Room Conversations, we stand in solidarity with the rich

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Is This a Tomb or a Womb?

Passover begins at sundown, and Easter is celebrated on Sunday, making this a holy week for Christians and Jews alike.  This week also marks a notable anniversary. One year ago, the world watched in horror

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What is True Belonging?

Our physical distancing during Coronavirus is an opportunity to reflect on how we can bring renewed vigor to social connection on the other side of this. We will get through it. The costs may be enormous. But

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How Can We Best Care for Each Other

Things are moving fast and changing quickly. A question patiently waits for us in the quiet center of the chaos: How can we best care for each other? We’re beginning to hear from you that

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Love in the Time of Corona

Dear ones, Staring down our vulnerability hurts in the forgotten places. Who knew the dial of these anxious times would suddenly be cranked up to 11? How are you? Really? Our team is comforted by knowing you

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Put Yourself on the Map

Have you ever noticed the phrase at the bottom of every Living Room Conversation Guide: “This is an open source project. Please use, share and modify with attribution to ​LivingRoomConversations.org”? Have you ever wondered exactly

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Tired of Email Feuds? Try This!

David Patterson writes in the International Business Times that thanks to a note he sent his long time friends he “no longer wakes up dreading emails”. “Since the 1980s,” Dave writes, “seven of my high

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Peace through Conversation

Join Living Room Conversations at Yosemite next month! Living Room Conversations is proud to play an instrumental role at the March 20-21, 2020 Yosemite Peace Symposium, and we would love you to join us there! Register here

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Happy New Year!

This year Living Room Conversations have happened all across our nation, in faith communities, libraries, schools, bookstores, cafes, by video and even in living rooms.  Friendships have been formed and friendships have deepened. Understanding and

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The Truthful Things We Long to Say

Some years bring more change than others. This one brought significant change to my life and church community as you might have seen when you read this weekly email from us this past Spring. On any given

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Wonderful News!

Wonderful news! Living Room Conversations is partnering in 2019-20 with The Fetzer Institute to answer core questions about the American public’s participation in dialogues for building empathy and bridging divides in the service of democracy.

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Coming Soon: Giving Tuesday!

I’m really present to the power of this work, especially as we approach the holidays. Living Room Conversations has helped me listen more deeply to my family when we disagree, and let’s just say that

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A Conversation Can Change a Life

We get a lot of positive feedback about our work. But it’s not every week we read words like this: “18 people in a conference room in stunned amazement of the beauty we were sharing

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Embracing the Golden Rule!

Our partner the National Institute for Civil Discourse is rolling out a major initiative this coming Sunday, November 3. Here’s an excerpt from the web page describing the initiative: On Sunday, November 3, 2019, exactly one year before

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No Trick, This Conversation is a Treat

You’ve already met one of our many dedicated volunteers Michael Taggart back in March, when he was featured in an interview about his volunteer experience. We were delighted when Michael submitted  a new Conversation Guide called

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Polishing Our Conversation Guides

Just when you thought our Conversation Guides couldn’t get any better… We are so excited to let you all in on the major changes that have been made to our Conversation Guides. Why change such

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Talk about long term impacts!

I have some treasured friends who support my efforts to have meaningful conversations with people from across the political spectrum. Last month my friend Elisa Batista wrote a story for Medium about how participating in

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How Courageous is Your Listening?

In honor of the fourth annual International Day of Listening on Thursday, September 19th, 2019, Living Room Conversations is launching a brand new Guide and hosting a video call focused on Listening Courageously that same

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Becoming Beloved Community in Arkansas

This week’s story is about St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, who are using Living Room Conversations in their “Becoming Beloved Community” program. St. Paul’s is offering a series of Living Room Conversations to

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Abortion: maybe we can talk about it

The pastor of my church in Boise, Idaho, who is also my brother, confided to our congregation one Sunday morning that he found himself avoiding certain topics from the pulpit because he didn’t want to

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Send Us A Selfie Video!

I’m Brialle Ringer, Living Room Conversations’ Communications Partner. I invite you to send us a 60-second (or less) video of yourself answering one of the following questions from our Race & Ethnicity series Conversation Guide.

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New Conversation: Gender

Living Room Conversations has published a Conversation Guide on Gender! Like all our Guides, it emphasizes personal experience over position-taking. We think you’ll find that talking about it in a Living Room Conversation helps you

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Strategy Revealed!

