Ask A... | KUOW News and Information

Ask A...

KUOW is doing a series of person-to-person conversation events we call "Ask A..."

The concept is simple: Get eight people from a group that’s in the news and set up conversations with eight people who want to know more about the group. They each have one-to-one conversations until all have met. Then we have a group discussion and continue the conversations over a meal. 

It's a way to break out of our echo chambers and make connections with others in our community.

Get more involved in "Ask A...":

Participate in an "Ask A..." event

Learn more/Host your own

You can also join our Facebook Group.

Lisa Wang

One reason we’re seeing such polarization in American society is that we’re not talking to each other. We’re wrapped up in our own cocoons and echo chambers.

In an effort to combat this, KUOW has  launched a series of person-to-person conversation events we call 'Ask A __.'

Participants at KUOW’s Ask A Muslim event at MAPS in Redmond, Washington.
KUOW photo/John O'Brien

KUOW’s Ask A series is three years old now. The conversations we host bridge cultural, political and philosophical divides. As you might imagine, people are often nervous before the discussions begin.


Gun owner Rick Vadnais high-fives with Basilia Brownwell during their conversation at the 'Ask A Gun Owner' event at the Hillman City Collaboratory on March 31.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

The gun control debate has become a polarizing experience for many Americans. It’s unusual to hear civil discussions between the opposing sides.

The KUOW “Ask A…” series brought together gun owners and non-gun owners on March 31 to share their points of view at the Hillman City Collaboratory. Sonya Harris talked to some of them about those conversations.


Sharyn Hinchcliffe and Beatrice Cappio at KUOW's 'Ask a Gun Owner' event on March 31, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

A couple of weeks ago, a fire alarm went off at Beatrice Cappio’s high school.

“Everyone stopped to wonder, well, is there a shooter in the hall? Is it really an evacuation, should we really leave?” Cappio said.

Ask a Seattle newcomer, beat ‘the freeze’

Dec 30, 2017
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Why are people moving here? It's an attractive place. Businesses are growing and resettling here; there's a building boom; the cultural and natural attractions are numerous. What's not to like? 

But being the new person in any town comes with its challenges. And here in Seattle, there are some unique hurdles to assimilation. As the area grows, long-term residents and new arrivals alike question what kind of city this is, and how it’s changing. 

Ask a cop, get beyond 'protect and serve'

Sep 16, 2017
KUOW's Ask A Cop event at the Tukwila Community Center
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

“To protect and serve.” That’s the motto of many police agencies. But recent police shootings in Seattle and around the nation have undermined respect for the job cops do.

‘When do we get past the starting point?’ Ask a transgender person

Aug 25, 2017
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Transgender people are coming out (to welcome and rejection) more now than ever. We learn something about their experiences in news of a looming military service ban, from prominent transgender celebrities, TV shows and movies.  But many of us don’t have personal connections with transgender people. KUOW’s “Ask A…” series created a space for conversations at a recent Ask a Transgender Person event in West Seattle.

Floribert Mubalama speaks with Julia Donk about his experiences as an immigrant on  July 22, 2017 as part of KUOW's Ask An Immigrant event.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Questions surrounding immigration are regular parts of the news cycle these days. We hear stories of immigrants being harassed, detained and deported. We hear stories of families separated.

Many of us may not have the opportunity to talk to immigrants about their experiences. KUOW created a space for those questions recently at an "Ask an Immigrant" event in Bellevue. 

KUOW’s "Ask a ___" events create a safe and respectful environment for people to explore each other's views. 

Ask a Trump voter: Six voters explain themselves

May 5, 2017
Erika, who does not support Trump, asks questions of Bob, who does.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

As Donald Trump's first 100 days as president came to an end in April, KUOW gathered Trump supporters and opponents together for an "Ask a Trump Supporter" event in Bellevue. The goal was to start a dialog across the political divide — and for deep blue Seattleites to understand what led some to vote for Trump.

Ask a Muslim participants at the New Holly Gathering Hall on April 2, 2017.
Courtesy of Baron Visuals

What if you lived in a place where people often looked at you with suspicion? How would you get past that — the stares, the mistrust, or worse? Given the chance, what would you want people to know about you?

KUOW has been hosting a series of “Ask a ___” events. The goal is to create a safe and respectful environment for people to explore each other's cultures. 

Mohamed Bakr talks with Glenda Johnson (left) at KUOW's Ask a Muslim event on July 24, 2016 at the New Holly Gathering Hall.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. In 2010, researchers counted 1.6 billion Muslims around the globe; approximately 23 percent of the world population. 

There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States; approximately 1 percent of our population. In the wake of 9/11, President George Bush said this about Muslim Americans: