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immigration

Talking about . . . immigration

immigration.jpgDemographics in our country are changing. New people with different languages and cultures now live in communities that once had much less diversity. Some community members are concerned about these changes as they fondly remember a less diverse time that, for them, provided a greater sense of stability and cohesion. Other community members find demographic changes invigorating and welcome the opportunity and effort to create a sense of shared community amidst diversity. Considering our past, present and future, what does it mean to be an American? And what are the implications for immigration in the 21st Century?

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?

We have many podcasts and videos of actual Living Room Conversations, on many topics.  Click HERE to listen or view.

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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

Answer one or more of the following:
  • 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?

Three. Immigration

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. 

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • What is at the heart of the immigration issue for you?
  • What personal experiences inform your beliefs about immigration? It may be experiences of your family and friends. 
  • How does considering legal versus illegal immigration impact your feelings or positions?
  • What about refugees? How welcoming should America be of people fleeing hardship and/or violence?

Four. Reflection

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • 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

Answer both of the following questions:
  • 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?

Closing

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