The weekend that President Donald Trump took office, protesters joined the Women’s March on Washington – with sister marches also taking place across the United States – to bring attention to how the incoming administration would affect women, people of color, and LGBTQ communities. The marches attracted an historic number of protesters in January, but many wondered how the Women’s March would use that momentum to continue fighting the Trump administration past that first weekend. And now – just ahead of Mother’s Day – we have an answer. A few of the organizers behind the Women’s March have launched Daring Discussions, a new project that encourages us to have difficult but constructive conversations in these divisive times.
Daring Discussions is inspired by the origins of Mother’s Day. Following the Civil War, Anna Jarvis persuaded the mothers of fallen solders from the north and the south to find common ground and to make peace, Broadly reports. Now, 150 years later, Daring Discussions wants people to hold 90-minute chats with family members, friends, and others with opposing views on a variety of issues, such as economic and racial injustice, police brutality, and the importance of intersectional feminism.
Filmmaker Paola Mendoza – one of the women behind this new initiative – said Daring Discussion came out of the experiences the women had while organizing the march. “We talked about daring discussions quite a lot after the march,” she told Refinery 29. “And then we realized what we had learned could be useful to the rest of the country. Our country has been divided in the past and we continue to be divided today. Today we have a president [who] has inspired the worst in people, and simultaneously given people the strength to find the best in themselves. Example of this are the Women’s March and Indivisible (a guide to resisting Trump), or raising $2 million in 24 hours for the Resistance. That’s why this campaign is so important to me, because of the potential that it holds.”
Daring Discussions will officially kick off on Mother’s Day, but will continue past May 14. The Daring Discussion website already features a toolkit that explains how to go about having these difficult talks. With tips and reminders like, “ground yourself in love,” “be aware of the privilege you hold in a conversation,” and “seek clarification before jumping to conclusions,” the organizers behind Daring Discussions want us to have productive talks. “Daring Discussions is a road map to help you find ways to have authentic exchanges that bridge divides and bring us all closer to our shared humanity,” the guide reads. “Disagreement does not have to be scary and unpleasant if we strive to have respectful conversations grounded in our personal experiences and values.”
To promote Daring Discussions, several activists – including Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Nelini Stamp – explained why we must continue encouraging this kind of dialogue. Check it out above.