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We had learned a great deal about choreographing the events so the movement of participants from one conversation to the next went smoothly and audio recording at the event didn’t disrupt the conversations.
That fall we received a ,000 University of Washington Amazon Catalyst grant and ,800 contributed by KUOW major donors towards a second season for 2017.
A line in the sand is drawn over every disagreement.
At KUOW in Seattle, we’ve been working on way to bring people together in the right context for understanding those who have different backgrounds and perspectives.
Working with a local design firm, The Hilt, we have assembled a list of best practices for a tool kit that’s available on the “Ask A …” website.
We are ready to share what we’ve learned with other public media outlets, churches, schools, social service groups and businesses that want to host their own “Ask A …” events.
We planned six events, starting with another “Ask A Muslim” dialogue, and then expanding to new groups who had been portrayed negatively in the news as “others.” Five separate “Ask A …” events created space for “askers” to talk with Trump supporters, cops, transgender people, immigrants, and newcomers to Seattle.
For our second season, we set a goal to evaluate whether participating in these events got people to see beyond stereotyped categories and recognize each other as individuals.
Caroline Dodge, our director of community engagement, instantly supported the idea.
We produced our first event in February 2016 as an experiment.
Our goal was to host one-on-one conversations with little or no moderation. The Seattle Council on American-Islamic Relations helped us find Muslims who were willing to answer questions.