Respectful Conversations

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Minnesota Council of Churches

Building peace with conversations designed not to change minds, but soften hearts


raised by 1 people

$10,000 goal

As polarization in our society has reached new highs, so has the effectiveness of Respectful Conversations: In conversations from Farmington, Prior Lake, and communities in St. Paul on topics as diverse as recovering from the pandemic, facing race, engaging climate change and being inclusive we have seen a 10% jump in our empathy averages: Now 84% of participants agree or strongly agree that they have more empathy for others as a result of their Respectful Conversation.

Our work's success is being confirmed by engagement with national organizations seeking to find more ways to equip congregations to be sources of peace in Minnesota and the 2022 launch of our Peacemakers series of skill-building events for congregational leaders.

In 2020 a group of scholars looked at our methodology for the academic journal Conflict Resolution Quarterly and concluded that using MCC Respectful Conversations will: 

"Improve social relationships and ultimately work toward a stronger, more democratic society." 

In addition to scholarly endorsement, Respectful Conversations have been featured success stories in webinars by Essential Partners, by the University of Arizona's National Institute for Civil Discourse.

Over 8,000 Minnesotans have boosted their empathy in over 300 structured and facilitated Respectful Conversations on topics ranging from same-sex marriage to guns in Minnesota to race relations to overcoming partisan divides to community-specific conflicts. These conversations have been hosted by churches, mosques, public schools, colleges, universities, seminaries, community groups, government organizations and industry associations. 

In partnership with the YMCA, our conversation model has been adapted to public school settings and now thousands of Minnesota students have had a Respectful Conversation in the classroom. 

Said one student "this is the best thing I ever learned!" Teachers love the training and clamor for more.

Your support for Respectful Conversations will train more peacebuilders, increase love of neighbor by depolarizing community conflicts, and strengthen our democracy in a time when it is so desperately needed.

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