Listen First in Charlottesville

Friday & Saturday, April 20-21, 2018

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Goal

  • To help write a new story for America, one of restoring humanity, civility, and collaboration to our conversations and advocacy. 

  • To support restoring relationships, bridging divides, and mending the frayed fabric of society by modeling and practicing Listen First in Charlottesville—where the collapse of civility in America was tragically put into stark relief. 

  • To advance the bridge-building work being done by many organizations across the country.

  • To launch the National Week of Conversation, sparking a Listen First movement to rebuild civil discourse and bridge divides. 

Participants

We're partnering with Charlottesville city, community, university, and student leaders as well as organizations such as the Bridge Alliance and National Institute for Civil Discourse to produce this event. More than 25 national and local influencers will engage in live Listen First Conversations modeling civil discourse and sharing their perspectives. All event attendees will also enjoy similar conversations amongst themselves and with influencers.

Christian Picciolini - Former white supremacist leader working to end the hate; Author, White American Youth

Christian Picciolini - Former white supremacist leader working to end the hate; Author, White American Youth

Dr. Brian Williams - Trauma surgeon who treated the white police officers killed in Dallas (Event Co-host)

Dr. Brian Williams - Trauma surgeon who treated the white police officers killed in Dallas (Event Co-host)

Rev. F. Willis Johnson - Ferguson pastor who stood for strength and love in the middle of protests (Event Co-host)

Rev. F. Willis Johnson - Ferguson pastor who stood for strength and love in the middle of protests (Event Co-host)

Cissie Graham Lynch - Global missionary, Member of President Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board

Cissie Graham Lynch - Global missionary, Member of President Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board

Matt Kibbe - Leader of Tea Party and Libertarian movements

Matt Kibbe - Leader of Tea Party and Libertarian movements

Hawk Newsome - President, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, spoke at pro-Trump rally that he was protesting

Hawk Newsome - President, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, spoke at pro-Trump rally that he was protesting

Dr. Wes Bellamy - Charlottesville City Councilman

Dr. Wes Bellamy - Charlottesville City Councilman

Tom Walls - Executive Director of UVA's Sorensen Institute

Tom Walls - Executive Director of UVA's Sorensen Institute

Kathy Galvin - Charlottesville City Councilwoman

Kathy Galvin - Charlottesville City Councilwoman

Sarah Kenny - President, UVA Student Council

Sarah Kenny - President, UVA Student Council

Allen Groves - Dean of Students, University of Virginia

Allen Groves - Dean of Students, University of Virginia

 Mike Reingold - Editor-in-Chief, The Cavalier Daily 

 Mike Reingold - Editor-in-Chief, The Cavalier Daily 

Pearce Godwin - Founder, Listen First Project & Listen First Coalition (Event Co-host)

Pearce Godwin - Founder, Listen First Project & Listen First Coalition (Event Co-host)

Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer - Executive Director, National Institute for Civil Discourse (Event Co-host)

Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer - Executive Director, National Institute for Civil Discourse (Event Co-host)

David Nevins - President, Bridge Alliance

David Nevins - President, Bridge Alliance

John Steiner - Vice President, Mediators Foundation (Event Co-host)

John Steiner - Vice President, Mediators Foundation (Event Co-host)

John Gable - Founder & CEO, AllSides

John Gable - Founder & CEO, AllSides

Liz Joyner - Executive Director, Village Square (Event Co-host)

Liz Joyner - Executive Director, Village Square (Event Co-host)

Ben Mathes - Founder, Urban Confessional: Free Listening

Ben Mathes - Founder, Urban Confessional: Free Listening

David Blankenhorn - President, Better Angels

David Blankenhorn - President, Better Angels

Shannon Martinez - Former white supremacist; Southern US Regional Coordinator , Against Violent Extremism Network

Shannon Martinez - Former white supremacist; Southern US Regional Coordinator , Against Violent Extremism Network

Rodney McKenzie - Vice President for Campaigns and Partnerships, Demos

Rodney McKenzie - Vice President for Campaigns and Partnerships, Demos

Malka Fenyvesi - Director, On Being Civil Conversations Project

Malka Fenyvesi - Director, On Being Civil Conversations Project

Elizabeth (Liz) Hume - Senior Director for Programs and Strategy, Alliance for Peacebuilding

Elizabeth (Liz) Hume - Senior Director for Programs and Strategy, Alliance for Peacebuilding

Jaymee Copenhaver - UVA Alum & Writer, AllSides

Jaymee Copenhaver - UVA Alum & Writer, AllSides

Andrew Hanauer - Director, One America Movement

Andrew Hanauer - Director, One America Movement

Program

Friday Evening, April 20th, 2018

Village Square will host dinners throughout the community at which diverse groups will enjoy enriching conversation on topics of their choice.

Saturday Afternoon, April 21st, 2018

Listen First Project will host the main event at Sprint Pavilion. Local and national influencers as well as all attendees will engage in authentic Listen First Conversations on topics of their choice that foster greater understanding and spark ideas for action. Several distinct and powerful methods of Listen First Conversations—developed by members of the Listen First Coalition—will be introduced for use across all spheres of life beyond the event. This engaging experience is designed to inspire and equip participants to take Listen First Conversations into their relationships, communities, and social networks to rebuild civil discourse and bridge divides. Listen First in Charlottesville will kick off the first National Week of Conversations.

Event Sponsors & Programming Partners

Currently seeking additional sponsors. Contact Pearce@ListenFirstProject.org.

Please donate here to support this landmark event!

Background

Regardless of your political views, race, or religion, the scenes of fists flying and bloodied faces in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017 were deeply disturbing. This kind of personal hatred and violence is not what has made America the most successful country on Earth and a beacon of hope. This self-inflicted scourge on our nation threatens our shared future. A healthy and vibrant society cannot survive amidst such attacks on the humanity of our fellow Americans. Together, in Charlottesville, we'll do something about it.