Want to Talk? Communication Tools for Divided Times

Civil Dialogue Series

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How can we have tough conversations about things that matter?

Want to Talk: Communication Tools for Divided Times offers wisdom for navigating disagreement in a healthier way — whether in personal relationships or when working for social change.

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Navigating tough conversations while staying true to your values

Whether you find yourself navigating a heated disagreement with a spouse, interrupting racism in the office, facilitating political tension in church, or working for systemic change around any justice issue, Want to Talk? Communication Tools for Divided Times will guide you in deepening your relationships while staying true to your values.

This program, which reflects JustFaith Ministries’ commitment to anti-racism, draws upon the wisdom of experts in nonviolent communication, civil dialogue, and grassroots organizing. Participants will leave the program with practical tools for navigating the political polarization of our time, as well as tough conversations with their loved ones.

Program goals

Goals for Want to Talk? Communication Tools for Divided Times include:

Learn how Jesus navigated systemic injustice, political unrest, and interpersonal conflict, in order to discern how we might respond to similar situations today.

Learn communication tools for seeking justice in the issue about which you are most passionate and learn to navigate disagreement in a healthier way — whether in personal relationships or when working for systemic change.

Strengthen communication skills for assisting divided congregations, organizations, and communities in moving from ‘us and them’ to a greater sense of shared vision.


Want to Talk? Communication Tools for Divided Times consists of eight 2-hour sessions, an immersion experience, and an optional get-to-know-you session.

Recommended group size is 8-14.

Framework & Session Topics

  • Optional: Get-to-Know-You Session

  • Session 1: Laying the Foundation

  • Session 2: Moving Toward Beloved Community

  • Session 3: Sacred Listening

  • Session 4: Empathy for Justice

  • Session 5: Anger

  • Session 6: Making Requests, Demanding Change

  • Immersion Experience

  • Session 7: What to Do When the Answer is ‘No’

  • Session 8: What Next?

Sessions include:

Prayer and reflection
Discussion of reading
Videos & group activities
Spiritual practices
Integration of faith

Want to know more?

An overview, sample session, and program booklet are available for free download.

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Need help inviting people to your small group?

This program promotion kit contains sample social media posts, bulletin announcements, email invitations, and more.

We believe strongly in making our programs inclusive and available to everyone

There are two registration options:

Option 1: Participants in the group pay their own registration fees: Participants pay individually based on a sliding fee scale of $35, $55, or $75/person. (There is no charge for up to two facilitators.) A minimum of 8 participants is strongly recommended. Scholarships are available for individuals.

Option 2: A church/organization pays the registration fee for all participants: When the group is set up, a church or organization will automatically be billed a flat rate of $280, covering up to 8 participants. For groups with more than 8 participants, the organization will be invoiced an additional $35 for each extra participant when the group begins.

The registration fee includes:

  • Comprehensive materials for each session
  • Facilitation scripts, guidance, and training resources
  • Retreat and immersion guidance
  • Adaptations for virtual groups
  • Direct access to program staff for support

Books are an additional cost and available for purchase in the bookstore.

To ensure our programs are not cost-prohibitive for anyone, all programs are offered on a sliding fee scale ranging from $35-$75.

We ask you to choose the registration fee tier that best aligns with your current financial situation. Paying on the higher end allows us to keep the program affordable for all.

If the $35 tier is difficult for you, please consider the program anyway. We ask that you decide what amount you can contribute as a commitment to the program, and send us an email at info@justfaith.org to learn about partial scholarship opportunities for the remainder amount.


Let's get started

Find a small group

Ready to get started? Browse available small groups for this program.

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Start a small group

To start a new small group, please fill out the group request form.

What our program participants are saying

The focus in this class is a little different from all the other JustFaith offerings. Instead of looking outward into the world, this class took me inward to a deeper look at my language and the effect it has on all my relationships. It offered an opportunity to take a deep look at how language shapes our relationships as well as bring about the more just world our hearts know is possible. It helped me shift away from dualistic thinking--to move from a language of judgment to a language of invitation, to become aware of the needs of others and how those shape every conversation, how to create a safe space for all conversations, and it gave me an opportunity to practice listening for the whole story, to include all the lenses. As we continue to look for the way through all that separates us in these times, this class helped me notice my language, and offered strategies for finding a third way. It reminds me of Rumi’s poem. Here is a part of it, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.” This class opens us to the field—the possible thread running through all the other classes, through all our relationships and, indeed, through our lives. I am grateful for this experience.

Participating in and facilitating the "Want to Talk" program was a game changer for me. Effective communication is the key to understanding as well as the path to furthering deeper relationships and healthier conversations which can only lead to a more equitable society. The program has instilled in me a very intentional inner voice that prompts me to "practice the pause" before responding. I look forward to attending and participating in more JustFaith programs in the future. I would encourage everyone to do the same.

Following a 25 year career providing counseling as a therapist, I was curious to participate in the pilot for Want to Talk: Communication Tools for Divided Times. Communication skills were an important skill addressed with many clients. I thought this new JFM module covered many of the essential "tools" for effective communication in most relationships, especially with the recent challenges with so many controversial topics. I hear many people comment: "I just don't know how to respond", or "how do I have this conversation". This module will provide many skills that can make a real difference.