JULY 5-8

The Future of a Movement
Braver Angels leader John Wood Jr. will set forth the vision of a social movement.
Braver Angels Debates
These are not your normal debates. Braver Angels Debates are a shared pursuit of truth.
Better Conflict
Governor Spencer Cox (R-UT) will join a Democratic Governor to discuss the nature of healthy conflict.
I Never Thought of It That Way
Braver Angels leader Mónica Guzmán will show us the power of curiosity.
In-House Convention Band
American bluegrass and hip hop group Gangstagrass will teach songwriting and perform live.
Battlefield Tour
A licensed battlefield guide will lead us through a tour of the Gettysburg battlefield.
Convention Platform
We deliberate. We debate.
We decide together on our future.
Previous slide
Next slide
July 5-8, 2023

First Principles of the Civic Renewal Movement

Today, we come together to call for and lead a movement of civic renewal. Our country is being torn apart by civic rancor.

Civic renewal requires that all people be treated with dignity and none be silenced.

Civic renewal leads to healthy conflict, an accurate understanding of differences, and an interest in finding common ground.

Civic renewal builds community and institutional trust, strengthening bonds and inspiring action among

Civic renewal evokes surprise and joy at our finding each other again.

Our movement was born in response to the crisis of polarization—a growing crisis that destroys trust, degrades public discussion, fosters isolation, and harms personal relationships. Polarization progressively undermines trust in our public institutions, distrust of one another on the basis of politics continues to
climb, and troubling trends in race, social, and class relations point to increasing conflict.

From the birth of the movement, we have brought people together to improve our understanding of each other and practice healthy conflict where we disagree. We believe that difference is not polarization. We have stood for the importance of working together despite our differences in order to find common ground and for a love of country that demonstrates itself in the respect and concern we bear for our fellow Americans. This is the patriotic empathy that will break the grip of divisiveness and strengthen our common bonds.

Today we dedicate ourselves to the great task before us: to safeguard the spirit of our republic and to preserve its deepest unity. In our politics, let us work together when we agree and when we do not agree let us oppose one another in good faith. In the work of civic renewal, let us build trust among individuals and build institutions worthy of our trust. Let us labor together to discover and cherish our common heritage and identity as Americans. Let us strive as one toward the “beloved community” of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision and the “more perfect Union” of the Founders’ summoning, believing that America can live up to its best ideals.

Reflecting America

We believe that to change our country, we must reflect its people. Thus, the rule of red/blue balance is foundational for all that we do. We gather as delegates from across the United States– equal numbers of Reds and Blues and many independents, and including a politically balanced network of more than 200
organizations. We come from and reflect the breadth of America.

We affirm as foundational for our emerging movement the principle of political balance, in which Red and Blue leaders of our movement come together equally represented and on equal terms. Beyond reflecting the spectrum of political opinion our movement must also strive to be inclusive in our membership and leadership of all walks and aspects of American life so that our movement reflects the country.

Renewing Our Hearts

The core of civic renewal is changing our hearts. We believe that to successfully depolarize the country each of us must practice depolarizing ourselves. It is this personal transformation that lies at the heart of our movement for civic renewal. It is embracing the “better angels of our nature” that enables us to treat our fellow Americans with the same charity we desire for ourselves. Civic renewal calls us to love our enemies and provides a mirror when we fail. This requires our patience and humility. “We the People” depolarize ourselves, renew our trust in one another, and seek to spark civic renewal. In our country of government by and for the People, only changing ourselves from within can create a lasting cultural change in institutions.

Renewing Our Institutions

Renewing ourselves is fundamental and the first step toward orienting our institutions to civic renewal. Many of us, together, committed to civic renewal, may shift the institutions to which we belong. We commit ourselves to renewing our own institutions: government, education, media, community organizations, philanthropy, art, faith communities, business, and labor. Each of these requires its own approach and attention to measurable outcomes. In the coming period, we commit ourselves to better understanding the measurable indicators of community and institutional change that will inform and guide our progress and success.


We conclude with a conviction: With civic renewal America can be a land of civic virtue and robust citizenship, where freedom rings, where civic friendship is not destroyed by political disagreement, where we are dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. As we gather on the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, we aspire to fulfill President Lincoln’s dream—that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Gettysburg, PA | July 8, 2023

Braver Angels Support