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“You have to have imagination to see how you can meet everyone’s core needs.”

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with feminist, activist, and political revolutionary Joan Blades, co-author of The Motherhood Manifesto, founder of Moveon.Org,, and Living Room Conversations.

One of my goals in beginning Raising Imagination is to bring people together across political, religious, and socio-economic divides.  I realize I’ve got a long way to go towards this end. Living room conversations is doing this well; thus I’m grateful for Joan’s insight and the opportunity to share it with you.

Living Room Conversations focuses on revitalizing civil discourse through conversation by offering a simple six-person guide and “hopes for a world in which people who have fundamental differences of opinion and backgrounds learn to work together with respect – and even joy – to realize the vibrant future we all desire for ourselves and our families. Learn more at

Why did you begin Living Room Conversations? I inquired of Joan. 

Good things happen when you actually talk to each other, and like each other, Joan began.  And I realized the good friendships I had with conservatives were quite valuable. Since 2008, it’s become increasingly difficult to have conversations across political party lines, yet people can change their minds when they care about each other.  When we love someone, we care about what they care about. I wanted a way to intentionally replicate the fruitful experiences I’ve had in having relationships with friends on the other end of the political spectrum.

What is essential in this work, I asked Joan?  

Curiosity and listening are the core of this craft.  Curiosity is very close to imagination. Once you have the curiosity to hear and understand one another, then you have to have imagination and get creative to see how you can meet everyone’s core needs.

Most days, I think figuring out how we can meet everyone’s core needs is really what it’s all about.

Have you had divisive political conversations with family or friends?  What helped? What was most difficult? Has this escalated since the 2016 election cycle?  Would you be interested in participating or hosting a Living Room Conversation? Let me know! We hope to host one in the fall. Drop us a line if you’re interested! 

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