2023 Convention - Programs and Activities - Braver Angels

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.
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July 5-8, 2023

Here's What We'll Do at Gettysburg

The Convention begins Wednesday at 6 pm ET and ends Saturday night.

Events include plenaries on key topics, many breakouts to choose from, premier evening discussions and debates, debating and adopting a Convention platform and call to action, and a closing concert. We’ll use adapted parliamentary procedure. Convention delegates are active participants, not just consumers.

Our goal is national civic renewal.

Check Out the Highlights and Full Agenda:

Rise for America. come to Gettysburg. create a movement.
Reach Across the Divides
Francis Collins and Wilk Wilkenson
“An Expert and a Deplorable Walk Into a Bar…”
A conversation between Francis Collins, former Director of  the National Institutes of Health, and Wilk Wilkinson, the conservative leader of We The People’s project.
Dr. King
Then and Now

For both Black America and the current state of American divisiveness, what lessons can we learn from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ministry of nonviolent protest against injustice and his call for a beloved community? A conversation between Tavis Smiley and Ian Rowe, moderated by John Wood, Jr.

Hold America Together
“How Could They Possibly Think That?”
Join a small, evenly divided group of conservatives and liberals for a discussion  designed by Braver Angels to help delegates clarify disagreements, reduce stereotyped thinking, and discover common values.

Rise for America. Come to Gettysburg. Create a movement.

Improve Our Politics
Can We Trust Our Elections?

Can we have an America in which growing majorities of voters in both parties believe that U.S. elections are fair, reliable, and worthy of the public’s trust? Can we agree across the partisan divide on ways to improve the integrity of our election system?

Gov Cox
Fight Better!

In a democracy, conflict is normal. But must it poison our civic life and tear us apart? Governor Spencer Cox (R-UT) and others will discuss with delegates how we can move from toxic division to healthy conflict – and how citizens can help make this possible.

Build Better Relationships with Your Local Politicians

How can citizens more effectively engage their political leaders? Learn the art of successfully engaging candidates, elected officials, and political staffers.

Rise for America. come to Gettysburg. create a movement.
Improve Our Campuses
The Next Generation

Leaders from BridgeUSA, the nation’s largest student-run organization working to bridge the divide on campuses, cast their vision for an intergenerational movement.

Improve Classroom Learning

See how faculty are incorporating Braver Angels Debates into their curriculum and how college administrations can include bridge-building skills and values in freshman orientations.

Reach High School Students

Learn how to organize bridge-building programs in high schools.

Rise for America. come to Gettysburg. create a movement.
Build Our Civic Muscle
Skills for
Bridging the Divide

How can I talk to my political other? What are the practical tools for navigating difficult political conversations? Learn to have respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the relationship.

Bill Doherty Leading a Meeting
How to Design
and Lead a Meeting

What’s worse than an unproductive meeting? Learn best practices for meetings that are engaging, energizing, and productive – where things get done and people feel good about the process. Using these skills can strengthen your entire organizational culture.

Donkey and Elephant
Skills for Navigating
Social Media

What can you do about toxic social media?  In this session, you’ll learn constructive alternatives to the ugly exchanges that typify much of today’s social media. The focus is on skills for people choosing to engage on social media, not on the social impact of social media.

Rise for America. come to Gettysburg. create a movement.
Find Our Best Voices
Monica Guzman speaking
Mónica Guzmán

Mónica Guzmán is a bridge builder, journalist, and author who lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. Her book, “I Never Thought of it That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times” featured on Glenn Beck and named a New York Times 2023 recommended read.

Manu Meel

Manu Meel is passionate about empowering young people to bridge divides. He believes that the biggest threat to American democracy is affective polarization and misunderstanding between Americans. As CEO of BridgeUSA, Manu is currently building the largest and fastest growing student movement to bridge our differences and change how we talk politics.

John Wood, Jr.

John Wood, Jr., is National Ambassador for Braver Angels, a former nominee for Congress, the former Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County (America’s largest county level Republican Party), a musical artist, and a noted writer and speaker on subjects including racial and political reconciliation. 

Go Beyond Words
Common Ground Songwriting

Want to learn to write songs? Then record and perform them? Guided by professional musicians eager to teach and inspire you? Here’s your chance! Led by the BA Music Team and members of the musical group Gangstagrass – our 2023 in-house Convention band.

Rise for America. come to Gettysburg. create a movement.
Learn from Gettysburg
Tour the Battlefield

What happened on this hallowed ground in June 1863, when the nation was torn apart, and on the same ground later that year, when Abraham Lincoln spoke of “a new birth of freedom”? A bus tour of the battlefield created for Convention delegates.

Abraham Lincoln Portrait
What Would Lincoln Do?

What can we learn from the president who led the nation through a Civil War? What is the Gettysburg Address for today? 

Four Score: A Memory Play

Four Score is about Gettysburg, the American Story, and generational reflection. How do we remember? What stories and songs do we share? What does it mean to us today?

Rise for America. come to Gettysburg. create a movement.
Rise for America
Chart Our Future

Can we give birth to a truly meaningful national movement for civic renewal? Delegates will make their voices heard as we debate and refine the Convention platform.

Help Create a National Network

No one organization can change the country. A social movement can. Be a part of – and help to create – a national network of leaders and organizations from all walks of society interested in coming together to bridge our partisan divisions.

Take Action in Your Community

Our gathering in Gettysburg is not an activity on its own, but the beginning of something larger that goes back into all our communities. We start this Fall with coordinated activities across the country. Are you interested? How would you like to be part it?

Braver Angels Support