Conversations with America

“Conversations with America” is part of Emory University’s effort to advance and promote conversation and civil discourse on the most difficult issues facing our nation.

Conducted in collaboration with nationally renowned NBC/Wall Street Journal pollster Peter D. Hart, the series includes focus groups held in select cities across the United States to foster a deeper understanding of American views on critical issues such as immigration, race, education and health care.

“We cannot begin to address the most divisive challenges facing our nation without first taking the time to listen to the broad range of opinions and experiences across the nation,” says Emory University President Claire E. Sterk. “'Conversations with America' aims to help us engage in the difficult conversations we must have as a community and as a nation. Universities like Emory stand in a unique position to help foster respectful dialogue that brings greater understanding and engagement. That is our charge as an institution of higher education.”

Peter D. Hart is regarded as one of the top analysts of public opinion in the United States. Since 1989, Hart has been the pollster for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal and is also widely known for his “Voices of the Voters” project for the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center. He is the founder of Hart Research, which focuses on public policy and cultural issues, and has taught public opinion and public policy at Duke University, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley.


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Conversation 1: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The "Conversations with America" series kicked off Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Peter D. Hart moderated an open discussion among a diverse and balanced cross-section of American citizens, exploring attitudes on the current state of our nation and paying particular attention to the issue of immigration. Video courtesy of NBC News.


Conversation 2: Wilmington, North Carolina

The second "Conversations with America" focused on the opioid epidemic and was held Nov. 15 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Wilmington, like so many small towns, is struggling to cope with rising opioid addiction. A year after the U.S. presidential election, the focus group also addressed the state of our country and the current political environment. Video courtesy of NBC News.


Town Hall Discussion on America's Opioid Crisis

On Jan. 24, 2018, Emory hosted a campus town hall on the opioid epidemic. Following an introduction from Emory President Claire E. Sterk, Hart presented findings from the North Carolina "Conversations with America" focus group on opioid addiction and engaged the audience in a discussion experts from the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Georgia Overdose Prevention and Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Tracking.


Conversation 3: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The third "Conversations with America" focused on attitudes about the current political environment, leading up to the 2018 Congressional elections, along with the issue of online privacy. Peter D. Hart moderated the open discussion among a diverse cross-section of citizens on May 15, 2018, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Video courtesy of NBC News.

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