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Inspired by Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast and the Civil Conversations project, Interfaith Philadelphia engaged this region in a series of trainings, community conversations, and a live recording of On Being.

Our Goals for A Year of Civil Conversations were to:

  • Increase understanding among diverse Philadelphians.

  • Model conversations where people can speak authentically and listen deeply with respect.

  • Elevate the importance of interfaith relationships throughout the region.

Throughout the year, we engaged over 2,000 people in this work. Individuals could participate in a number of ways, including being trained to be a facilitator of a Civil Conversation, participating in a Civil Conversation, or attending a public event that modeled the skills necessary for a Civil Conversation.

In 2018-19, Interfaith Philadelphia offered 13 half-day trainings giving participants the skills to organize Civil Conversations in their congregations, workplaces, and communities. These sessions offered community leaders and "bridge people" techniques for grassroots civil conversations that support a thriving religiously diverse democracy.

At the heart of this project were local conversations -- grassroots dialogues on a range of topics that encouraged us to share and listen across difference.  These conversations gave us the opportunity to gather for meaningful dialogue designed to increase our understanding of each other, in the midst of times and voices that would have us turning away from one another. They gave us the chance to practice, in the words of Krista Tippett, “speaking together differently in order to live together differently.” 

Live Events

In 2019, Interfaith Philadelphia offered a series of large, public conversations that modeled the skills needed to navigate complex topics within critical relationships.  We highlighted the nuance of topics, postures for listening, and transferable skills around navigating difference. Each conversation featured a special moderator and featured guests engaging in provocative topics that are current, potentially divisive, and connected to the general theme of interfaith understanding.

"Race and Faith"

January 17, 2019


"Navigating Identity and Belonging"

February 6, 2019

University of Pennsylvania

"Challenges to Religious Liberty Today"

March 27, 2019

National Constitution Center

"Religion and the Media"

April 8, 2019

Temple University


Live Recording of On Being with Krista Tippett ft. Shane Claiborne & Omar Saif Ghobash

April 29, 2019 | Congregation Rodeph Shalom

Interfaith Philadelphia's A Year of Civil Conversations culminated with a live recording of the On Being podcast and public radio show hosted by Krista Tippett. Her special guests were Shane Claiborne, leader of Red Letter Christians, and Omar Saif Ghobash, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to France and author of Letters to a Young Muslim. Krista guided them in a conversation about their work in their respective faith communities, and how interfaith relationships have helped shape their lives. 

For more information about this initiative,

please contact Rev. Alison Cornish:    |    (215) 222-1012 x0

"Speaking together differently in order to live together differently..."

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