Breakthrough Conversations Workshop Report
On March 10, 2013 Soulforce collaborated with St. Mark United Methodist Church and California Faith for Equality to sponsor the Breakthrough Conversations Workshop.
The Breakthrough Conversations workshop is a research project which trains lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies to have conversations that lead to equality. Focusing on language and messaging, and the fact that one-on-one conversations are much more powerful than large scale communication events, this workshop challenged participants to target people in their lives who might be a part of the “moveable middle” and to engage in meaningful, respectful dialogue about issues such as family, marriage, etc.
Fifty two participants attended the workshop which opened with a sandwich luncheon. The pastor of the church, Reverend Alan Jones welcomed the participants to the church where the training was held. Soulforce delegate Nora Williams explained Soulforce’s goals and roles and offered free materials (pamphlets) to all who attended. Books, a water bottle and a flash drive were given away in a drawing. Rabbi Eleanor Steinman, Executive Director of California Faith for Equality then gave a wonderful, humorous, yet relevant power point presentation about the project, instructing participants in how to have conversations and encouraging everyone to enter data via the computer tracking program to help with the ongoing research.
One of the participants responded on Facebook with this comment following the workshop: ‘What an incredible workshop!! “Breakthrough conversations with people of faith about marriage equality. Thank you Soulforce for making this happen!”