Question Bridge

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There are many confusing and painful divisions in our culture and it seems harder than ever to find ways to communicate across boundaries of race, class and other apparently uncrossable barriers.

Question Bridge is a concept I’ve developed that’s designed to see if there might be creative approaches to addressing these problems.

The idea is that if you feel safe enough to ask a deeply held question you are saying in effect “This is something I do not know about you, please help me understand”. If the question is meaningful you are much more likely to listen respectfully to a sincere attempt to answer. Questions and answers of this kind can become a bridge to transformative social reform.

Every Question Bridge begins with the creation of a “Zone of No Consequences” that makes it possible for those involved to ask difficult questions without fear of reprisal. The nature of each Zone depends on the participant’s concerns.

Below are links to two Question Bridges I set up that use the internet to allow for questions and answers between students from vastly different economic and social backgrounds. First click on the student’s introductions to see how they describe who they are to each other. Then click on the questions to read the strings of answers and responses.

Follow the discussions:

Question Bridge I, May 1997
Question Bridge II, November 1997

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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