Building peace with conversations designed not to change minds, but soften hearts
raised by 1 people
Are you reading this on Give to the Max Day 2023? Then learn what people said about MCC Respectful Conversations literally THIS WEEK after holding one on their campus:
- 70% STRONGLY AGREED that as a result of the conversation, they had stronger relationships.
- 91% AGREED they have more empathy for people they disagreed with.
- 87% are more confident they can have hard conversations in the future.
- One evaluator's comment reflected the event's spirit: "It was absolutely amazing. I heard different views I really didn't think of until I joined the table. The conversation meant a lot because I left with new knowledge."
As polarization in our society has reached new highs, so has the effectiveness of Respectful Conversations: In conversations from Prescott, Wisconsin to Plymouth, Minnesota; from Faribault to St. Paul, on topics as diverse as religious identity, organizational division, bridging differences and creating campus community we continue to deepen our impact.
This year, 2023, has been another high water mark where national-level peacebuilders recognized the work we've spent a decade doing in Minnesota.
- We were cited in USA Today in "Toxic polarization is poisoning America. Here's how you can help."
- Our op-ed, "Faith leaders help heal divided communities," was printed in over two dozen publications nationwide.
- We won a relationship with the Polarization and Social Change Lab of Stanford University and Dr. Mark Brandt of the Michigan State University's Minority Politics Lab. MCC Respectful Conversations is one of only 4 nationwide Strengthening Democracy Field Test Grants to better perfect and report on the impact of Respectful Conversations.
Over 8,500 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.
Your support for Respectful Conversations will train more peacebuilders, increase love of neighbor and love of enemy by depolarizing community conflicts, and strengthen our democracy in a time when it is so desperately needed.
This fundraiser supports
Minnesota Council of Churches