Ariel Zirulnick, The New Tropic

When’s the last time you struck up a convo with a stranger you were not trying to network with? Willingly talked with someone you knew you disagreed with or had no common ground with?

The last election showed us just how far we’ve retreated into our bubbles, and how bad we’ve gotten at listening to people not like us.

For 10 days, let’s do things a little differently.

From May 22 to May 31, Miamians are being asked to step out of their comfort zones and to have potentially awkward conversations with people they wouldn’t normally speak to. This is not about small talk.

It’s called Connect Miami, and there are dozens of ways big and small to participate, with more than 60 organizations alongside you.

  • The 10-day “connection challenge”: Have a meal with someone you’ve never sat down with, or maybe host a potluck to help lots of people do that. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger. Strike up a conversation in an elevator instead of scrolling through Instagram on your phone. Spend some time in an unfamiliar neighborhood (we’ve got some neighborhood guides to help you out with that).
  • Host a connection experience: Organize a tour of your neighborhood. Get a group of people together to volunteer somewhere together. Organize a yoga class or a group run. They have suggestions, plus a toolkit to help you out if you register.
  • Join a connection experience: Hosting can be a lot of work. Through the Connect Miami site, you’ll be able to sign up to join experiences that others are hosting.
  • Tune in to a Facebook Live conversation: The New Tropic, the Miami Herald, and a couple other organizations will be hosting Facebook Live chats during the 10 days that bring together people with different backgrounds to talk through common experiences. Remember our talk on Castro’s legacy? Kinda like that.

Follow along with the hashtag #ConnectMiami305 and on Instagram and Twitter. They’ve got a calendar of events that will start getting filled up soon, so keep checking back.

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