Common Ground on TV

We did it.  In ten days, working with an amazing core of volunteers, we conceived, developed, and launched a full-fledged campaign!  In the first 24 hours, we have hit 36 states, hundreds of co-signers and several news outlets.  And we have only just begun.

Sign the Charter.  Host a Dialogue.  Spread the Word.

On the 9/11 anniversary tomorrow, as some groups threaten to burn the Qur’an, I invite you to raise your voice and stand for your own vision of America through Common Ground. Share on facebook, blast your networks, urge people to sign the charter and plan to host a dialogue this month.  Stay tuned as our campaign grows.


Want to read more?  My co-conspirator Jodi Elliott talks about Common Ground in the Tennessean:

“I don’t think many of these peo­ple are act­ing out of hate and big­otry but fear,” Jodi Elliott, com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor of the Com­mon Ground Cam­paign, told me. “And we see that com­ing from the left as well as the right.’’

Elliott’s orga­ni­za­tion aims to find com­mon ground in all 50 states by encour­ag­ing young peo­ple to sign the Char­ter for Com­mon Ground and host film screen­ings and dia­logues in their schools and work­places this month to com­mem­o­rate the 9/11 anniversary.

The coali­tion of stu­dents and young peo­ple on Wednes­day announced a grass-roots cam­paign to protest the nation­wide increase in anti-Muslim speech sur­round­ing the ground zero mosque con­tro­versy in New York. Ear­lier this month, the group came together to respond to the recent increase in anti-Muslim sen­ti­ment and vio­lence, includ­ing the van­dal­ism at the pro­posed new Islamic Cen­ter in Ruther­ford County.

“Some peo­ple fear that oth­ers want to take away our way of life,’’ Elliott said. “And some of their thoughts are founded on igno­rance.’’

That’s the same thing that was going on in the Old South.

“They don’t always know where the other side is com­ing from, and we want peo­ple to find com­mon ground,’’ Elliott added. “We want to bring peo­ple together to have a com­pas­sion­ate dia­logue, ide­ally in the same room. We want peo­ple to find com­mon ground as to why we are act­ing like we are.

“Our cam­paign is not one to choose sides but to open space in a pub­lic sphere. We want peo­ple to share their sto­ries as well as their fears.’’

Talk­ing to peo­ple unlike you about your fears or con­cerns sounds like a great idea when it comes to solv­ing prob­lems or dis­agree­ments. Why not try hav­ing a dia­logue with some­one dif­fer­ent and see where it gets us? I guar­an­tee you it will make us all feel much bet­ter than the hos­til­ity many of us carry inside these days over such things as the build­ing of a reli­gious insti­tu­tion that may be dif­fer­ent than the one you or I attend.

Read the whole column here.