The Community Conversations project


Richard Moore

Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 22:09:53 -0700
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
From: Rosa Zubizarreta <•••@••.•••>


Toward a Deeper Unity:
The Community Conversations project

The Community Conversations project is a response to the 911
tragedy. It is also a broader, ongoing effort to address the
various challenges faced by our society.

Vision Statement

Our purpose is to generate greater understanding in our
communities by creating shared listening spaces where we can
explore issues that affect us all, honor divergent
perspectives, find common ground, and generate creative
solutions to shared problems.


1) Sharing information and resources on how each of us can
help generate transformational conversations in our
families, workplaces, neighborhoods, etc.

2) Hosting information tables in public places, as a way to
let folks know about the project, offer information and
resources, and invite participation.

3) Connecting folks who are skilled in creating safe
conversational spaces with groups and organizations who
would like help in hosting such events for their members.

4) Working towards large, public Community Conversations,
sponsored by a variety of organizations and held in public
spaces such as libraries and community colleges.

5) Leading workshops for activists and community organizers
on heart-centered listening, inquiry, dialogue, and
facilitation skills.

6) Offering support  and collaboration to others who are
doing similar work.

Your input, participation, and contributions to this project
are most welcome, including information about similar
efforts happening locally.

Contact information:

Rosa Zubizarreta

The Community Conversations Project is a member of
911 World Solutions: Sonoma County Peace and Justice Coalition.

More about the Community Conversations project

How can conversation help? Isn't it "just talk and no

We know that certain kinds of conversation can help create
deeper understanding between people - not just in small
groups, but in larger groups as well. One of the silver
linings of the 911 tragedy may be the opportunity to bring
healing to some of the long-standing divisions within our
society, and generate a deeper sense of unity among us all.

Talking about this issue with family and friends doesn't
seem to helpŠ

Sometimes it's hardest to talk about charged issues with the
people to whom we are closest, especially if we do not have
an appropriate container for the conversation. Having an
agreed-upon format can be very helpful - for example, a
talking circle where each person can be heard without
interruption. Or, having a "designated listener" present.

Isn't this all very idealistic ?

In the famous words of John Lennon, "you may say that I'm a
dreamer, but I know I'm not aloneŠ" There are various
initiatives taking place around the country, designed to
help people initiate constructive conversations on this (and
other) topics. Some of the most prominent are listed below:


1) The New Road Map Foundation has put together a web page
for people who would like to host "Conversation Cafés". The
purpose of their effort is, in part:  "To offer simple,
safe, comfortable ways for people of varying views to take
part in deepening conversations in public settings about
September 11Š"  For more info, visit

2) The Study Circles Resource Center has developed a new
discussion guide for folks who would like to lead a study
circle on the subject of the Sept. 11 tragedy. It is called
"Facing the Future: How Should We Respond to the Attacks on
Our Nation?", and is available at their web site at

3) Tom Atlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute wrote a list
of simple questions on that anyone can use to invite inquiry
and dialogue around 911, along with some suggestions  on how
to use the questions. This list can be found at

There are many other suggestions and resources available for
those who wish to apply the tools of empathy, listening,
inquiry, dialogue, etc., to the work at hand, including the
website of the Center for Non-Violent Communication

Part of the work of the Community Conversations project is
to compile and share these kinds of information, so please
let us know of any other resources we can include!


Richard K Moore
Wexford, Ireland
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance 
email: •••@••.••• 
website & list archives:
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            -- Frantz Fanon

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