#WeavingCommunity During Crisis

Overview
During this time of physical distancing, we can still be connected. In fact, the current crisis is sparking deep, rich, meaningful conversations all across our country. Technology can play a constructive role in enabling us to meet across distance, even face-to-face.

Want to host a conversation among your neighbors, friends, or family? Here’s all you need! The suggested conversation prompts and guidelines below were collaboratively developed by many of our partners, reflecting their collective experience creating conversations in communities across America.

To host a conversation up to 60 minutes in length, skip the "optional round" described in this guide. To host a conversation up to 80 minutes in length (or longer), complete all rounds. You can also vary the conversation length by skipping, shortening, or extending any round as your group prefers. 
Round 1 (~5 minutes)

SAY HELLO AS PEOPLE JOIN

Greet each other as the conversation group gets underway.  Review the following best practices together:

  • Mute when not speaking, to minimize background noise.
  • Keep video on (unless calling in via phone) to maximize human connection.
  • Be mindful of individual speaking time, round timing, and total time to ensure the conversation fits the allotted schedule.
  • Click through the conversation rounds together, as a group, guided verbally by one or more designated facilitators (anyone can be a facilitator).
Round 2 (~5 minutes)

REVIEW THE CONVERSATION GUIDELINES

Take turns as a group reading each one of these conversation guidelines aloud.  Afterwards, discuss and clarify any guidelines as needed.  Ensure agreement before moving to next round.

  • We will be present and not multitask.
  • We will avoid assumptions about others and listen first to understand them.
  • We will give time and encourage all voices, no matter how quiet or different.
  • We will trust each other to speak honestly.
  • We will respect each other’s fears and vulnerabilities.
  • We will be patient with those unfamiliar with technology.
Round 3 (~10 minutes)

GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER

Each person should take 1-2 minutes to answer one of the following questions (each person can choose which question to answer):

  • Describe a time when you lived through a period of uncertainty.
  • Do you consider yourself a resilient person? When have you needed to be?
  • How do you find calm in difficult moments?
Round 4 (~10 minutes)

DESCRIBE YOUR COMMUNITY

Each person should take 1-2 minutes to answer one of the following questions (each person can choose which question to answer):

  • Do you have a place you call home? What makes it feel that way?
  • Are there neighbors you feel close to? What makes you feel close?
  • When has someone showed you an unexpected kindness?
Round 5 (~15 minutes)

REFLECT ON THE CURRENT CRISIS

Each person should take a few minutes to answer one of the following questions (each person can choose which question to answer, or combine more than one question into a single response):

  • How are you feeling?
  • How has your life changed due to the coronavirus? 
  • What has been the biggest shift in your everyday routine? 
  • What has surprised you during this time? 
  • What have been your biggest struggles or concerns?
  • Have you experienced any silver linings in the disruption?
Round 6 (~20 minutes)

OPTIONAL: MORE QUESTIONS ON THE CURRENT CRISIS

These optional, additional questions extend the scheduled length of this conversation beyond 60 minutes.  If you choose to include this round, each person should take a few minutes to answer one of the following questions (each person can choose which question to answer, or combine more than one question into a single response):

  • Have you had to get creative to make do? How?
  • What is happening with your connection to your family or community? 
  • What are you doing to maintain a sense of normalcy?
  • Is there anything or anyone you are appreciating more than you did before the crisis?
  • Have you seen anything inspiring?
Round 7 (~10 minutes)

WEAVING COMMUNITY DURING CRISIS

Each person should take 3-4 minutes to answer one of the following questions (each person can choose which question to answer, or combine more than one question into a single response):

  • Is there someone you think is doing a great job supporting people during this time? Who are they? How are they doing it?
  • Do you feel certain people in your community might need extra support in this crisis?
  • Is there something you are already doing or could start doing to sustain relationships during this crisis?
  • Are there opportunities for you to connect with others who are different?
  • What will you do to sustain, build and support connection and unity in your community, both now and after coronavirus has passed?
Round 8 (~5 minutes)

SHARE APPRECIATIONS AND SAY GOODBYE

Before closing, go around the group and invite each person to share an appreciation, reflection, or takeaway from the conversation that has just taken place. Once your conversation has concluded, please complete the following steps: