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Tools & Resources

Guides & How-To's

“Purple”: Film and Discussion Guide

PURPLE tells the story of everyday Americans with opposing viewpoints addressing their differences head-on and discovering the concerns and humanity that lie behind each other’s positions. Designed to build greater empathy and recognition in the face of deepening U.S. divides, PURPLE models a rare conversation that uplifts and inspires even while going toward the heat of passionate political differences.

The film takes place in rural Wisconsin and Iowa, two swing states where “red” and “blue” still live in the same neighborhoods and where many people feel unrepresented by the two-party system. This politically pivotal region was home to the greatest concentration of counties that flipped Obama-to-Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Following six people with opposing political views discussing privilege, equity, work ethics, and the social safety net, PURPLE provides viewers of all stripes – liberal, conservative, and independent; rural and urban; religious and secular – with a vision for what a healthy public debate on fault-line issues might look like.

The accompanying Discussion Guide provides tools and exercises to host a screening of PURPLE and lead a meaningful conversation about it afterwards, supporting viewers to slow down enough to understand the characters and themes represented in the film on their own terms while discussing the value of doing so in our lives, communities, and country.


PURPLE is produced by Resetting the Table (RTT) – a non-profit organization that works to build collaborative deliberation across political silos in America today – in partnership with Transient Pictures, an Emmy-award winning production firm. RTT equips community leaders with the tools and skills to open courageous and constructive dialogue on political fault-lines issues within and across their communities. With decades of combined expertise in mediation, facilitation, and dialogue fields, RTT has developed a large and growing toolkit of programs, including intensive facilitation training for conversations across divides, communication skill-building training for clergy and community leaders, Town Square dialogues, multi-perspective educational resources, and public decision-making forums. RTT has brought together more than 28,000 community leaders and members to speak, listen, challenge each other, and make decisions together across strong differences of background and views.

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We are compiling a compendium of initiatives, policies, programs, and other innovations that have been deployed in classrooms, on campuses, and in disciplines to support open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement. We want to hear practical strategies, tools, and resources that have worked for you, and that others can readily adapt and implement in their own institutions. These can range from entire courses to syllabi, reading lists, and research. Learn more & contribute.

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