A Year of Civil Conversations


Inspired by Krista Tippet’s On Being podcasts and the Civil Conversations Project, Interfaith Philadelphia has launched A Year of Civil Conversations throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. Engaging over 50 organizations and 1,000 people, Interfaith Philadelphia will offer multiple opportunities to learn how to “speak together differently in order to live together differently.” PYM is a member of Interfaith Philadelphia and PYM Friends have participated in many of their programs in the past.

These grassroots civil conversations will take place within communities throughout the region that build a thriving religiously diverse democracy. They began in September and will continue through May 2019. Their purpose is to increase understanding and challenge the divisive dualism of today’s public discourse by building civic muscles for speaking with passion and listening with openness. This will empower participants to be curious, venture out, welcome in, stand tall, and stand with.

At the heart of this project are local conversations — grassroots dialogues on a range of topics that encourage us to share and listen across difference. The model for these conversations is inspired by Krista’s interviews with poets, scientists, pastors, authors, psychologists, activists, and more. These conversations give us the opportunity to gather for meaningful dialogue designed to increase our understanding of each other, in the midst of times and voices that would have us turning away from one another. They give us the chance to practice, in the words of Krista Tippett, “speaking together differently in order to live together differently.”

To join a conversation, check out the Local Conversations page of the Interfaith Center’s website.

Would you like to host a conversation? There are four trainings for facilitators scheduled. These sessions offer community leaders and “bridge people” techniques for grassroots civil conversations that support a thriving religiously diverse democracy. Participants will also receive a Civil Conversations facilitator kit to use in their own work going forward.

  • Sunday, December 9th | 2:00 – 5:00 pm
  • Thursday, January 17th | 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, February 5th | 5:30 – 8:30 pm

The trainings are all held at Interfaith Philadelphia’s office, 100 West Oxford Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122. The fee is $25 for individuals, $15 for groups and free for students.scholarships are available
Register for a training on Interfaith Philadelphia’s website.  If you host a conversation, please post it on PYM’s calendar.