Talking about . . . immigration
Our first immigration conversation started in a Living Room Conversation that had been designed to focus on money in politics. Given the interest and passion on the topic, we decided to put the issue aside and convene a second conversation about immigration. In preparation for that conversation, we invited our group to share information online - in particular an item - a newspaper article, a report, a study, a source from a medium each participant trusted to inform his/her opinion(s) on immigration. That allowed us as a group to see a glimpse of the perspective(s) that we as individuals are entering into this conversation with. In that wide ranging conversation, we identified the Dream Act as potential common ground.
Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.
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Background reading (optional)
While you don't need to be an expert on this topic, sometimes people want background information. Our partner, AllSides, has prepared a variety of articles reflecting multiple sides of this topic.
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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?
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Now that you are all together, here we go!
This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.
Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.
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One. Why are we here?
What interested you or drew you to this topic?
Two. Your core values
- what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
- what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
- what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?
Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals.
- what is at the heart of the matter for you? (In other words, what is that really matters to you related to immigration?
- what is your personal, family or friend’s experience that informs your beliefs about immigration?
- where is it on your top-10 list? Why?
- in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
- what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
Five. Accomplishment and moving forward
- name one important thing that was accomplished here;
- is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?
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