Bridging the Divide in National Week of Conversation
Thursday, June 10, 2021
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - This Saturday, thousands of Americans will take part in a first-ever event called America Talks - in an effort to heal social and political divisions that are tearing the U.S. apart. The mass video-chat event will kick off the fourth annual National Week of Conversation.
Cheryl Hughes is a co-organizer of the event and a nonprofit consultant from Greenville, Ohio, who is a self-described liberal. She said it's important to reach across the aisle.
"I have actually lost friends because of positions that they hold," said Hughes. "I just decided that I need to become a better listener."
To be matched with a conversation partner for the event this weekend, sign up at AmericaTalks.us. The site also lists dozens of online forums on the schedule for next week.
The National Week of Conversation is designed to counteract the kind of vitriol often found on social media, and introduce people to those with differing views. Organizers are asking people to choose courage over contempt and reject the hostility that leads to political gridlock that hampers efforts to tackle the big issues.
Ron McFarland from Denver, Colorado is a retired teacher who describes himself as a fiscal conservative and moderate Republican. He said he's taken heat for his views.
"There's so much hurt, so much polarization and divide in the country," said McFarland. "But for me, it's 'Go, America!'"
The National Week of Conversation promotes what organizers call bridging norms. They advise everyone to listen with curiosity, speak from their own experience, and connect with respect.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …
EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …
PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …
ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …
By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …