I just read an article in PCMA Convene magazine on the “Traveling Front Porch” – The Promiseland Project to reunite the polarized America and help citizens from both sides of the aisle to find common ground. Founder Roy Spence got the inspiration from country singer Tracy Lawrences’ “If the World had a Front Porch.” Released in 1995, the song celebrates the front porch as the gathering place where people can learn about each other and overcome their differences.
The refrain sums it all up: “If the word had a front porch like we did back then, we’d still have our problems, but we’d all be friends. Treating your neighbor like he’s your next of kin.”
The idea is to construct a porch and invite people from the community to discuss issues that matter most to that specific community. And guess what? These conversations are all panel discussions that featured voices from the local community!
“We outlined a guide to help spark meaningful discussions, but we handed the reins over to the moderators who know what’s going on in the community,” said John Munyan, executive creative director, the CSpense Group. “It was important to get out of their way and let the conversations flow naturally.”
What a cool idea! And you don’t need to wait for the Traveling Front Porch to come to your town. Why not create your own front porch and have a civil dialogue (panel discussion) about what matters in YOUR specific community?