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  Respectful Communities > Respectful Conversations Project > Inaugural Year

Respectful Conversations Project Inaugural Year ― 2012

In 2012, the Minnesota Council of Churches developed the Respectful Conversations Project in response to the overwhelming differences in community reaction to the Amendment to Define Marriage. The Project was not about opposing or supporting the amendment defining marriage, but about bringing people together who disagreed. Conversations were designed not to change minds, but soften hearts.

In more than 50 conversations throughout Minnesota, led by 200+ individuals trained to facilitate conversations about difficult topics, 1,500 people participated in the empathy-building process. Churches and other organizations in Moorhead, Walker, Duluth, Cambridge, the Twin Cities Metro, Red Wing, Rochester, Hutchinson, Glenwood, and Alexandria acted on their call to be sources of peace by bringing together people in their communities with differing opinions on the Amendment to Define Marriage with the purpose of building better relationships with each other. Many positive experiences were reported, from host sites and participants alike.

We hope you will watch this tpt-produced video, which focuses on the conversation process and methodology utilized in the 2012 Respectful Conversations Project.

Final Report: Respectful Conversations Project, Amendment to Define Marriage

We invite you to read our final report on the success of the 2012 inaugural year of the Respectful Conversations Project, which centered on the topic of the Marriage Amendment..


Support for our inaugural year of building a stronger Minnesota came from our organizational sponsor, the Bush Foundation’s InCommons Initiative, and tpt (Twin Cities Public Television).

Participants at a Respectful Conversations Project gathering.
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© 2012 Minnesota Council of Churches
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