“Connecting Across Divides” – Episode #67

There is so much we can learn from one another by simply sitting down together exchanging ideas without trying to change each other’s perspective or opinion, just listening to learn how others see the world and why.

The 2022 National Week of Conversation takes place April 24-30. It is a week of events and activities that bring people together across differences, and gives people an opportunity to experience dialogue and deliberation. I encourage you to harvest the opportunity to experience Dialogue & Deliberation by participating, You’ll find information about how to participate in the National Week of Conversation at the end of these notes.

I feel very strongly about the enlightening and healing power of dialogue, and the amazing potential to co-create a better future that collaborative deliberation brings forth. To help you have a sense of dialogue and deliberation and how it is being used around the country, last week’s episode and today’s are devoted to two innovative and dynamic organizations whose focus is to bring people together for conversation, connection and the opportunity to co-create new and better paths forward.

Last week, Courtney Breese of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation joined me to talk about how dialogue & deliberation can bridge divides and help people connect with, and better understand, one another as fellow human beings despite different viewpoints and affiliations.

Joining me today to talk about how dialogue and deliberation are being used by groups of young adults across the nation, are two inspiring young women from a dynamic student- student led organization called Civic Synergy.

Civic Synergy is a student-led political depolarization organization bringing together young adults from across the political divide to communicate and collaborate. Over the course of 6 weeks, participants learn and practice conflict resolution skills and develop policy proposals which are presented to U.S. representatives at the end of the program.

Laura Chen, Director of Program Development and Co-founder of Civic Synergy, is a senior at MIT studying chemical engineering and minoring in public policy. She is passionate about tackling sustainability and equity challenges and enhancing public participation. At MIT, she has enjoyed contributing to academic research and being a part of the Varsity Field Hockey team, the Terrascope community, and the MIT Water Club. In the fall, Laura is excited to join the Coro Fellows Program, a leadership and public affairs fellowship.

Claire Kane is a freshman student at Clemson University studying Political Science and Communication. Claire is a first time Civic Synergy participant and seeks to explore more about civil discourse and discussion. Claire is involved on campus with the sorority Gamma Phi Beta, Clemson Club Swimming, and RHA.

I encourage you to harvest the opportunity to experience Dialogue & Deliberation by participating in the National Week of Conversation – a week of events and activities that bring people together across differences. The 2022 National Week of Conversation starts tomorrow, Monday April 24 and ends on April 30. More information is available at https://americatalks.us/national-week-of-conversation.

To learn more about Civic Synergy, visit: civicsynergy.live 

To learn more about Living Room Conversations, visit their website at: livingroomconversations.org