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Curiosity Club
caption: Seattle Boys School co-founder Jerome Hunter (left) and Libertarian blogger Mellina White
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Seattle Boys School co-founder Jerome Hunter (left) and Libertarian blogger Mellina White
Credit: Kristin Leong / Mellina White

Empathize with Trump voters? A Progressive and a Libertarian agree to disagree

Two multiracial Biden voters meet through Curiosity Club and learn that a political disagreement can be the start of a conversation instead of the end of one.

Jerome Hunter and Mellina White met at a virtual Curiosity Club dinner party on November 19, 2020, shortly after the 2020 presidential election.

To watch a 6-minute film from Mellina and Jerome's Curiosity Club dinner, go here.

Curiosity Club is KUOW’s bookless book club testing the possibility that a shared meal and public radio stories can transform a group of strangers into a community. I'm the producer and facilitator of this nerdy experiment.

The night Jerome and Mellina met, there were fourteen of us gathered for our virtual dinner party. We talked about pandemic roller skating, the #MeToo movement, Black joy, and, of course, the election.

caption: Seattle School For Boys Co-Founder Jerome Hunter
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Seattle School For Boys Co-Founder Jerome Hunter
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/Kristin Leong

Days later, I was still thinking about an interaction that got a little tense between Mellina and Jerome towards the end of the dinner. And so, in the spirit of Curiosity Club, I invited both of them back to Zoom for a follow up.

Fearlessly facing the possibility of an awkward conversation, they both agreed, and the three of us came together to find out if a political disagreement could be the start of a conversation, instead of the end of one.

At the heart of their disagreement was Mellina’s insistence that in order to move forward, the Left and the Center have to do a better job of understanding and connecting with Trump voters.

Jerome still wasn’t convinced by the end of our conversation. However, there was empathy and laughter along the way anyway as the pair explored the perks and challenges of being both mixed race and surprisingly optimistic in America.

Jerome And Mellina 13 Min Extended Feature

Producer Kristin Leong talks with Jerome Hunter and Mellina White about the perks and challenges of being multiracial, while exploring possibilities for what will unify an increasingly divided America. (13 min)

To learn more about Curiosity Club and to find stories from our nerdy supper club experiment, visit KUOW.org/CuriosityClub.

To find answers to FAQs about Curiosity Club, go here.

To be the first to know when the application cycle opens for the next cohort of Curiosity Club, follow our Community Engagement team on Twitter @KUOWengage, and sign up for our monthly KUOW Conversations newsletter here.

caption: Mellina White, the blogger behind The Seattle Conservative,  poses for a photo in Seattle on February 17, 2020.
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Mellina White, the blogger behind The Seattle Conservative, poses for a photo in Seattle on February 17, 2020.
Credit: Alejandra Maria

KUOW is committed to ongoing feedback and conversation with our community and we invite your participation. If you are willing to share your thoughts or have ideas for a conversation KUOW could pursue regarding this story (or any other) you can email us at engage@kuow.org, leave a voicemail at 206-221-1926, or text the word “feedback” to 206-926-9955 to leave a text response.

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