Our Story

"Listen First Project is taking heroic steps to get people to talk to each other." - The Hill

Listen First Project encourages conversations towards increased respect and understanding—inspiring hope and behavior change one Listen First Pledge and Conversation at a time. LFP drives the Listen First movement to restore relationships, bridge divides, and mend the frayed fabric of society. The Listen First movement is promoted coast to coast by the many organizational members of our Listen First Coalition as well as local Listen First chapters in schools, communities, and businesses.

Started on a bus in Africa. 

2013: Listen First Project was founded by Pearce Godwin in 2013 shortly after he wrote "It's Time to Listen" at the end of an eye-opening six month experience in Africa, which followed five years of political work in Washington, DC. His message was printed in dozens of major newspapers across the United States from the Miami Herald to Oklahoman, garnering a tremendously encouraging response. LFP was born out of a desire to turn those words into action and make a tangible impact towards rebuilding civil discourse and bridging divides in America and around the world.

2014: Launched the Listen First, Vote Second campaign to directly target the most salient case of our failure to listen to those with whom we disagree—politics. In recognition of the campaign, Pearce was honored to attend the Congressional Summit on Next Generation Leadership on Capitol Hill in Washington. Released the #ListenFirst: It Starts with Us inspirational video. 

2015: Launched the Listen First Essay Series drawing on voices from around the world applying listening first to their life experience and the most challenging issues of our time. Developed Listen First Conversation Guidelines.

2016: Took Listen First, Vote Second to the presidential conventions, had thousands of people sign the Listen First Pledge, began hosting Listen First Conversations on the radio, and launched our first school chapter.

2017: Launched the Listen First Coalition of organizations across America working to rebuild civil discourse. Hosted the first Listen First Round Table event with voters from across the political spectrum, which was called a "miracle." Pearce began hosting virtual Listen First Conversations on Facebook Live. The first—among San Francisco Liberals & Southern Conservatives—was watched by 20,000 people. In the aftermath of the Charlottesville tragedy, Listen First Project spoke out for civility and began planning a major Listen First in Charlottesville event for 2018. After four years of growing Listen First Project in the margins of his life, Pearce left his job and invested full time in Listen First to change the world

As the Listen First movement builds nationwide, Pearce continues to share his perspective on our blog and in widely-published columns promoted by outlets such as The Hill, Charlotte Observer, Miami Herald, Oklahoman, Huffington Post, and New York Times.