A recent Wall Street Journal-NORC poll found that 86% of Americans believe we are deeply divided when it comes to our values. More than half of respondents said they expect those divisions to be even greater five years from now.
Poll results like this are hardly surprising. It seems almost every issue, from gun control to abortion rights to immigration, elicits completely polarized and impassioned responses from either side.
The question is, where do we go from here? Journalist and entrepreneur Mónica Guzmán has some ideas. As the staunchly liberal daughter of staunchly conservative Mexican immigrants, Guzmán has lived the political divide firsthand. In her new book, I Never Thought of it That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times, she describes how social media has made it increasingly easy to attack “the other side,” while also ignoring what they have to say or rejecting it outright. Through her grassroots, cross-partisan organization Braver Angels, Guzmán has been working tirelessly to depolarize America, which has given her direct insight into how to break down barriers between people. Guzmán believes that in order to mend so much of what is broken in our nation, we need to learn how to ask better questions and listen to the answers with an open mind. In this session, Guzmán shares tools and tactics to help us engage in difficult conversations with those we might disagree with, whether they are colleagues, friends, or family members, in an effort to move beyond the discord into a place of mutual empathy and stronger connection.