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This month's HOT topic: Fake News

The art of civil discourse means no soapboxes here!

Ever sit on a couch in someone’s living room, trying to make conversation? Or listen to someone get on a soapbox and dominate the conversation by expressing their opinion with such fervor that no one else dares speak, let alone contradict?

When we have authentic, respectful conversations we strengthen our relationships and advance our understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions before us.

Living Room Conversations begin with two people of differing perspectives. Each person invites two more friends for a total of six participants. The idea is to assemble a group of people with diverse outlooks to have a rich, meaningful conversation. If you are interested in these conversations but don't know many people with contrasting opinions, our friends at Hi From the Other Side will set you up with someone from across the aisle to help us all understand each other better. The LRC approach lets you have a conversation that actually gets somewhere. 

Living Room Conversations has more than 50 ready-to-discuss topics (or your can build your own). Our conversation ground rules and format ensure everyone gets a change to speak.

You need not study up on all of the supporting evidence surrounding your topic because living room conversations are not debates. Rather, they are conversations intended to enhance understanding. You and your friends may change your minds on a topic, or you might not. Either way, these conversations will allow you to better understand the topic you chose.

Living room conversations can transform distrust and discord into understanding — paving the way for collaborative solutions. When we have authentic, respectful conversations we strengthen our relationships and advance our understanding of the challenges, opportunities and solutions before us.

Featured Articles

Jul 21, 2017, by Serena Witherspoon

Free speech or hate Speech? where do we draw the line?

By Serena Witherspoon. Reprinted from Huffington Post.

Spring semester 2017 at UC Berkeley followed the precedent of tension that was set after Trump’s inauguration in the Fall. The presence of the ‘Trump’ booth on campus irked many, triggered others, and validated some. The Berkeley College Republicans invited right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos in February to give a speech that was canceled due to mass protest. Later...

Jul 17, 2017, by Pearce Godwin

When southern conservatives & san francisco liberals listened first

By Pearce Godwin. Reprinted from Huffington Post.

While celebrating Independence Day, I reflected on the current condition of America. There’s not much we can all agree on these days, but on this I believe there’s common ground: the fabric of our society is frayed; civil discourse is in peril.

Hatred and fear are increasingly drowning out humanity and friendship. Basic decency has given way...

Jul 06, 2017, by Randy Langford

Maybe it's time for a declaration of interdependence

By Randy L. Langford. Reprinted from Huffington Post.

My study of, and experience in, our society’s “justice” system has led me to believe it’s functioning as intended. I don’t believe we can “fix” the system because I don’t think the system is broken. I think our justice system is operating precisely as designed and in alignment with the social philosophy on which it is...

Jun 29, 2017, by Katie Page

Connecting students across the partisan divide

By Kent Lenci. Reprinted from Huffington Post.

About two years ago, I found myself wandering the streets of Birmingham, Alabama. The city was eerily deserted on a Sunday evening, and I filled the space with scenes from civil rights films-- Klansmen parading down the sidewalk in defiance of sit- ins, and police dogs snarling at protesters....

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Showing 20 reactions

  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-13 13:43:39 -0700
    I just signed up for Living Room Conversations. Check it out!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-05-03 08:48:53 -0700
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  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-04-07 11:10:29 -0700
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  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-03-11 11:25:41 -0800
    I never do this, but I just joined one of the most important movements I can think of right now. Here it is!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-03-07 08:48:28 -0800
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  • @barrypersky tweeted link to this page. 2017-02-28 06:07:45 -0800
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-02-13 12:20:37 -0800
    inspired by Arlie Hochschild's lecture yesterday. Sociologist and author of 'Strangers in their own land' - reflections from embedding in a 'red state' to just listen and learn. Brilliant!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-02-11 22:44:46 -0800
    Hey, anyone interested in joining discussion around hot topics?
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-02-03 16:13:30 -0800
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  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-01-10 12:57:42 -0800
    I love this! Helping us make a path to one another. I want to understand the other side & love better.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-12-31 14:08:50 -0800
    I'm looking into starting a chapter of Living Room Conversations in San Francisco.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-12-09 15:12:59 -0800
    HomeI just joined Living Room Conversations and hope to host one soon. Check it out!
  • @gdlittledorf tweeted link to this page. 2016-11-29 18:39:47 -0800
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-11-21 20:44:35 -0800
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  • @ProfOj67 tweeted link to this page. 2016-11-21 20:44:33 -0800
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-11-20 12:11:02 -0800
    Is this one of the simplest ways forward? What other post-election activities are you giving your time and attention to?
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-11-12 20:36:11 -0800
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  • @jschamberlain1 tweeted link to this page. 2016-11-12 20:36:08 -0800

Living Room Conversations is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 as a result of a transpartisan partnership focused on revitalizing civil discourse through conversation. Living Room Conversations offers an open-source format to facilitate structured conversations among people of differing views and backgrounds. Through these conversations we hope to increase understanding of various issues, build relationships, and pave the way for collaborative and inclusive problem-solving.