There is no real right way to participate, but the only wrong way is to not be open to exploring or listening to other ideas! It all starts with keeping an open mind and being willing to engage in conversation in the first place.
Here are some ideas from our team on how you can get involved:
1. Attend a rally for a political candidate you disagree with, and ask genuine questions of your fellow attendees like: What beliefs do they share with that candidate? Do the attendees disagree with the candidate on any issues? Try to listen and put yourselves in their shoes.
3. Find three things you have in common with your least favorite celebrity or public figure, and start a conversation with others about it.
4. Engage with someone on social media or in real life who thinks radically different from yourself. Don’t be attached to an outcome and listen to their ideas as closely as possible. Share your views without forcing them and attempt to build a dialogue. Some people aren’t ready to do this, so be prepared to know when to move on to someone else.
What matters is that you’re talking (and listening) to people who are different from you. You don’t have to agree in the end.
(Or think that I do not deserve the same treatment because of my skin color/gender/identity/religious beliefs, etc.?)
Automatically assuming that a group or individual doesn’t believe you deserve a constitutional or legal right before talking to those very people yourself is exactly the kind of thinking we hope to challenge with this initiative. We understand that sometimes policies and organizations make generalized statements that marginalize groups and still think there is value in candid discussion. Daryl Davis made substantive change by recognizing that the KKK members’ hatred of him, based on nothing but his skin color, could be thoughtfully debated and reframed. He asked the Klansmen thoughtful questions that forced them to recognize that the man sitting before them was just that, a man, made of flesh and blood just like they were. We believe you’ll find that most people will be willing to listen to you and see your humanity when approached with kindness and a willingness to understand.
Yes, we are already planning further events in our IRL (In Real Life) series, and we will be releasing details soon. Getting people together in real space is half the battle, both physically and digitally.