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PNS Daily Newscast - June 16, 2021 


A new report says the infrastructure package in Congress would boost the nation's economy and create millions of jobs; Democrats prepared to move ahead with or without GOP.


2021Talks - June 16, 2021 


Biden and Putin set to meet face-to-face; Schumer moves toward reconciliation for infrastructure; a Juneteenth national holiday in the works; and Republicans call for Fauci's ouster.

How a Simple Conversation Can Help Reduce Societal Divisions

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Organizers hope to have 10,000 people sign up for Saturday's "America Talks" online event. (Viacheslav Labochuk/Adobe Stock)
Organizers hope to have 10,000 people sign up for Saturday's "America Talks" online event. (Viacheslav Labochuk/Adobe Stock)
 By Suzanne Potter - Producer, Contact
June 9, 2021

LOS ANGELES - More than 5,000 people already have signed up for an online event this Saturday called America Talks, designed to start healing the divisions in this country, one video chat at a time.

America Talks kicks off the fourth annual National Week of Conversation, in which people on all sides of the political spectrum discuss the issues of the day in a respectful manner.

Kristin Hansen, executive director of the Civic Health Project in Palo Alto and a co-organizer of Saturday's event, said this country needs to lower personal hostilities and break the government gridlock.

"It can feel difficult if not impossible to bridge the divide, and we can feel really tempted to give up or not even try," she said. "However, this puts America on a really precarious path, because we then increasingly fall into the trap of seeing each other as less than fully human."

You can sign up to be matched with a conversation partner online, at Americatalks.us. There, you'll also find links for dozens of other online forums on a variety of topics taking place all next week.

Hansen said research shows most people tend to present their best selves in one-on-one personal conversations. She urged people to listen with curiosity, speak from their own experience, and connect with respect.

"Refusing to engage with each other leads nowhere good," she said. "We know that a single conversation, even if multiplied by thousands of people, won't heal America. But it's a start."

She added that the National Week of Conversation is designed to facilitate interactions that are the antithesis of the insults and hatred often found on social media and in the online comment sections for news articles.

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