Workshop aims to help bridge political divide

For The Catholic Messenger

In the current polarized political environment, many people avoid or dread political conversations with friends or family members whose politics differ from their own. They worry, rightly so, that any attempts at political discussions will devolve into arguments and acrimony and result in hurt feelings or anger. A workshop to be led by the non-partisan Better Angels organization next month aims to help bring Clinton-area residents together to learn how to have more civil conversations.

Franciscan Peace Center invited Better Angels to conduct a Red/Blue Workshop on March 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Canticle in Clinton. They are seeking seven local individuals who identify themselves as Republican or conservative-leaning citizens and seven individuals who identify themselves as Democratic or liberal-leaning citizens to commit to participating in this workshop. Structured discussions, facilitated by two moderators who will ensure that ground rules are followed and everyone is treated respectfully, will help participants gain a better understanding of the experiences and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide and find areas of commonality in addition to differences. Lunch will be provided at the free event. Up to 15 observers will also be allowed to attend the event but will not participate in the discussions.

Participants are also invited to attend a skills-training workshop the night before, March 15, from 6-8 p.m. at The Canticle. It is open to all and is free. Attendees can expect to learn skills in tone setting, listening, speaking and handling difficult moments.

Please register by March 8 by calling (563) 242-7611.

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