Resources for understanding each other

For engagement ideas, visit our Ready for Action page

Conversation Guides

Living Room Conversations – Many great resources here for making connections with people who are different, discussion guides, specific advice and resources for specific topics, videos, articles, and more.

Hi From The Other Side – This website provides a way to sign up to have a conversation with someone different from you. And they provide a conversation guide for when you get paired. They also have a newsletter.

Fostering Dialogue Across Divides – This is a 150-page manual. A really terrific guide for hosting meetings designed to help people understand each other.

How to Criticize with Kindness – Daniel Dennett’s four key elements of critical commentary. Very short.

National Institute for Civil Discourse – Lots of resources here regarding nonpartisanship and civil dialogue across political ideologies.

National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation – Bridging Our Divide
– This is a campaign hosted by NCDD. Tons of resources lurking in the comments of this blog post.

Reaching Across the Red/Blue Divide – A 10-page guide about how to have conversations among conservatives and liberals; red people and blue people.

Websites, Articles, Podcasts, Videos

How we became bitter political enemies – A New York Times article that documents the growing political divide.

Political Differences and Polarization: Conservative versus Liberal Ideology and Psychology – An academic paper by Mt. Ararat High School Senior Spencer Coker. A very good explanation of our differences, and why. This was written for Advanced Placement Literature and Composition taught by Leonard Krill.

Strangers in their Own Land: Living in “Red” America Today – A video-taped interview with Dr. Arlie Hochschild as she discusses her  New York Times best selling book, “Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right.”

Bring It to the Table – A documentary film and more aimed at bridging political divides and elevating the national conversation about issues that matter to us all. The Table Talks page provides views from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents on gay marriage, healthcare, immigration, abortion, and other topics.

Why We Believe Obvious Untruths – An article in the New York Times published March 3, 2017

Red Feed, Blue Feed – Liberal Facebook and Conservative Facebook side by side. This clever website by the Wall Street Journal lets you pick a topic and then see what news you would receive in Facebook depending if you are conservative or liberal.

How to Have Better Political Conversations – A Ted Talk by Robb Willer in which he explains how moral values are the foundation of political identity, and how you can’t go wrong with empathy and respect.

Pantsuit Politics – Right wing Beth and left wing Sarah talk about the issues across the divide. A terrific collection of discussions and resources.

Divided States of America – FRONTLINE investigates the partisanship that gridlocked Washington in the Obama era, and the polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president.

Americans don’t need reconciliation – they need to get better at arguing – Article in The Atlantic by Eric Liu. It cautions against reconciliation too quick. Let’s first take time to understand our differences.

Zadie Smith on Fresh Air – This interview covers lots of ground and very fast but says some really interesting things about “people who are different.”

Conversation with a Trump Supporter – On Being host Krista Tippett answers a listener’s question. Good stuff here about how to have a conversation with someone different.

Credibility and Slant of News Sources – An infographic that depicts several news sources and whether they are left, right, analytical or sensational.

A Nation Engaged: NPR Listens To America – On Point and NPR provide highlights from conversations across the country. Really great if you want to hear different perspectives, and how to be civil about it.

Big Tent Nation – Big Tent Nation is committed to transforming the way individual citizens, business and government communicate and collaborate on issues critical to broad-based national prosperity. The online platform gives mainstream citizens the information and organizational tools they need to effect meaningful change.

Bridge Alliance – Since it’s often difficult for any one group to fully capture public attention or broadly popularize solutions, Bridge Alliance is banding together to create great impact across three broad areas: civic engagement, governance and policymaking, and campaign and election processes.

Books

The Righteous Mind – Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt

American Character – A History of the Epic Struggle between Individual Liberty and the Common Good, by Colin Woodward

Strangers in their Own Land – Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Short Videos by Craig

Listen to your Enemies

Learn about Somebody Different

That’s the Way it Looks from Here

What we Think we Know is Dangerous

 

If you know of other resources about understanding each other, please let us know.

 

Click here to learn about the Make Shift Coffee House culture and why understanding each other is so useful.

Click here for Videos, Tips, and Handouts from Craig on all aspects of group dynamics: communications, leadership, conflict, facilitation, etc.