Crude Conversations

EP 050 with Philippa Hughes

October 2, 2019

In this episode, Cody has a conversation with Philippa Hughes, the founder of Curiosity Connects Us, an organization that connects people who would not typically associate with each other. Specifically democrats and republicans. The idea came about after the 2016 election didn’t turn out the way Philippa had hoped. So, she came up with an idea to learn why. She decided to host a dinner at her home in Washington D.C., where she invited liberals and conservatives. Her mission was to create a space where both sides of the aisle could meet in a setting conducive to meaningful conversation. Since that first dinner, Philippa has hosted many similar dinners, and says that the project is about sitting across from one another and having a nuanced conversation. 

This conversation came about by way of a LinkedIn message. Jeff Salzgeber, with New American Economy, a bipartisan immigration advocacy and reform organization, messaged Cody about a tour making a stop in Anchorage, Alaska called “Looking For America,” of which Philippa's organization Curiosity Connects Us is part of. The goal of the tour is to answer a fundamental question: “What does it mean to be American?” 

Philippa says that it’s impossible to universally answer that question because everyone’s American experience is unique. Which is why, throughout the conversation, she emphasizes the importance of face-to-face interaction and civil discourse. Because, she says, when we listen to each other, we learn more.