Guidelines

Here’s how the process will work.  If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to make this process better, please let me know!

To begin the process, an issue will be identified which the community wants to discuss. The issue could be anything from automatic weapons in America to abortion to delays at the airport.

If you have an issue that you would like to discuss, please share it with me via email or on our Facebook page.

With the beginning of each new conversation, a blog entry will explore the reason why this issue needs to be discussed and delve into the root of that issue to find the place where we agree. For example, the reason that someone is concerned about automatic weapons is because that person is afraid of someone shooting their children in school. I think we can all agree that children should be safe at school. So, how to insure the safety of children at school becomes the topic of the conversation.

Next, within the comments, we begin the conversation. Everyone presents their views on how to solve the problem addressed by the topic of the conversation.

Within these presentations, please include your story of how you came to this view. Including your reasoning, whether it has to do with research on the issue or a personal story from your life, helps to build the bridge of understanding and is essential to the success of this project. To see how this technique can work, read this article from Urban Confessional and see it in action.

As we gather these different points of view, open minds and open hearts become the rule. Listen to what each person has to say before responding. Know that we are all working in the same direction.

Make sure you are presenting and responding in a respectful manner. Often, especially when we are discussing issues with deep emotional roots, conversations can become heated. Please make sure that your words honor others and yourself and further the conversation instead of just inflaming a disagreement.

As I am creating a safe space for conversation, trolling (unhelpful, inflammatory, intolerant, and disrespectful speech) will not be tolerated and trolls will be excluded from the conversation and blocked from the comment section.

Do not feed the trolls by engaging with them. Their only reason for engagement is to promote anarchy and divisiveness in the conversation. Since this does not further our search for a solution, please do not spend any of your special time on this earth worrying about them.

All comments are moderated in order to prevent this, but if that moderation fails in some fashion, please report the offender to me at grayareaconnects@gmail.com.

Finally, further blog entries will update the community on where we seem to be in our discussion and present research and stories from the conversation which seem to speak to the issue we are addressing at the moment.

If you would like to write a blog entry at any point in the conversation, please submit your entry here. I welcome your ideas, words and assistance!

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