“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
The National Civil Rights Museum, Facing History and Ourselves and BRIDGES presents Spark A Connection, a digital campaign that prompts viewers to consider the proverbial saying, “Don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” Using social media and public service announcements to provoke empathetic conversations, the goal of the campaign is to encourage people to move out of their comfort zones, get to know one another, and initiate rational, compassionate conversations around topics including race, gender, equality and justice.
Empathy is a powerful tool in communicating without conflict. The ability to truly LISTEN and process what others are saying for deeper understanding–before speaking–can ward off emotional, verbal attacks in almost every scenario. It is one of the first assessment steps for problem solving.
The yearlong campaign includes programs and resources offered by the Museum including Book & Author Series, 50 Weeks of Action and Unpacking Racism Dialogue Series with updates on our social media platforms using the hashtags #SparkAConnection and #OpenUp. We encourage you to share your stories on how you’ve engaged in difficult conversations and your experiences in opening up to overcome differences on our MLK50 website or social media platforms: