Braver Angels: Bringing Civil Conversations To The Tri-Cities
Heading into November’s midterm election, people across the country remain divided and are having a hard time communicating with civility. One organization, Braver Angels, is trying to change the way Americans talk about the issues.
In 2016, a group in Ohio became increasingly alarmed about the political discord that was occurring. Yvonne Boyd is one of the Ambassadors for the program.
“They realized there was a lot of polarization that was related to the election, and just in general the rancor that was happening in the country, and they assembled ten Trump voters and ten Hillary voters in a room and ran a workshop that was based on therapy guidelines.” Boyd explained.
Using these same principles, the organization began holding workshops throughout the country.
When Sandy Westin moved to Richland a year ago, she saw that no one was doing this type of work in the Tri Cities. After holding virtual meetings, she’s now coordinating an in-person gathering on Saturday, September 10th.
Westin said, “I saw that the way was clear to just have an introductory event, a possibility for people to come in person to hear people speak who have experience with Braver Angels, and it’s communication, skill building work.”
Their mission is to depolarize the country one small group at a time. Each interaction, she says, encourages more people to join.
Westin said, “When I was in high school, I noticed the masthead…on the Oregon Journal which my family took. It was a quote from Voltaire: I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
That statement has aided Weston throughout her life and informs her work with Braver Angels.
The workshops are available on-line as well and they offer many different types of skills building and communication type events, including their Red and Blue events.
Braver Angels is Hosting an informational meeting Saturday, September 10 from 1-3 pm at Shalom, United Church of Christ in Richland.