How to Explore Controversial Topics Respectfully
“In this environment of division and adversity it is most essential to continue to engage in conversations, healthy debates, and listening. Speaking out should not be about changing someone’s mind or proving them wrong, but about increasing understanding by offering a different perspective. The more we can listen and engage others to listen, the more we are able to chip away at the big gap dividing our communities right now. We have to remember that we can’t challenge someone else’s experience, but we can hope that by listening to each other we open our minds and become more tolerant and understanding.”– Jei Africa, Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County
- Instead of saying “That is not true,” try saying “I hear what you’re saying. There are parts I agree and don’t agree with, but here is my personal experience.” Then let it go.
- The Newseum offers an activity that teaches how to explore controversial topics respectfully: https://NewseumEd.org/ Activity/From-Provocative-To-Productive-Teaching-Controversial-Topics/