Jenny Maxwell | Braver Angels Alliance of Northern New England

Jenny Maxwell | Braver Angels Alliance of Northern New England

“Most of the time growing up, we didn’t talk much about politics as a family. My parents are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and feel very strongly about their political alliances. But that’s one reason I don’t consider myself a partisan, today – I am fiscally conservative and socially libertarian.” “It’s a lot...

“Most of the time growing up, we didn’t talk much about politics as a family. My parents are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and feel very strongly about their political alliances. But that’s one reason I don’t consider myself a partisan, today – I am fiscally conservative and socially libertarian.”

“It’s a lot harder to be flaming mad at somebody who is right there in front of you when you see
their face and their reaction.”

“When you get to know people that hold beliefs different than your own, you realize that’s not only an idea but a person too – it helps re-humanize our interactions.”

“The level of polarization that we see, I think, [is] indicative of the dehumanization that we see in our dialogue.”

“It’s really important we start to realize that people have varying concerns. Just because they don’t have encyclopedic knowledge to back up their own argument doesn’t mean their current concerns aren’t worth addressing or listening to.”

“I was aware of Braver Angels for a while through social media. But as our politics have grown more strained over the past year, I thought it was important to get involved.”

“It was great to see other people who were just like myself, welcoming of civil dialogue no matter the persuasion or passion.”

“It was about coming [together] to have a conversation about what they thought – not worrying that they had to say the ‘right thing’ or know all the facts, but a place where they could share their thoughts.”

“The world isn’t ending after Election Day. I think most people have someone in their lives that they don’t agree with politically, but would be heartbroken at the loss of that relationship – and anything that works to promote a ‘braver angel’ sort of unity is a good cause to join.”

“Braver Angels really provides a good framework for these conversations and provides the freedom to discuss ideas rather than personal intent or attacks .”

“One of the workshops that I took part in was the ‘1:1 Conversations Across Differences’ where you are paired one-on-one for a conversation. You choose from workshops of ‘Red/Blue,’ ‘Black/White,’ or ‘Rural/Urban’ combinations, and then have a conversation with the intent to understand the experiences and feelings of others.”

“The beauty in this workshop was realizing that our politics may have been very different but we were able to share our own perspectives and listen to each other’s perspective without divisive rhetoric.”

“These workshops are very formatted. They have questions and suggested timeframes that you can follow so you don’t get into it… and it’s always – always – to seek understanding, not to convince another person of your beliefs.”

“If you’re looking to bridge the differences in your community or change our polarized political environment for the better instead of taking part in a shouting match, I think Braver Angels is the place to be.”

Jenny Maxwell
Amherst, New Hampshire
Braver Angels Alliance of Northern New England

To learn more or get involved with the Braver Angels Alliance of Northern New England, please visit braverangels.org.

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