This week, I want to share a story of how our fabulous volunteer Jessica Shryack led a roomful of people in a Living Room Conversation! And how you can, too. Jessica represented Living Room Conversations at the Rotary Club’s Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference in Greenville, South Carolina this past Spring. She writes,
It was a chance to hear gifted speakers and activists share their stories–people like Azim Khamisa, Bawa Jain, Reverend Deb Richardson-Moore and poet Glenis Redmond. I met a lot of beautiful human beings who make it their life’s work to foster in themselves and others greater self-awareness, deeper listening, and more compassion.
The most important thing I got out of going to this conference was getting the feedback that the LRC process was extremely valuable to participants. There were people from non-profit boards, the Rotary Club, a charter school, and other organizations who snapped up copies of the Conversation Guides to use.
Presenting on the Living Room Conversations model and facilitating 30-minute table conversations for a ballroom of 350 people showed me that LRCs at larger scales are very doable.
Conference-style Living Room Conversations are exciting because they have the potential to reach people from multiple organizations at the same time. Depending on the type of conference or event, participants may come from different industries, organizations or demographics and may bring the LRC back to their respective, diverse communities. Sharing Living Room Conversations this way is especially important when democracy may be in retreat worldwide and political divides in the U.S. seem “irrevocable,” but recent research shows that Americans believe spending time with others and practicing empathy are ways to rebuild trust in each other.
Excited about the possibilities? We encourage you to use, download and share our Faith Partner Linda Taylor’s excellent, detailed guide, Planning a Community Living Room Conversation. And as always, contact us with questions by just hitting “Reply” to this email!