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Tony D'Amelio

By: Tony D'Amelio on July 7th, 2021

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Daryl Davis’ Secret - How to Talk to People Who Don’t Agree With You


If a Black man can talk to and befriend KKK members, you can talk to co-workers, neighbors, family, friends who don’t share your views, too.

Nicholas Kristof offered this amazing endorsement of DARYL DAVIS’s work in his New York Times’ op-ed “How Can You Hate Me When You Don’t Even Know Me?”


Davis, a Black musician who’s made headlines as a conflict navigator, reaching out to and meeting hate with civility, tells Kristof the biggest lesson for all of his from his extraordinary work:


“If I can sit down and talk to K.K.K. members and neo-Nazis and get them to give me their robes and hoods and swastika flags and all that kind of crazy stuff, there’s no reason why somebody can’t sit down at a dinner table and talk to their family member.”


Kristof stated in his article "...I do think that we Americans don’t engage enough with people we fundamentally disagree with. There’s something to be said for the basic Davis inclination toward dialogue even with unreasonable antagonists. If we’re all stuck in the same boat, we should talk to each other.” He also cited Adam Grant, the author of Think Again and organizational psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, who is a big fan of Daryl Davis. He said:


“Daryl Davis demonstrates that talking face-to-face with your ideological opponents can motivate them to rethink their views. He’s an extraordinary example of what psychologists have repeatedly shown with evidence: In over 500 studies, interacting face-to-face with an out-group reduced prejudice 94 percent of the time.


You won’t get through to people until you’ve earned their trust,” Grant added. “You’re not likely to earn their trust until you’ve met them face-to-face and listened to their stories.”





As Daryl’s iconic TEDx talk edges toward 12 million views, this is the moment the world needs an optimistic message about how to lower the temperature. Daryl inspires audiences to build better workplaces, communities, and relations with family and friends.  Watch Daryl's TEDx talk here:



Daryl is an extraordinary speaker on themes of building trust, diversity, community relations, and the power of conversation/engagement. He receives outstanding feedback like this:

“Daryl Davis really connected to our audience in ways that are difficult to measure. The past year we’ve all been living through difficult and trying times and it’s nice to hear someone who can break down barriers and remind all of us of our humanity. Daryl has proven that one person can make a difference and we should all strive to emulate his accomplishments. His message is simple, yet so important at the same time. I would recommend Daryl as a speaker for any audience, at any age.” 
– President & CEO, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association


“Your advice on how to “sit down and listen to others” was very well received. The standing ovation you received was proof positive that the message resonated with everyone.”
– Managing Director, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.


"Your presentation was riveting. You are such an engaging speaker and your story is powerful. We are humbled and inspired by the lessons you shared with us, and the knowledge that each of us can make a difference."
– Office of Congressional Workplace Rights



Daryl Davis Meets Extreme Bias with Civility - Conversations That Ignite Change

and Daryl Davis's speaker page



1. "A missed opportunity for dialogue is a missed opportunity for conflict resolution."

2. If you have an adversary, you don't have to respect what they are saying, but respect their right to say it and have that conversation."

3. " When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting, they are talking. It's when the conversation ceases that the ground becomes fertile for violence. So you want to keep the conversation going."

4. " We spend too much time talking about each other, at each other, past each other and not enough time talking with each other." 

5. “People aren’t born biased. They learn it through communication. If they can learn it that way, they can unlearn it through communication.” 


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About Tony D'Amelio

Tony has spent his career putting talented people and audiences together, first in the music business and later representing the world's leading speakers. After concluding 27 years as Executive Vice President of the Washington Speakers Bureau, Tony launched D'Amelio Network, a boutique firm that manages the speaking activities of a select group of experts on business, management, politics and current events. Clients include: Mike Abrashoff, Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour, Geoff Colvin, Daryl Davis, Ron Insana, Katty Kay, Polly LaBarre, Nicole Malachowski, Bill Walton, and Bob Woodward.

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