Reaching across difference using authentic relational conversations and organising to build a pro-democracy movement in the United States.
A report and guide from the United Vision Project of how they used texting to have conversations with people across America to build a pro-democracy movement. Their report, available via presentation slides, reveals some of the fault lines that local organizing or regional narrative campaigns could intervene into to inoculate groups of people from taking a next step on a ladder of action of ethno-nationalism. A comprehensive conversation and narrative guide was also created to help volunteers pivot and deepen conversations.
Here’s a sneak peak of the resources.
Things left unattended erode, diminish & fail. Democracy is no different. We’ve let the walls crack, roof decay & the floors cave in. This is foundation time! If you’re reading this – it’s your time! Learning how to have conversations across our differences is critically important to getting into right relationship with one another. Through this practice, we’re having deep conversations with people across the country. We’ve already had 104,000 conversations and it is making a tremendous impact in our ability to connect with one another and find common ground.
The broad distrust of Democrats and Liberals highlights the limits of partisan organizing to create the long-term shifts needed to create communities that support well resourced community investment rooted in multiracial solidarity. There is a clear need for nonpartisan entry points
These communities are not monoliths, yet the tendency is to direct organizing efforts in a campaign style that is missing the mark on what people actually believe and what is driving their actions.
We need to better understand where and what kinds of people are aligning with these ideologies in order to successfully organize against the harm these groups create. Doing so strengthens our ability to inoculate people from the messaging and appeal of white supremacist organizations, blocking them from deepening their reliance on these organizations for aid, support, and meaning making.
There is a clear relationship between distrust, political ideological extremity, and conspiracy beliefs. The implication is that those who hold these beliefs perceive that government institutions meant to provide checks and balances are either implicit or ineffective and are unlikely to respond to people’s demand for change.
About the Author
The United Vision Project is a nonpartisan outreach project where multiple organizations are collaborating to contact hundreds of thousands of Americans by having authentic relational conversations conducted with deep listening, empathy and dignity. The focus is on saving democracy and finding common ground.
- Texting campaigns guide
- Three open source tech tools for your campaigning
- Innovative Tech for Social Justice Causes: Resources from Democracy Labs
- Conversation Guide: Democracy, Extremism, and Outliers
- Persuasive Conversation Campaigns Guide
- Overcome Toxic Polarisation: A Political Courage Challenge
- Hold the Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy
- Social Identity and Group Norms
- Bridge Building and Power Building: An Ecosystem Approach to Social Change
- Democracy Resource Hub
- Movements_Campaigns - Democracy