The Springfield Free Public Library is going to sponsor a Better Angels Workshop on "How to Communicate Across the Political Divide" on Saturday, October 5th from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Better Angels is a nation-wide organization that was formed in 2016, right after the election, by individuals who felt that the divide between voters who are conservative leaning (reds) and liberal-leaning (blues) had become so severe that we were headed for a kind of "civic divorce." In order to gradually reverse this trend, Better Angels has created a couple of workshops and has trained moderators across the country to facilitate these events. Better Angels Skills Workshop helps teach people how to have open, honest and non-judgmental conversations with people of differing political views. We're finding that these workshops help people on both sides of the red/blue divide decrease stereotyped thinking about the other side, and develop more trust in the basic humanity and the good intentions of those on the other side. People on both sides have said things like, "we're not so far apart in our values," and "we're less divided than we've been told."
The workshops work best if we have a balance of Reds and Blues. If you are someone who typically votes Republican, you are encouraged (not required) to invite a friend who is a Democrat to join you (and vice versa). Reviews of these workshops have been outstanding.