Some conversations like who should be on our currency are easier than others. But hard conversations, like how we feel about this past election, are more important than ever to have especially with those who do not agree with us. While our divides may feel deep, we still come to the same dinner table, or place out of common connection.   

Is there a possibility we can build on that common connection, or are we just going to agree to disagree at best? Can we find any points that we agree? Do we agree that there a benefit to find a place of understanding over perpetual divide?

Talk Turkey Guidelines and Suggestions  

1.Maybe excuse yourself if you cannot reasonably control yourself in a conversation where people are likely to have different opinions.

2.State guidelines for discussions: No judgment zone- no labelling, no derogatory, degrading comments towards others- even those not at the table.  No shaming, blaming or scapegoating any person or group. Assign anyone who has repeatedly violated the guidelines to the major part of clean up duty.

3.Find a stopping point or set a time limit where everyone has had a fair chance to state their feelings. If points of disagreement, or new points are made, others in the conversation should restate those points to make sure the sentiment is understood. Try to end when the conversation is in a place of agreement, and try to set a time to revisit it again in future.

4. Start off with affirmations of your relationship to one another.

Conversation Starters:

1.How are you feeling- Happy, hopeful, sad, worried, scared and why?

2.Has there been anything since the election that gives you hope?  What since the election makes you most nervous, upset, or depressed?

3.What do the results of the election mean to you personally, to people you know and care about, to the country?  

4.What would you tell a young child about the election and the results?

5.What was the single most important issue for you?  Why? Do you feel that you can/you have influence on this issue with your vote?

6.Has it been difficult to talk (to each other) about this election? If so, why?

7.What do you think most needs to change about the U.S.? Why?

8.To what extent do you think racism played a role in the election?  Were you surprised?

9.Do you think our country can protect all citizens in our society? Does racism impact people’s freedom as stated in the Constitution?  Do you think people of color are rightfully worried?

10.Do you know that Antonin Scalia the Supreme Court justice who died this year said that women’s rights were not protected under the Constitution? Do you think women must worry about that? Why or why not?

11. Is there anything you are hopeful about in a Trump presidency?

12. For Trump supporters: Is there a goal Clinton talked about that you could get behind?

13. Is there something everyone seems to agree on?

14.If we are disturbed about the results or the process, are we willing to adopt a new behavior or change ourselves? How?  Would we be willing to adopt a new tradition to reflect that change?

Some possible new traditions:

1. Work in a soup kitchen during the year and discuss your experience with one another.

2. Discuss the effects of racism on each other and how we can work to counter racism. Place objects on your table to start a discussion about people of color led struggle, such as art pieces, books or protest signs.

3. Write and send Postcards to Governor of North Dakota in support of #NoDAPL: Office of Governor State of North Dakota 600 East Boulevard Avenue Bismarck, ND 58505-0100

4. Plan to fundraise as a group for a common goal.

Download the #TalkTurkey Guide here