“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 rehumanize our interactions.”

“The level of polarization that we see, I think, might be more 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 an encyclopedic knowledge to back up an argument doesn’t mean their current concern aren’t worth addressing or listening to.”

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

“I eventually found one of the Braver Angels Alliance of Northern New England live Zoom meetings and joined.”

“It was great to just see random people who were just like myself, not too political coming in, joining 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 can share their thoughts.”

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

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

“I took part in the ‘Rural/Urban’ and the beauty in this workshop is realizing that our policies are very different but we are able to talk about each other’s perspective without divisive rhetoric.”

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

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

“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 Hamsphire
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.