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A non-fiction memoir,with contributions from inspiring thought leaders,on overcoming racism, ignorance,& intolerance. Come on #TalkToMe
337 backers pledged $20,077 to help bring this project to life.

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Why This Book Now?

We live at a time of increasing violence, discrimination, and intolerance of one another. At the end of The Wrong Kind of Muslim I asked you to #TalkToMe about your narrative for tolerance to overcome the intolerance around us. And you did, beyond my wildest expectations.

#TalkToMe: The Five Conversations We Need to Have But Aren't is a non-fiction memoir from inspiring thought leaders on how the power of dialogue can overcome racism, xenophobia, intolerance, and violence. It is the real life story of how ordinary Americans are rising beyond the forces that seek to drive us apart, and instead finding paths to peace and understanding. These are the stories you won't hear in the media because the fact is, good news just doesn't sell newspapers. They are stories that remain untold because bigotry sells more than unity. Terror, more than tolerance. Instead, I want to give these powerful stories of pluralism the platform they deserve. I wrote #TalkToMe because I believe that our differences are a source of strength, not division. I believe things aren't hopeless and I believe we can repair the damage done. We must work together, and it all begins with dialogue. But we can't sit idle and we can't waste another day. So come on, #TalkToMe.

What Are These Five Conversations?

With personal story-style narratives, thought leaders share their vision, ideas, and solutions to the following five struggles every one of us goes through at some point in our lives. This isn't mere theory. These are practical examples of how ordinary people are taking courageous steps to overcome the extraordinary intolerance around us.

#TalkToMe About Race

The Charleston shooting terrorist attack and the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore should not be the first time you realized race relations might be severely wrong within our society. The epidemic murder of people of color by police should not be the first time you realized there might be a systemic miscarriage of justice in our systems. The incomprehensible economic disparities stacked against people of color in this country should not be the first time you realized poverty is not a life choice but a life sentence. This status quo cannot remain. So, #TalkToMe about Race.

#TalkToMe About Parenting

We can write volumes on how religious organizations, governments, public leaders, and educational institutions must do better to promote pluralism and tolerance. We can oblige them the improve communication opportunities, teach meaningful conversations, and create platforms for dialogue and mutual service to humanity. We can speak until we are blue in the face. We can, and frankly should do each of these. But reflect and you’ll arrive at the obvious conclusion that despite it all, the people who have the most impact on humanity’s future are parents. So, #TalkToMe about parenting.

#TalkToMe About Faith

Too many believe it is only governments who can oppress, when in reality governmental oppression is just one form. Societal oppression is just as powerful a destructive force—often led by clerics and individual politicians. I believe oppression of conscience is the single biggest cancer to humanity right now, and virtually every other problem stems from this disease. Contrary to the old saying, ignorance is not bliss. So, #TalkToMe about interfaith relations.

#TalkToMe About Leadership

What does a good leader look like? Is it merely the number of followers? I don’t believe so. Jesus Christ is a powerful leader and had hardly a dozen followers. Harriett Tubman committed acts deemed criminal by law, yet who today can argue that she is among the greatest leaders in history? We need leaders to overcome the racism and intolerance we see around us. But what is a good leader, and how do we become leaders? So,#TalkToMe about leadership.

#TalkToMe About Death

We all know and lose those people who gave everything they had to make this world a better place. Those heroes who literally sacrificed themselves to create a better world for their children, for humanity of all colors, of all religions—and in doing so become legendary leaders. Think about those who have inspired you. Talk about them, emulate them, and keep them living. Even if they have breathed their last, delay their second death as long as you have your breath. So, #TalkToMe About Death.

BONUS: #FatherSonConvo

Those who follow me on social media are familiar with #FatherSonConvo. #TalkToMe adds a unique element to book writing by featuring 25 illustrated renditions of #FatherSonConvo along the theme that opened and closed the kickstarter video.

Conclusion

America is a great nation for many reasons, but it also suffers from the cancers of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and intolerance. #TalkToMe presents powerful examples of ordinary people who've done extraordinary things. Leading intellectuals from diverse backgrounds who are meeting and overcoming these challenges with dialogue, education, and service to humanity. Join in and let's move our nation and world towards pluralism, together. Come on, #TalkToMe.

Risks and challenges

The challenges with this book are finances and time.

Finances: Obviously, it costs money to produce a high quality book. I have several advantages as this is my third book. Therefore, I've learned immensely from the experiences of my previous two endeavors, and expect to produce another top quality product. The costs associated with this are as follows: Professional cover design, professional art work (#TalkToMe has hundreds of illustrations), professional copy editing and layout, print costs, shipping, and marketing.

Time: I'm a husband, father, and have a full time job. Fortunately, the original draft of #TalkToMe is complete. Now the hard work begins and now the significant financial investment becomes obligatory. In fact, the amount of time spent after finishing the original manuscript is often as much time spent as writing the manuscript. The difference now is that time is much shorter and financial obligations come much more quickly. Again, as this is my third go, I know how to manage the time and finances effectively to ensure a top quality product emerges.

My timeline positions the launch date for December, 2015--in time for the holiday season. Thank you for taking the time to #TalkToMe.

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