Better Angels: Depolarizing Within Workshop – Kirkland, WA


On behalf of Mr. Ronald Buryk, Ms. Adriane Patton, and Ms. Tisha S. Waddell, you are invited to join a small group of Fayetteville/Cumberland County community leaders and activists for a series of 3 events designed to bring civility back into our public conversation, identify common ground in pursuit of community goals and promote respect when talking about potentially polarizing issues. For more detailed information about these events, see Please register by February 1st.

This workshop consists of three 3-hour sessions, February 8, February 22 and March 7, 9:30 -1:30. Attendance at all 3 sessions is very important*. Please register for all three sessions by contacting Jack Denniston, Better Angels NC Volunteer Event Organizer

Depolarizing Within Workshop Saturday February 8th, 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM. Much of today’s polarization is driven by how we talk with like-minded people about those on the other side. Too often, we stereotype, dismiss, or ridicule our fellow citizens who support the other political party, its leaders, and its policies. This workshop helps participants become more aware of their own "inner polarizer." It teaches how to be critical without demonizing, dismissing, or stereotyping large swaths of the population. And it offers strategies for intervening constructively in social conversations with like-minded peers when these conversations veer into contempt and ridicule for people who hold other political views.

Skills Workshop Saturday February 22nd, 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM. This workshop is for people who want to learn how to communicate with people who differ from them politically. They learn and practice skills for listening in a way that the other person feels heard, and speaking in a way that the other person is likely to hear you. The workshop offers insights on common communication barriers each side puts up, information on core values and principles of the other side, and a skills practice on how talk about political issues with someone who has different beliefs.

Better Angels Debate Saturday March 7th, 9:30 AM – 1:15 PM followed by a fellowship lunch. This is a new way to discuss public issues in a structured but lively debate format where the goal is searching together for knowledge and solutions rather than scoring points or defeating anyone. Prior to the debate, participants will work together to identify a topic to be debated. Better Angels debates use a modified parliamentary-style format where everyone in the room can participate and where people speak for themselves rather than for a team. Speakers are encouraged to build on what others have said, to admit when they don't know something about the topic, and to change their minds if they are so moved. After a well-done debate, everyone walks out a little closer to the truth, more aware of the validity in opposing views, and with tighter community relationships.

Balance: In order to ensure that all viewpoints are equally represented, registrants will be asked to self-identify as either “Red” (leaning Republican, Libertarian, and/or conservative) or “Blue” (leaning Democratic, liberal, and/or progressive). Independents (purples) are welcome to participate, but will be asked to indicate whether they tend to lean Red or Blue.

Co-Hosts: Mr. Ronald Buryk, Ms. Adriane Patton, and Ms. Tisha S. Waddell

To Register: contact Jack Denniston This event consists of three three-hour sessions. Attendance at all 3 sessions is highly recommended.

February 22, 2020 at 9:30am - 1:30pm Eastern Time (US & Canada)
The Art Center of Fayetteville/Cumberland County
301 Hay St
Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States
Google map and directions
Robbie Ha ·