Better Angels: Debate – Leesburg, VA

Free Event: Debate a tough issue in an atmosphere of mutual respect

About this Event

You probably haven’t experienced anything like the Better Angels Community Debate. It’s a highly structured conversation in which a group of people think together, listen carefully to one another, and allow themselves to be touched and perhaps changed by each other’s ideas. When done well, everyone walks out a little closer to the truth, more aware of the validity in opposing views, and with tighter community relationships.

The topic on November 19 will be the Confederate statue in front of the Loudoun County Courthouse. You, the participants, will choose the wording of the resolution. It will be one of these:

  • The Confederate statue at the Loudoun County Courthouse should be replaced by a statue of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • A plaque putting the Civil War and Jim Crow in context should be added to the Confederate statue at the Loudoun County Courthouse.
  • A plaque acknowledging slavery and Jim Crow should be added to the Confederate statue at the Loudoun County Courthouse.
  • The Confederate Statue at the Loudoun County Courthouse should be left alone.

Whether you are "pro" or "con," we value your opinion, and you may have an opportunity to speak. We choose topics that inspire passion on both sides, but we welcome all points of view -- even if you can't make up your mind. We'll maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Refreshments will be served. There is no charge for this event. Arrive around 8:30 for refreshments before the 9 am start.

Attendees are required to do two things. First, take our brief poll on the four proposed resolutions:

Then register here on Eventbrite.

It's important for us to have your poll responses and your registration. So take the poll and register now.


How is the debate process structured?

We’ll be using modified parliamentary procedures, which help to create an environment of decorum and respect. We ask participants to behave respectfully toward one another, whether they’re speakers or questioners, or are simply there to listen.

The conversation grows and develops through a series of short speeches supporting or opposing the resolution. After a participant speaks, the Chair asks for one or two questions from the body. The speaker responds to the questions and another speaker takes the floor. We'll call on as many speakers as possible. There's no need to be prepared with extensive research.

While people are encouraged to support or oppose the resolution in order to sharpen their points, they are welcome to express nuance and ambiguity. What’s critical is that people should articulate what they actually believe, even if it’s complicated or incomplete.

Who can speak?

Everyone who registers and attends can give a speech or ask a question. We'll call on as many as possible.

What can I bring into the event?

A good attitude, an open mind, and a willingness to speak YOUR truth. Personal anecdotes are welcome. You may also want to bring a pen and pad if you are interested in taking notes.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Send an email to Mel Pine,

Registration is required, but first take the brief poll at

Then register by clicking on the button on the right of this page.



March 28, 2020 at 9am - 12pm Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Leesburg Town Hall
25 W Market St
Leesburg, VA 20176
United States
Google map and directions
Robbie Ha ·