Making a Connection with One Conversation

People sitting across the table from one another with cups of coffee

The election is over, and Congress is split, with immigration as a key battleground. Many people are entrenched in their party of choice, but when it comes to the issues, there are proven ways to successfully open conversations.

One of the ballot questions voted on in Massachusetts was a proposed measure to repeal anti-discrimination protections for transgender people. In 2016, two social scientists showed the effectiveness of a specific method of reducing transphobia: having a conversation, letting people talk and “encouraging actively taking the perspective of others.” The ballot measure was defeated, securing protections for transgender residents, due in part to conversations that happened around the state.

Anti-immigrant rhetoric, like transphobia, preys on our most base psychological tendencies of fearing outsiders. Can a simple conversation counteract this?

The experts say yes. When we encourage people to put themselves in an immigrant or refugee’s shoes, they may discover that their core values and motivations are the same. We all want to live in a safe, welcoming community. We all want the best for our children. We all want to work hard to create a better life for ourselves and our families.

Join The Immigrant Learning Center and a panel of communications, social media and immigrant integration experts for the free, interactive webinar What We Have in Common: How to Talk About Immigrants, on Thursday, November 13 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EST. This free webinar will offer the most up-to-date tips to have engaging, effective conversations about immigrants in today’s climate.

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