‘Modeling Civil Discourse Skills at De-Polarizing Political Conversations Event: How Political Conflict is Dividing Us’ | News



“De-Polarizing Political Conversations,” a program designed to facilitate respectful and civil dialogue around controversial political issues, is scheduled for November 16 at Sierra College. The event, which aims not to change political beliefs but to help participants understand and find common ground with those holding different views, is put on by the volunteer organization Braver Angels. Skills taught include how to communicate effectively across political divides, how to understand the connotations and emotions tied to certain words, and how to create a safe space for dialogue.

Challenges in Civil Discourse

Given divergent perspectives, achieving face-to-face civil discourse can be difficult. According to Braver Angels, Americans not only disagree on issues but increasingly harbour mutual dislike.

De-Polarizing Political Conversations Program

The program ‘De-Polarizing Political Conversations’, committed to cultivating respect and civility around contentious topics, is set for November 16 at Sierra College. “Many Americans are distressed by the current discord and hostility, unsure of how to counter it,” says Lynn Forbes, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Nevada County.

The aim is not to alter political views, but to understand differences and discover common ground, states Deborah York, President of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Nevada County.

Braver Angels’ Approach

Developing a deep understanding of why some words are preferred over others aids in effective communication from all angles, as per Megan Loeswick, President of Business and Professional Women in Nevada County. This program provides a safe environment to stumble, learn, and grow together.

Sponsors and Representatives

The event, sponsored by the Associated Students of Sierra College, will include presentations by LWVNC, AAUW Nevada County Branch, and BPW of Nevada County. Braver Angels representatives, including volunteer Maxim Schrogin, will lead the program.

Impact on Personal Relationships

According to Loeswick, the tools learned in ‘De-Polarizing Political Conversations’ can enhance personal relationships as well.

Positive Outcomes and Upcoming Event Details

Post a Braver Angels Red / Blue Workshop, 81% of the participants felt better equipped to employ the skills learned, with 71% feeling better understood by the opposing side. The upcoming ‘De-Polarizing Political Conversations’ event, designed to foster collaboration, will be held on November 16, 6 – 8 p.m. at Sierra College, Nevada County Campus. Admission and parking are free.

About the Sponsors

The LWV encourages active participation in government and increases understanding of major public policy issues. BPW of Nevada County advocates, supports, and promotes equity for women in all aspects of their lives. The AAUW Nevada County Branch strives to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

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