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Guide for Conversation Across Red-Blue Divides #AfterNov8

As our field continues to process the election results, we hope our members will keep sharing divide bridging projects and resources as part of NCDD’s #BridgingOurDivides campaign. We know there are many conversations that need to be had in our country, and we want to encourage you to continue to use the hashtags #BridgingOurDivides and #AfterNov8 as you have them. To help those discussions, both online and in person, we want to share a guide that NCDD member organization Essential Partners recently released for conversations across partisan divides. We encourage you to read Essential Partners’ announcement about the resource below or find the guide here.

Election’s Over. But We Still Have a Choice

Today, we gathered together in our offices in Cambridge with friends and supporters to try to begin to understand what happens now. What happens, now that half of our nation feels bereft and hopeless and half feel at last heard and recognized? How can we approach one another again?

Calls for “healing” are proliferating right now. I’m sure you’ve seen them. But I don’t think healing is a possibility until we accomplish something much more basic: simple human encounter grounded in genuine curiosity.

The choice before us as a nation is stark. We can dive into our isolated encampments and stay there, magnifying the chasm, bemoaning our own righteousness and the other side’s blindness. Or we can choose to act with courage, to walk into a room where we will encounter people who have voted for a candidate (or a President-Elect) we can’t stand and explore your most deeply held beliefs.

So, that’s what we plan to do, with your partnership. We’ve put together a guide for conversations across political differences that we hope you’ll use in your own conversations and communities. Today wasn’t the beginning of conversations across the divide, but it was a deep recommitment to pushing past media-induced stereotypes to ask each other questions that ground us in shared humanity.

Who do we want to be, and how do we want to be with those neighbors whom we have called “other”? What will we need to hold back in our own knee-jerk propensity in order to say the larger truth we need to share? What do we want that “other” to know about us and our values? And what do we want to know about theirs?

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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