In 2017 – after years of exclusive focus on volatile disagreements surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – RTT launched an ambitious new initiative forging communication and understanding across red/blue/purple divides in American life. Our work began in rural Wisconsin and Iowa counties that swung powerfully to Trump in the 2016 election, involving a Listening Campaign of 330 interviews, training for regional and local clergy, and a series of highly successful dialogue forums on fault-line issues – from gun policy to immigration to healthcare. RTT worked in close partnership with conservative, rural, and working class Americans whose voices and communities tend to be under-represented in most dialogue efforts. Since this launch, RTT has brought our celebrated methodology, training, and practical toolkit to clergy, journalists, and communities across the United States.
RTT produces and disseminates empathy-generating stories across political and geographic silos. RTT’s new short film PURPLE captures an ideologically diverse group of everyday Americans in rural WI and Iowa coming to see the humanity and motivations behind each other’s positions. To date, PURPLE has reached tens of thousands of viewers and screened in over 160 public libraries, campuses, museums, high schools, and religious communities across the country. To download a Discussion Guide and learn how to host a screening, click here.
RTT will continue to develop new content building empathy and recognition across political divides. Subscribe to our YouTube page and stay tuned!
We believe journalists and entertainment industry professionals hold unique potential to depolarize America by translating disparate Americans' humanity hopes, concerns, and experiences across siloes. RTT trains journalists and media producers to support recognition across divides on contentious issues and promote new narratives of shared civic reality. RTT's training focuses on integrating mediation tools into everything from how journalists ask questions to what stories they choose to tell. This powerful essay by Amanda Ripley of The Atlantic, in part an outgrowth of this training, has made many waves in the journalism field.
RTT trains clergy, facilitators, and other community leaders in our celebrated, road-tested framework and toolkit for breaking open courageous and constructive communication across political divides. RTT also trains teams from fellow bridge-building organizations in our unique facilitation framework and toolkit. Click here to learn more about our programs and services.
Stay tuned for new developments and partnerships, as Resetting the American Table continues to grow.