In the fall of 2019, a team of researchers at Howard University’s Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies hosted a total of 18 small-group forums. Strangers of all ages, ethnicities and geographic origins sat down, and broke bread across the table in small groups. They listened to live music. They created a safe space to share their cultures, their feelings about their neighborhoods, and to brainstorm how they could better hear each other.
More than 100 strangers of all ages, ethnicities and geographic origins sat down, and broke bread across tables in small groups. Residents created a safe space to share their experiences and feelings about their neighborhoods. Neighbors danced to live go-go music. They brainstormed how they could see and hear each other better.
As researchers continue to analyze these forums, a key finding is that more of them are needed. Below are tools for groups to host discussions of their own. We invite local organizations, schools, faith and other civic groups to use these discussion guides and videos as a way to build community, practice empathy—and speak across cultures.
Below are free videos and discussion materials that allow other groups to host their own forums, and continue the conversation about neighborhood history, identity and how technology is altering the social glue in communities.