Let's Talk, Marathon County

Let’s Talk, Marathon County

hands togetherLet’s Talk, Marathon County aims to give a voice to those whose thoughts and ideas have been overshadowed by dominant and polarizing narratives. By bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and viewpoints, this program seeks to create an inclusive space where all voices are heard, valued, and respected.

The Let’s Talk, Marathon County project will create small groups to meet over the course of two years to engage in conversations about public issues. WIPPS will invite 100 people, half living in the Wausau Metro area and half living outside the metro area, to participate in two to four conversations per year with other residents of different backgrounds and viewpoints.

Conversations will happen at locations throughout Marathon County. Because time is valuable, participants will receive a $100 Visa gift card each time they participate in a session.  In some instances, the participants will choose the topics of these conversations. In other cases, topics will focus on issues that our communities are grappling with. All conversations will be private, and specific comments will not be shared in order to protect participant identities. Overall results and findings will be shared with the public so we can learn from these conversations and experiences.

How to get Involved
If you are interested in participating in the dialogues, you may fill out a brief application which can be found below. However, spots are limited and we cannot guarantee that you will be selected to participate. 

If you need help filling out the application, please call 715-600-3224. For additional information, please contact us at info@wipps.org.

Let’s Talk, Marathon County is a program aimed at fostering constructive conversations among residents on a variety of public issues.

Let’s Talk has been selected as one of 32 grantees for the Healing Starts Here initiative, a nationwide effort to address and understand divisive forces in communities and promote healing. This initiative is funded by New Pluralists, an organization committed to helping Americans recognize our shared humanity, embrace our differences, and solve challenges together. WIPPS was chosen from a pool of almost 800 applicants.

Like much of America, Central Wisconsin is beset by political division, magnified by digital media, which often portrays citizens in a constant state of disagreement around public issues with a shrinking middle ground. Social and popular media offer podiums to the loudest, most persistent voices, which typically represent the opposite poles of the political spectrum.  However, research shows that most Americans do not fall neatly into one political party or the other. A Pew Research poll published in April of 2023 revealed that just 26% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the current Congress.

Project Funding
This project is fully funded by New Pluralists and no taxpayer dollars are being used for this project.

Project Goals:

  1. Create spaces for residents of Central Wisconsin to address issues that matter in a civil and constructive manner;
  2. Build and sustain a community culture of civil dialogue around important issues;
  3. Improve our feelings of trust for fellow residents despite our different viewpoints;
  4. Train a local group of skilled facilitators who are prepared to address issues as the need arises.