Happy Summer!  We are honored to have an op-ed about Living Room Conversations’ core strategy featured in The Fulcrum, a digital news organization focused on efforts to reverse the dysfunctions plaguing American democracy.  Our short form piece starts

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Partnership! with the Black Women’s Agenda

Living Room Conversations is very proud of our partnerships–and our partners! This week, I want to let you know about a new partnership program: the “Spirit of Change Conversation Series.” The Spirit of Change Conversation Series

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Meet Our New Libraries Leader

I want you to meet our new Library Network Partner Sushila Mertens. A volunteer, she has assumed responsibility for our national Living Room Conversations for Libraries. She is the perfect person to do so! In

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Vulnerability Hangover

Let me introduce you to Chad Estes, our newest Faith Communities Partner and leader of the new Living Room Conversations program at Vineyard Boise Christian Fellowship you read about here. Chad very quickly noticed something I think

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The Urgency of Conversation

A few weeks ago, Living Room Conversations was lucky enough to be invited to present at The Urgency of Civility conference held in Washington, DC April 30-May 1, 2019.       Our Managing Partner

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More Curious, Less Furious

Michael C. Taggart is one of many dedicated Living Room Conversations volunteers. A self-identified “constitutional conservative,”  Michael described in an interview with Contributing Partner Gayle Yamauchi-Gleason how he discovered Living Room Conversations last year, and

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Domestic Violence, We Need To Talk

This week, we profile some profoundly important recent organizing in Provo, Utah on domestic violence and sexual assault. Living Room Conversations are being integrated into this program as a tool in the CourtWatch program. To

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It’s Not Too Late!

It’s halfway through one of the biggest weeks of bridge-builders: the National Week of Conversation. What could be easier than signing up for one of our already created, already scheduled, already hosted, online Living Room

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This Amazing Resource

2019 has been full of gratitude and recognition. I will be telling you more about that in the coming months. In this issue of our weekly update, I ask for your support in recognition of what

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A Novel Experience

What wonderful news we received from the owner of an independent bookstore in Zebulon, Georgia who offers Living Room Conversations! Here is the story of how A Novel Experience came to offer Living Room Conversations

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Bolder Together

Most people who plan to do Living Room Conversations in a big way start small. In fact, that’s exactly what we usually recommend: begin with a 4-7 person conversation in person or by video, see

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An exercise in applying Dad’s lessons

We are excited this week to share a beautiful reflection contributed by Living Room Conversations organizer, Kathryn Mitchell of Arlington, Texas. When I was a child, my dad was a TV repairman, and he seemed to

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Come Closer!

Greetings and Happy 2019 to you! A fresh new year has begun. One of our newest supporters wrote us that she’d decided to come closer because we are making a profound difference in the world.

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Coffee on the Corner—Part Two

We never know what will emerge in a Living Room Conversation! Refugee Families and Zero Tolerance was the topic for the July Living Room Conversations gathering at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Ft. Worth, Texas,

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My Three-Minute Smile

I was just minding my own business one morning—going through my email, making my to-do list, getting ready for the day—when I saw the draft email announcing our latest Conversation guide. I’m a picky proofer,

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12 Days Of Reflection Start Today!

I have some fun for you this week: The 12 Days of Reflection! This is our first-ever major coordinated social media campaign, and it has been such fun to create it for you! Starting today

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Having A Willing Partner On The Other Side

A few weeks ago, our co-founder Joan Blades wrote you about the elections–and our brand-new “What’s Next U.S.? (Post-Midterms 2018)” Living Room Conversation and Guide. This week, we offer you a short film of Joan

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A “Living Room Experience”

It’s Thanksgiving and I’m thinking of you. Living Room Conversations have completely changed my life and the way I see myself and others. I live in a different world–a world of hope, miraculous connections, and

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New Tool: Living Room Conversations Cohorts

Last week, we asked: What’s Next, US?  We know Living Room Conversations are part of the answer. And Living Room Conversations cohorts may be a growing part of the answer! Here is how they work–written by a member

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What’s Next U.S?

I don’t know about you but I chose to avert my eyes as election returns came in. It was my way of dealing with the stress—of caring deeply about outcomes and at the same time

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Relationships over Politics!

This week, a new treasure for you, a brand-new Living Room Conversation, “Relationships over Politics: Connecting with Friends and Family.” Click on that link to be taken straight to the Conversation! But if you’d like

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