Bridging Divides

The United States is facing a cultural crisis. Increasingly in America today, we don’t just disagree; we distrust, dislike, even despise those who see the world differently. Animosity for positions is becoming contempt for the people who hold them. Difference and disagreement are deeply personal as we rage against and recoil from those we see as enemies across widening divides—political, racial, religious, economic and more. Most of us see fewer things that bind Americans together today and have few or no friends from the other side. The rate of loneliness has more than doubled to nearly 50%, creating a public health epidemic. We’re withdrawing from conversations—thereby eroding relationships and understanding—which threatens the foundational fabric of America. 75% of Americans say this problem has reached a crisis level, and 56% believe it will only get worse. Our condition is rapidly deteriorating into what’s now being described as a soft civil war.

There’s nothing wrong with passionate beliefs, disagreement, and protest, but it feels like something more dangerous is taking hold. Do you see it? Personally feel it? What’s changed? What can we do about it together? How we can bridge the divides that threaten our future?

Conversation Guides

Reaching Across the Divide (Essential Partners)

Talking Politics (Living Room Conversations)

United or Divided (Living Room Conversations)

Bridging the Political Divide (National Institute for Civil Discourse)

How Should We Get American Politics Back on Track? (National Issues Forums)

Bridging Divides Conversations

Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 09:00 AM EDT
The Eastern in Detroit, MI

The Better Arguments Project: Longtimers and Newcomers in Detroit

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Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 09:00 AM EDT

Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop

Better Angels' signature Red/Blue Workshop brings together 7 conservative-leaning participants and 7 progressive-leaning participants for moderated activities and discussions that clarify disagreements, reduce stereotyped thinking, and begin building the relationships needed to find common ground.

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Friday, April 05, 2019 at 03:30 PM EDT

Virtual LRC Conversation: Relationships over Politics - Connecting with Friends and Family

Living Room Conversations are a conversational bridge across issues that divide and separate us. They provide an easy structure for engaging in friendly yet meaningful conversation. These conversations are open to anyone and everyone - no prior training or experience is needed to participate. You may find that you have similar views to those in your conversation or you may find that you are as different as can be. It can be a valuable experience to let go of your expectations of what the conversation should be and focus on what it is in the moment. The National Week of Conversation topics have been chosen to encourage participation and allow for everyone to be able to share their own life experiences and viewpoints as well as actively listening to those of others.

Join us for this online (Zoom video) Living Room Conversation on the topic of Relationships over Politics - Connecting with Friends and Family.

Click here to join the conversation and learn more!

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 05:30 PM EDT
Boston Public Library in Boston, MA

Library Living Room Conversation: What’s Next US (Post Mid-terms?)

The 2016 Presidential Election brought unprecedented attention to our political system and put our differences into stark relief. Many observe that in the past two years, we’ve become even more divided as a country. Many have also been working towards restoring relationships around shared hopes and dreams, seeking to get our country re-focused on the work of governing and finding common ground. Now, after another socially polarized election, this conversation allows us to start exploring ‘what’s next.’ Whatever our differences, let’s look for deeper unities we can rest upon and promote, such as Generosity, Kindness, Dignity, Respect, and Freedom. And let’s explore how common values and a shared desire to solve common problems might help us move forward together.

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Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 06:00 PM EDT
Junction at Monroe in Tallahassee, FL

Local Color: Individuality & Identity Politics

Do identity politics help marginalized groups get some much-needed R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Or does it unintentionally hurt men of color (and the women who love them)? Do identity politics help marginalized groups break through barriers to become who we are or does it sometimes hide what’s most unique about who we are?  Join us as Local Color panelists talk through this topic and more.  The event is free and snacks are on us.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/local-color-individuality-identity-politics-tickets-49354945972

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 12:00 PM CDT
*Contact Organizer for Location* in Apple Valley, MN

Better Angels Skills Workshop

Better Angels' Skills Workshop teaches practical skills for having better conversations with friends and family members with whom you have strong political disagreements.

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Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 09:00 AM EDT

Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop

Better Angels' Skills Workshop teaches practical skills for having better conversations with friends and family members with whom you have strong political disagreements.

RSVP
Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 12:00 PM CDT
*Contact Organizer for Location* in Apple Valley, MN

Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop

Better Angels' signature Red/Blue Workshop brings together 7 conservative-leaning participants and 7 progressive-leaning participants for moderated activities and discussions that clarify disagreements, reduce stereotyped thinking, and begin building the relationships needed to find common ground.

RSVP
Thursday, May 09, 2019 at 12:00 PM CDT
*Contact Organizer for Location* in South St. Paul, MN

Better Angels Skills Workshop

Better Angels' Skills Workshop teaches practical skills for having better conversations with friends and family members with whom you have strong political disagreements.

RSVP
Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:00 PM CDT
*Contact Organizer for Location* in South St. Paul, MN

Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop

Better Angels' signature Red/Blue Workshop brings together 7 conservative-leaning participants and 7 progressive-leaning participants for moderated activities and discussions that clarify disagreements, reduce stereotyped thinking, and begin building the relationships needed to find common ground.

RSVP