About America Talks

America Talks is a powerful event that invites Americans to connect via video across our political divides. Thousands of Americans joined these conversations in 2021, and our work continues in 2022.

FAQs

America Talks provides an opportunity for Americans of different backgrounds and beliefs to connect during a time of deep division in our country. Participants will be matched into face-to-face, one-on-one or small group conversations with one or more people.

You will be welcomed to this online event with a livestream that will help set you up for a great conversation. Then you and your conversation partner(s) will go into a breakout room (like on Zoom) to spend about an hour together using a secure video conversation platform and built-in conversation guide.

America Talks will take place on Thursday, April 21st at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET & Saturday, April 23rd, 2022 at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET.


The inaugural America Talks took place the weekend of June 12-13, 2021.

Anyone living in the United States who is age 18 or above is invited to sign up for the America Talks conversation event.

No! This is not a debate. We are connecting based on our values and experiences.

No! America Talks is free for all participants, and requires only that you have access to WiFi and a web browser (preferably Chrome or Mozilla) so that you can join your video conversation. You will not need to install anything on your device to join your conversation, as long as you have a modern browser that supports video conversations.

Getting started is as easy as clicking here and answering a few questions. After you sign up, America Talks will send periodic updates reminding you to join the online event on the date you have chosen (April 21 or April 23, 2022).

When you register for America Talks, you will be asked to respond to a few initial survey questions. Our algorithm works to match people who have different backgrounds and beliefs based upon how they respond. For your conversation, you’ll be matched and sent to a breakout room with one or more people who answered some or all of the survey questions differently.

Yes! When you and your conversation partner(s) enter your conversation on our platform, you’ll be asked to review and agree to a set of simple and easy to follow conversation norms. You’ll also get a conversation guide to help make your conversation enjoyable and productive!

You will be provided with a conversation guide, displayed directly in our video conversation platform, to help ensure an enjoyable and constructive conversation with your conversation partner(s)… Thousands of people across America will all be having the same conversation over the same weekend. We invite you to add your voice and perspective to this national moment!

Don’t forget, your partner(s) joined this event because they care about healing America too — they want to have a good conversation just as much as you do! But in the unlikely event that a participant behaves inappropriately, you’ll be able to ask for help and remove the person if it is a small group or be rematched if it is a one-to-one conversation.

Starting a few days before the event, you will receive one or more reminder emails with a link and instructions to join the livestream kickoff event. After the livestream, you will be sent into a breakout room to join your partner (or small group) in conversation for about an hour. Then you’ll be able to share some of the key elements of what you talked about. We’ll be sharing the ideas and input that emerges with Members of Congress!

We love feedback! We ask that you share technical feedback within the video platform, and that you also complete a quick survey that you’ll be provided after your conversation. We will also provide guidance on how to share testimonials to inspire other Americans and “selfies” both during and after your conversation.

America Talks does not capture or record the audio or video from your conversations; they are private and intended to be shared between you and your assigned conversation partner(s). At your discretion you may choose to share some of the key ideas that emerged during the final portion of the event. This can help inspire other Americans and you may choose to allow us to share some ideas with Members of Congress at your discretion. We may reach out beforehand to some participants, requesting permission to capture audio and video from your conversations. This is strictly permission-based.

When you join your partner(s) in conversation, you will see their name as they’ve entered into the conversation platform. No other contact details or identifying information will be shared with your conversation partner(s). During your conversation, you have the option of sharing contact details with each other, if you wish to keep in touch.

We expect that many America Talks conversation partners will want to stay in touch following the event!  To do so, simply exchange whatever personal contact details you wish to share with one another during the event.  This is at your discretion.

Your privacy is important to us, and we have security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of any personal data we receive. Details regarding how your data is used is available in our Privacy Policy.

America Talks is a fiscally sponsored project of Listen First Project, a 501c3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization.

America Talks is co-created by AllSides, a nonpartisan LLC that exposes people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world — and each other.

Click to learn more about our sponsors or about our media partners and co-creators.

Core Team

Graham Bodie, PhD

Chief Listening Officer, Listen First Project

Graham serves as the Chief Listening Officer of Listen First Project, helping to coordinate and align the activities of the 300+ member organizations of the Listen First Coalition. Graham also serves as a Professor of Integrated Marketing Communication at the University of Mississippi.

John Gable

John is founder and CEO of AllSides, which delivers multiple perspectives on any topic to reveal bias, engage users, and connect people for civil conversations. He writes about bias, news media, polarization, and how technology impacts these things. Recently, his writings have been published by The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post and The Cook Political Report.

Pearce Godwin

Pearce is the founder of Listen First Project and the #ListenFirst Coalition of 300+ organizations bringing Americans together across differences. Previously, Pearce spent five years working in Washington, DC, both in the U.S. Senate and as a national political consultant for presidential and statewide campaigns.

Brandyn Keating

CEO, Younify

Brandyn is the Founder and CEO of YOUnify, which aims to reduce polarization and cultural divisions of all kinds in service of accelerating progress on solutions to the key challenges of our time. Previously, Brandyn served in leadership roles on both of President Obama’s campaigns and the SuperPAC NextGen Climate.

Kristen Hansen

Executive Director, Civic Health Project

Kristin is the Executive Director of Civic Health Project and sits on the advisory boards of AllSides, Business for America, and the Listen First Project. Kristin also serves as a Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Pedro Silva

Director of Engagement, , Younify

Pedro is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He served as both a Satellite Communications Technician and a Mandarin Chinese Language/Intelligence Analyst, In his post-military career, Pedro worked as a corporate recruiter and served as a pastor in the socially active, United Church of Christ. 

Advisors

Joan Blades
Co-Founder, Living Room Conversations

Sarah Bonk
CEO, Business for America

David Broockman, PhD
Professor of Political Science,
UC Berkeley

Harry Gottlieb
Executive Director, Unify America

Cheryl Graeve
Program Director, National Institute for Civil Discourse

Sebastian Horn
Deputy Editor-In-Chief, ZEIT ONLINE

Hanna Israel
Project Lead, My Country Talks

Matt Leighninger and David Schleifer
Co-Presidents, Public Agenda

Matt Levendusky, PhD
Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Mike Murphy
Chief of Staff, FixUs

Denesha Snell
Program Manager, American Public Square

Lisa Swallow
Executive Director, Crossing Party Lines

Contact us.

Questions? Drop us a line.