Effective Strategies for Engaging Your Opponent

In this interactive workshop, Peterson Toscano blends storytelling, small and large group activities, and hands-on instruction designed to explore effective strategies for engaging one’s perceived or actual opponent. Whether the topic be LGBTQ issues, Climate Change, or conflicts within a community or group, this workshop will help humanize The Other and aid in developing practical and effective strategies for deescalating violence and opening up dialogue.

Example of questions that can be answered include: How do I have discourse with an anti-gay Conservative? How can we discover unspoken needs and shared values? How can opponents become allies?

Peterson has trained many activists in how to conduct thoughtful and successful conversations with opponents. He serves as a regular trainer for the Soulforce Equality Riders and was a key organizer of the Ex-Gay Survivor Initiative.

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This workshop has proved engaging and essential for anyone who desires to get past dead end debates into useful dialog and deeper understanding. (120 minutes which includes time for discussion and Q&A) Had I not attended this, I would not have known that the first thing Peterson would do was to deconstruct the language of war/violence we use when we talk about dialoguing with others of different perspectives/beliefs. The entire presentation was devoted to how we engage one another, human to human, on difficult issues such as sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, and religion, to promote understanding and compassion. It was wonderful.

Christine M. Robinson, Ph.D
, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies, James Madison University



Peterson has designed and lead retreats, conferences, and workshops for groups throughout North America and Europe. These include church groups, young adult gatherings, LGBTQ weekend events, and academic conferences. A trained and skilled facilitator, Peterson comes with many proven activities, protocols, and resources designed to get everyone involved while also having a great time.