Beginning this week, many Americans will have ample opportunity to reach across the political aisle — by way of the family table. Much has been said in the days after the election about the urgent need to listen to those who voted differently from us (or didn’t vote at all). What most commentary has empathized is the importance of listening, patience, and empathy. What few have offered is practical tips for doing this well.
This placemat from Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) was made in 2015, but applies even more so today.
HolidayChallenge4RacialJustice gives a lighthearted approach to low-key keeping the family narrative focused on racial justice, from “bedtime stories” to “control the radio.”
SURJ members compiled a Google Doc on how to talk to family. Included: This chart, reminding us that changing hearts and minds often involves a steady, evolving process.
Meridian Hill Pictures and Van Jones’ Magic Labs Media partnered up to visit Trump supporters at home in Gettysburg, Va. The resulting docuseries is a great conversation kickstarter.
“Remember that this isn’t the only conversation/interaction you’re going to have,” writes Christena Cleveland.
The New York Times had Clinton supporters and Trump supporters ask each other these questions. Listen to their results here.
If all efforts at engaging have stalled, SURJ has a holiday hotline to help. “Get stuck? Simply text SOS to 82623.”
You could always go The Onion route, and convene a PowerPoint lecture with sympathetic family members. "Now, if you would open your handouts to page 14..."