Host an Event

during National Week of Conversation

April 24–30, 2022

What kinds of events can you host for NWOC?
  1. Whatever your organization normally does. This is an opportunity to engage a broader array of people with your work. Many organizations host a version of their existing programming during NWOC.
  2. A panel that showcases your work. Some organizations have hosted panel events with notable speakers and/or other organizations in order to create an event that showcases their work to press, funders or other existing or desired stakeholders.
  3. Additional ideas. Leverage our network of coalition partners and history of previous events for ideas and partnering opportunities. See below for event ideas and/or partners with whom you might connect to host an event or contact Graham at Graham@ListenFirstProject.org for help connecting with appropriate partners and to join the coalition if you are not already a member.

For additional hosting ideas and resources, browse the offerings at NWOC Partner Citizen Connect.

A few more ideas:

Films run times between 20 and 90 minutes, and each film has an accompanying discussion guide to help facilitate conversations afterward. If you are additionally looking for someone local to help moderate a film screening and discussion, we can approach our partner organizations with that request. 

Some example films:

  • Running just over 20 minutes, PURPLE tells the story of everyday Americans with opposing viewpoints addressing their differences head-on and discovering the concerns and humanity that lie behind each other’s positions. Designed to build greater empathy and recognition in the face of deepening U.S. divides, PURPLE models a rare conversation that uplifts and inspires even while going toward the heat of passionate political differences. The accompanying Discussion Guide provides tools and exercises to host a screening of PURPLE and lead a meaningful conversation about it afterwards, supporting viewers to slow down enough to understand the characters and themes represented in the film on their own terms while discussing the value of doing so in our lives, communities, and country.

  • Running an hour, Dialogue Lab: America tells the story of twelve Americans who came together in July of 2021, in a powerful dialogue experiment on political polarization. These twelve — representing far right, far left, and everything in between — dared to cross lines of difference with only one goal: to see if it was possible to cross ideological, political, cultural, and even spiritual divides and find common ground. Dialogue Lab: America was produced by the Ideos Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the research and application of Empathic Intelligence (MQ) in culture and society. The accompanying Discussion Guide provides tools and exercises to host a screening of Dialogue Lab: America and lead a meaningful conversation about it afterwards. This film and guide provide a practical guide to cultivating empathic intelligence.

  • Running 85 minutes, The ReUnited States (RUS) is a powerful and urgent documentary that follows several unsung heroes on the difficult journey of bridging our political and racial divides. Presented by Van Jones and Meghan McCain, and based on the book by the same name by Mark Gerzon, RUS unpacks what it means to be a bridge-builder and realize that while our divides run deeper than they ever could have imagined, so does the love and hope to bring our country back together.

Civic Health Project has curated a fabulous list of books to help bridge divides across America. In addition, we have contacts with several authors who we can contact about their willingness and availability to be part of an event between April 24 and 30.

Several #ListenFirst Coalition member organizations have developed workshops and skills building engagements to help work through difficult political conversations or share political viewpoints without increasing polarization. For example, in a Braver Angels Red/Blue Workshop, 5-8 Republican-leaning individuals (“Reds”) and 5-8 Democratic-leaning individuals (“Blues”) gather together for a half-day or full-day of structured conversations. You provide the participants, and we can work to provide the moderators. Similarly, National Issues Forums publishes and distributes an ongoing series of Issue Guides and videos that prepare you for thoughtful discussion of many of today’s thorniest problems – healthcare, immigration, Social Security, and racial strife. A Forum typically begins with a “starter” video related to the issue you’ll be wrestling with. Then, for 2-3 hours, participants are led by a neutral moderator who encourages face to face discussion within the group.

As a final set of options, several #ListenFirst Coalition organizations plan and deliver conversations over video-assisted platforms. For example, Crossing Party Lines hosts weekly moderated conversations that give each person a chance to share their unique perspectives. Likewise, Living Room Conversations organizes online, guided conversations (with over 100 conversation guides to date!) proven to build understanding and transform communities.

Sign up to Host an Event

Interested in hosting an event for the next NWOC? Want to stay connected? Contact us through this form.