Living Room Conversations Needs in 2016

A bit more about a few projects that we are eager to invest in:

    • Criminal Justice Reform: It is wonderful to see vocal bipartisan support for reducing the prison population and associated costs as well as for adapting criminal justice practices to improve community safety.  Because of the growing realization that this system needs reform, now is an optimal time to explore how we can begin to improve criminal justice practices. Some questions to explore further might include:
  • How do we shift the focus to improving community safety and lowering costs?
  • Do we change incentives for District Attorneys so that instead of being rewarded for putting people awaiting trial or accused of crimes in jail, they are rewarded for using evidence based programs that optimize outcomes for the community and accused?  
  • How do prisons around the country transform toxic cultures into cultures that create space for meaningful regret and honor human dignity so that inmates return to their communities ready to contribute?
  • How do we lower barriers for those who have been incarcerated so that they can return to their communities in a way that supports community safety and reduces recidivism?  
      • Need: Hire two professionals with deep background in the criminal justice field to utilize Living Room Conversations to investigate how to most effectively inspire the changes needed.

 

  • Community Building/Local Organizers: Local communities would be well served bringing together diverse community members to solve all sorts of local challenges.  Homelessness, schools, and community violence are just a few examples of important issues facing communities, yet our capacity to discuss these and other challenges has been undermined by a fight that makes it hard for caring people to talk about even their shared values. We are currently in conversation with a community in Colorado that sees a real need for Living Room Conversations for moving forward in addressing their community challenges and goals.
      • Need: Hire and train local organizers and support for their work, so that Living Room Conversations can begin to help communities face their particular challenges.

 

  • Technology and Communications: While the Living Room Conversations website provides everything an individual or organization needs to hold a Living Room Conversation there are additional ways we hope to lower barriers to entry and to further popularize Living Room Conversations.
      • Need: Hire a volunteer coordinator to develop a vibrant online community for people to share their stories, mentor each other and create a community that can result in a virtuous online to offline cycle of engagement.  
      • Need: Hire a developer and a marketer if needed to develop, test and market Living Room Conversations apps that provide a low bar opportunity to connect with people who hold different views. (Think Match.com for people who want to meet with diverse conversation partners.)
      • Need: Hire a part time communications person or agency. We have gotten some excellent press through casual sharing by Living Room Conversations partners.  It is time for us to improve our reach and employ the services of an individual or agency with expertise in communications.