Community Conversations


The Community Conversations program was created in 2015 with the belief that facilitated conversation engages a community better than rhetoric and argument. Communities, large and small, identify issues that are important to them, and come together to discuss them through a humanities lens. The act of coming together demonstrates a willingness to listen, and the dialogue itself begins to dissolve barriers and misunderstandings.

During a time when research shows Americans are growing increasingly polarized and homogenized into like-minded tribes, the need for proactive efforts to bring people together across these divides has never been greater. Once individuals find themselves in the same room with “those people” eating, socializing, laughing...something changes. We all have a built-in capacity to disagree in healthy ways...we’ve just forgotten how to do it! It's thanks to Utah Humanities that we’ve been able to launch our first season of conversation events in Utah. By reminding Utahns that thoughtful, good-hearted people disagree on almost everything, I believe we can continue setting a tone and encouraging local citizens to not give up on the founding ideals of our country—including simply this: that a diverse people can come together and create a country together.” - Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D., Village Square Utah Director

Community Conversations Toolklits

Utah Humanities provides not-for-profit organizations with materials and resources to help host successful community conversations. Sponsoring organizations may apply for $200 stipends to be used in conjunction with the UH Community Conversations Toolkits. Stipends are paid only to not-for profit organizations in Utah that have:

• applied at least 30 days prior to the discussion
• been approved in writing by Utah Humanities
• gathered at least six participants
• submitted a final evaluation

To schedule a Community Conversation, please choose from the themes and follow the link below to download the application form.  The toolkit will be sent if your program request is approved.  More topics are coming soon!


Race and Diversity


Conversation Request Form
Evaluation and Payment Form

Application forms should be emailed to Caitlin McDonald This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at least 30 days prior to your conversation. Late submissions will not be considered.