1:1 Conversations Across Differences

What is a 1:1 Conversation?

A novel way for different types of people to connect personally and as citizens who are concerned for their country.  The process involves two structured 1-hour conversations between two people using an online platform.

If you’re thinking of participating in 1:1 conversations, just jump on into it! You’ll be glad for the experience!
–Deena Recker, conservative

I think of each conversation as a sturdy brick. A brick is a small thing, but thousands of bricks together–thousands of pairs of people talking to each other–can build a mighty bridge.
–Donna Murphy, liberal

My conversation partner and I found that through our discussions, framed by Braver Angels guidelineswe could rationally and reasonably consider sensitive topics and consider possibilities for joint actions to resolve them. As we shared and listened to one another, we agreed that “we the people” can frame the conversation, instead of media and politicians, to develop avenues of action on topics that currently divide us so deeply. It was quite amazing. We have decided to try to meet once a month to get to know each other better and continue our conversations and encourage others to do the same.
–Brenda Murphy, conservative
 
This was a great experience. It demonstrates how the world is changed: one person at a time from the inside out.
–Tim Holmes, liberal

The Four Types of Conversations

Red/Blue

Connecting one conservative and one liberal/progressive

Rural/Urban

Connecting one rural or small-town dweller and one person from an urban or suburban area

Black/White

Connecting one Black person and one White person

Conversation About Race

Connecting two people of different racial, ethnic or cultural groups

The Goals

✓ More understanding of the experiences, feelings, and beliefs of the other person

✓ Discovering any areas of commonality

✓ Ideas for how to bridge differences for the sake of our communities and our country

The Process

  • Emphasizes storytelling, listening, and learning rather than declaring or debating.
  • Both people share and learn. Neither is teaching the other or giving feedback about how to think or say things differently.
  • Participants take turns responding to a series of questions of increasing depth, with the other person listening without cross talk, and then sharing what they learned about the other’s views and experiences, and seeing if there is something in common.
  • Ends with both people coming up with action ideas to make a difference.
  •  After the structured conversations are over, participants often decide to continue talking to each other in unstructured conversations. This allows them to dig deeper into issues, ask the other’s opinion about current events, and keep up with their partner’s health, pets, children and grandchildren.

Choose a Conversation Type

Listen to the Audio Introduction

It's About Relationships

Please listen to Bill Doherty’s mandatory 2.5-minute audio introduction.

Read an optional 2-minute article by Donna N. Murphy

Please listen to Bill Doherty’s mandatory 2 1/2 minute audio introduction.

It's About Relationships

Read an optional 2-minute article by Donna N. Murphy

Sign Up Info

If you are a Red seeking a Red/Blue conversation, a Black person seeking a Black/White conversation, or a Rural or Small-Town dweller seeking a Rural/Urban conversation, please sign up now. If you are someone who identifies with a particular racial, ethnic or cultural background (for example, Latino, Jewish, Armenian, Muslim, Asian or Native American) and can share both good and bad experiences related  to being a member of that group during a Conversation About Race, please sign up now.

Please do not sign up by yourself if you are a Blue for a Red/Blue conversation, a White person for a Black/White conversation,  or an Urban or Suburban dweller for a Rural/Urban conversation. Please do not sign up by yourself if  you do not identify with a particular racial, ethnic or cultural background and who cannot share both good and bad experiences related  to being someone with your background during a Conversation About Race. Why? Because right now we have a large backlog of people like you, and not enough people who are different than you to pair you with.

Instead, please find a partner on the other side from among your acquaintances or others. Summoning the courage to reach out to someone different than you to invite to engage in this conversation is part of the Braver Angels journey. When you sign up, enter your partner’s name and email address where requested, and choose the specific 1:1 conversation you two have agreed upon (this helps us keep track of how many conversations are occurring). 

Please note: We do not vet participants. We assume that those who sign up for these conversations do so in good faith. In the rare instance that someone we pair you with behaves in an utterly inappropriate manner, please let us know at [email protected] so that we do not pair them with anyone else.

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