Comfort zones are powerful, and when we’re pushed beyond them by people who challenge our perceptions of the world, empathy can be a struggle. It’s all too easy to disengage, resort to stereotypes, and write off those who aren’t like us. But in doing so we perpetuate fears, deepen divides, and undermine our own humanity.

Instead, we can open up. We can listen—not with the goal of answering, but of understanding. We can get close, reach across barriers, and build real relationships.

We can spark a connection.

Tools To Get Started

Visit Facing History and Ourselves and the National Civil Rights Museum for helpful resources in fostering civil discourse.

How will you spark a connection?

Share your #SparkAConnection story with us:

About The Project

The Spark A Connection Project began in early 2018, when the leaders of three Memphis-based non-profit organizations met for lunch to tackle an existential question: In an era marked by collisions of political, cultural, and institutional crises in America, how can we inspire people to see the humanity in one another?

The leadership of BRIDGES, Facing History and Ourselves, and the National Civil Rights Museum embarked on a creative journey with award-winning filmmaker Matteo Servente to create an artistic short that would inspire empathy, challenge stereotypes, and encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to not just talk about their differences, but to seek understanding.

“Open communication doesn’t allow us to hide behind our biases, because it exposes them. Differences in the way we think and look should be a resource, but are too often perceived as a threat. The goal of the campaign is to show that the closer we get to each other, the less we have to fear.”

— Filmmaker Matteo Servente