By y Michael Illiano, The Sheridan Press
SHERIDAN — About 50 local residents showed up Tuesday to hear about the launch of the local Braver Angels chapter, which is part of a national effort to reduce political polarization and promote civil political discussions.
Sheridan resident Kris Korfanta, who is the Wyoming coordinator for Braver Angels, and Rustin Burr, who works for Sheridan Media and hosts Public Pulse, worked together to bring Braver Angels to Sheridan after the pair attended the group’s national conference in St. Louis over the summer.
The conference asked attendees to declare themselves as either “red” or “blue” and hosted discussions on divisive issues between people on both sides. The object of those discussions, however, was not to change anyone’s mind or even reach middle ground, but to encourage people to listen to and understand one another’s perspectives.
The objective was to get participants to see that the people on the other side of the issue weren’t faceless political opponents but neighbors with a different point of view.
Korfanta said the experience had a profound effect on how she approached political disagreements.