Civic Issues: The Respectful Conversations Project, Minnesota

In the run-up to a state-wide vote on a marriage amendment to the Minnesota state constitution, the Minnesota Council of Churches teamed up with the Busch Foundation, creating The Respectful Conversations Project to explore ways of enabling Minnesotans to have conversations about the issue that would be constructive and avoid the kind of acrimony that had been seen in other states like California when dealing with same-sex marriage. I consulted with the RCP team to adapt Reflective Structured Dialogue to their purposes, population and core issue, designed a curriculum and trained 14 Lead Facilitators who went on to train over 200 table facilitators who facilitated dialogues in churches across the state. The goals of the effort were achieved and local capacity to host constructive conversations on other potentially divisive issues was greatly expanded. Here’s a short video about the project: