Free

Can We Bridge the Political Divide? Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop

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Wellesley, MA 02481

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Please join us for an intensive workshop that will bring together Republican-leaning and Democratic-leaning citizens for a day of structured conversations, with a focus on listening and reflecting rather than debating and persuading.

Goals:

  • To better understand the experiences and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide.

  • To seek out areas of common ground in addition to acknowledging and respecting differences.

  • To gain insights that might help to heal the increasing polarization in our community and the nation.

Who can come? Anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of, and connection with, people whose political beliefs differ from their own. You should honestly be able to answer "yes" to the following question:

“Are you willing to listen to the other side, and are you willing to speak to the other side with respect?”

Logistics: There are two ways to join a Red/Blue Workshop: as a Participant or as an Observer/Alternate. Participants will engage in small- and large-group discussions throughout the day with individuals of both the same and different political persuasions. Participants must identify as “red” (Republican or leaning conservative) or “blue” (Democrat or leaning liberal). We will strive for an equal balance of red and blue participants: 5 to 7 people on each side.

Observers/Alternates can identify as red, blue or independent (not leaning either way). They will not participate in the discussions directly but will have the opportunity to watch and listen throughout the day, as well as to join the participants for conversations during lunch and break times. Observers/Alternates should be ready to step in and participate as their "color" in the event of participant cancellations. In areas that have a geographic "color" imbalance, allowing for up to 15 Observers/Alternates provides an opportunity for more people to experience a Red/Blue workshop. Observer/Alternates have found observing a workshop to be amazingly valuable.

(A note about food: coffee, tea and snacks will be available throughout the day, and free-will donations will be gratefully accepted. We'll also be providing a simple lunch.)

Everyone who signs up will receive a phone call or email from an organizer. Organizers reserve the right to switch people between Participant and Observer/Alternate status depending on the needs of the workshop. Once someone is confirmed as a Participant or Observer/Alternate, they will be told the exact location of the event.

A concert and fundraiser will follow the workshop later in the evening. A couple of musicians are doing a benefit tour for Better Angels, traveling up and down the east coast, and Wellesley will be one of their stops. Separate (free) registration for the concert can be found here.

Questions? Contact Christopher Page, christopher.z.page@gmail.com.

More information about Better Angels here.

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Wellesley, MA 02481

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