COMMUNITY GUIDELINES

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The goal of this Forum is to dialogue in the spirit of Dr. King's beloved community:  to participate in a way that "transform[s] opposers into friends" and that cultivates the type of "understanding goodwill" that "will bring about miracles in the hearts of men." Therefore, we ask that you please keep these guidelines in mind as you participate.

Write

Please do your best to be mindful of using inclusive, respectful and empowering language and images. This is your chance to model (and learn from other's modeling) how even the way we use language makes a difference! Here's a useful Conscious Style Guide if you're interested to learn more.

Comment

  • Read to understand others' points of view.

  • Don't be afraid to respectfully challenge one another by asking questions, but please keep the focus on ideas (not on the person sharing them). Build your argument by supporting your opinion with facts, research, or other sources. That way we can all learn.

  • Respond from your own experience instead of generalizing ("I" instead of "they," "we," and "you").

  • Participate to the fullest of your ability -- community growth depends on the inclusion of every individual voice.

  • Remember that the goal is not to agree -- it is to gain a deeper understanding and appreciate difference. May we all benefit from a healthy exchange of ideas and learn a little more about the people in our community, what they think, and what’s important to each of us. You may end up changing your mind about an issue; but even if you don’t, hopefully everyone will gain a greater understanding of why people have different perspectives.*

Respect

Above all, please remember that this discussion and our community's growth from it, depends upon trust and mutual respect. To maintain that trust, we ask that participants honor the courage it takes to make oneself vulnerable as a learner and refrain from judging others and from sharing or discussing these conversations with others who are not a part of this community.

*Adapted from Paul Gorski's Guide for Setting Ground Rules and Marianne Mead Ward's A Commitment to Respectful Dialogue.