Minnesota professor pushes for national unity, to speak next week in Cottage Grove


By Jackie Renzetti

Whether it’s someone writing from a church in Leesburg, Va., or a mayoral convention in Maryland, Bill Doherty says most of his weekly emails boil down to the same thing:

“I think there’s increasing fatigue with the polarization and a hunger to find some ways past it,” he said. “There’s just a lot of concern out there in the country.”

Since 2016, the University of Minnesota family social science professor has co-led the group Braver Angels, which aims to bridge political divides in communities nationwide through workshops on civility. The group has provided more than 400 workshops across the country, including 40 in Minnesota. Next week at Cottage Grove City Hall, Doherty will speak about what he’s learned since co-founding the organization and share tips for healthy political conversations.

The free, public event is hosted by the Woodbury and Cottage Grove chapter of the League of Women Voters, a national, nonpartisan group focused on informing and engaging citizens.

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