1:1 Black / White Conversation (1st Conversation)

Overview
Braver Angels has developed a way for people of different races or ethnic groups to have a different kind of conversation than usually occurs when we talk about race in this country.  The process involves two structured 1-hour conversations between two people who identify with difference races or ethnic groups.  We are currently focusing on conversations between black and white people. What follows is the first of two conversations. 
Round 1 (~3 minutes)

Review the Technical Guidelines


While waiting for your partner to join, review these technical guidelines for a smooth conversation experience:

Stick together through the conversation rounds.
Complete each conversation round together. Each person then clicks "Proceed to Next Round" to advance. If need be, you can return to a previous round by clicking on it. 

You can drag and drop your own image anywhere on the page.

Keep an eye on the time.
The countdown timer helps you stay on track so that you use your time well. However, your pace for each section is up to you, and you can go over the hour if you both agree.    

Keep yourself muted when not speaking.
When you are not speaking, press your mute button to eliminate background noise and echo. When you are speaking, remember to unmute.

Keep your video on at all times.
If you are having bandwidth trouble, however, you can turn off your video to improve audio performance.

Having audio or video problems?
Try refreshing your browser - you'll come right back into the conversation. If this doesn't work, click "Need Help" for troubleshooting tips. 

We want to know if technology didn't work well for you in this conversation
Please send screenshots to connect@allsides.com.
Round 2 (~10 minutes)

Open Up the Conversation

After settling in and making sure the audio and video is working, one of you reads out loud the goals, and then the other reads the ground rules.
 
Goals
 
✔ More understanding of the experiences, feelings, and beliefs of someone of a different race or ethnic group
 
✔ Discovering any areas of commonality in addition to differences 
 
✔ Ideas for how we might make a difference for our children and our nation
 
 
Ground Rules
 
1. We’re here to explain our views and to understand the other person, not to convince the other person to shift their attitudes or change their mind.  In other words, this is an open sharing, not a debate to establish who has the right perspective or correct facts.
 
2. We’re here as individuals.  Let’s not assume the other person holds the views of a larger group—unless they say they do.  
 
3. We’re going to stick to the process for each stage of the conversation.  Example: if the question is what we each learned about how the other person sees an issue, that’s all we do then even if it means resisting the urge to “correct’ the other person’s obvious error or blind spot!  
 
4. We give each other permission to remind each other gently if we veer off from the process, as in “I think right now we’re supposed to be doing….”
 
Are we both on board with these goals and ground rules, and ready to go?

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Round 3 (~10 minutes)

Getting to Know Each Other

Question 1: Why we are participating
 
Why did we each decide to participate in this conversation?

Each person takes 1 minute - afterwards, 2 minutes max (here and elsewhere, feel free to use less time)

Did you see anything in common in why you are participating?

Suggestion: alternate who begins responding to each question from here on.
 
Question 2: Something about ourselves 

Share something about ourselves such as where we each live and for how long, family, and (if we like) a fun question:  What was your favorite meal as a child?  

Up to 2 minutes each 
Round 4 (~35 minutes)

How We Each Feel about Being Part of Our Group

Question 3:  How do you identify yourself in terms of race, ethnicity, or cultural heritage?

60 seconds each, more time if needed.  Feel free to answer this question in a way that makes sense to you.  The basic idea is to name a group that you can say "we" about when engaging in a conversation with someone of another racial, ethnic, or cultural group.  This might involve standard categories of race or ethnicity, or combinations like race and geographical region, country of origin, social class, religious heritage--or other dimensions of identity. 
 
Question 4: What do you value about having your racial, ethnic, or cultural identity?  What is awesome/great/special/cool for you about being a member of your group and having your heritage?   (You can answer in terms of your race, ethnicity, culture, or any combination.)  Only positives here.

Each goes in turn. (Up to 4 minutes each) No interruptions or cross talk.

Afterwards, back and forth conversation for 4 minutes on this question:  
What did you learn about how the other person sees the positives of being part of the group they identify with, and do you see anything in common?    
 
Question 5:  What is painful/disturbing/draining/despairing for you about being a member of your group and having your heritage?  This could include how your group has been treated or how people in your group have treated others.   

4 minutes for each person.  No cross talk.

Afterwards, back and forth for 4 minutes on this question: 

What did you learn about the other person’s experience of the hard parts of being in their group, and do you see anything in common?
Round 5 (~5 minutes)

Check Out

How do we each feel about the conversation we’ve just had?

Do we want to go forward with the second conversation?  If so, let’s schedule it.