BRAVER ANGELS MINNESOTA
Upcoming MN Events
A Braver Angels Minnesota Online Debate
Braver Angels debate whether laws granting police rights not available to other government employees impede accountability to communities
Braver Angels Online Debates
A collaborative search for the truth
Many minds are better than one. Our commitment to intellectual humility is based on the idea that we still have so much to learn from one another.
Braver Angels Online Debates gather people from around the State to bring their unique perspectives to bear, in an in-depth discussion centered around a contentious topic. Unlike other debate formats, though, we value expressions of nuance and uncertainty, and many participants leave with a new perspective that they had not thought of before at the end of our debates.
If you haven’t seen one of our debates, get ready for a new experience.
Our special parliamentary format encourages everyone to speak or ask questions, ensures civility in disagreement, and strives for learning and better understanding for all. We are currently offering an online version that works in much the same way as our in-person debates only modified to foster constructive debate within a virtual reality.
In all our debates we use resolutions that might be controversial to encourage speeches from both sides. Unlike some of our workshops, these resolutions are not Red or Blue, but seek to foster discussion both Pro and Con.
Our Online Debates take place via a Zoom Conference Call, moderated by a Trained Debate Chair and staffed with volunteer members who help participants with the process of navigating a virtual debate scene. You must register in advance to participate in our Online Debates. Registration will be limited to 50 participants and preference will be given to Braver Angels members if the limit is exceeded.
The Eagan Alliance is a regular meeting of Braver Angels members who have attended at least one workshop. The Alliance discusses policy and opportunities for civil engagement. They typically meet the third Tuesday of each month. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Braver Angels in Minnesota is happy to have you as a member.
How to get involved:
The best way to stay in touch is to join as a member for $12 annually at braverangels.org. This will allow you to receive emails regarding monthly member calls, new initiatives, and local events.
To experience and learn about the Braver Angels way of understanding political differences, participate in workshop or event. Our volunteer MN coordinator of regional activities is:
Ruth Lunde [email protected]
You may contact her for information.
Workshop & Event Descriptions:
Families and Politics: How to Talk with Loved Ones on the Other Side
Family relationships are becoming casualties of our toxic political environment. Family members are having nasty political arguments, avoiding each other, and even cutting off lifetime relationships. If you want to preserve important family bonds while still being true to your values and political beliefs, this workshop will offer you insight into why family differences over politics are uniquely challenging. Learn to recognize common roles and strategies for handling differences in a constructive way
Depolarizing Within: Becoming a Braver Angel in Your Own World
(Depolarizing Within Workshops)
Learn the discipline of non-polarizing attitudes and words about the political “Other” with whom we share a national past and future. Become more aware of polarization inside us and between us. Practice skills for being critical—even sharply critical—without demonizing, dismissing, and stereotyping. Learn to constructively intervene in social conversations that veer into contempt and ridicule for people who hold other political views.
Bridging the Political Divide: Conversation Skills
Learn skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground and affirm the importance of maintaining relationships with those on the other side of the political divide. Practice conversation skills in pairs with someone of your same political persuasion.
Bridging the Political Divide: Listening and Understanding (Red/Blue Workshops)
Focus on listening and reflecting during this structured conversation between balanced groups of Republican- and Democratic-leaning citizens. The conversation is designed to increase understanding of the experiences and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide.
Braver Angels Debates
You probably haven’t experienced anything like a Braver Angels Debate. It’s not a political debate, where competing candidates attempt to win votes. Nor is it a high school or college debate, where people advocate positions in which they may not believe for the sole purpose of vanquishing their foes.
A Braver Angels Debate is a highly structured conversation in which a group of people think together, listen carefully to one another, and allow themselves to be touched and perhaps changed by each other’s ideas. When done well, everyone walks out a little closer to the truth, more aware of the validity in opposing views, and with tighter community relationships.
Using the parliamentary debate process, the conversation grows and develops through a series of speeches supporting or opposing the resolution. The structured format of a Braver Angels Debate encourages the passionate and energetic expression of ideas. The speeches that support or challenge the resolution together with the questions to the speakers from those in attendance lead to a stimulating exploration of the topic through civil discourse. The primary rule of these debates calls on participants, speakers and questioners, to articulate what they actually believe, even if it’s complicated or incomplete, instead of trying to provide an air tight case or advancing a position they don’t really support.
Registration is required for all events.
Events are typically three hours and none require advance preparation, knowledge of any specific subject, or fees. Just find a workshop or debate that works for you and register. All events are highly structured to ensure respectful and constructive conversation.
If you register, please keep in mind that the group is counting on you to attend so be sure to let the Organizer know well in advance if your plans change.
Additionally, if you would like to Organize a workshop in your community, and would like to enroll as an Organizer, click here.
If you have seen a workshop in action and would like to apply to become a Braver Angels-certified Moderator, click here.
If you are interested in the emerging Braver Angels Debates, learn more and apply to be a Debate Chair, click here.
Braver Angels in Local Media
- After Trump a Minnesota movement invites divided America to marriage counseling from City Pages
- Saying ‘Those people’ isn’t helping. Grassroots nonprofit aims to ease political disagreements feaure in the Duluth News Tribune
- Michelle Bruch’s Southwest Journal article on Depolarizing the dinner table
- Braver Angels Minnesota featured on KARE11 Breaking the News segment
- Bill Doherty joined MPR News with Kerri Miller for a 50-minute segment about depolarizing within one’s own group
- In-depth interview from Rochester’s KAAL (ABC 6 News ) Braver Angels Mission to Bring Back Civility in Politics
Local Media Archive
- ‘Braver Angels’ — pushing back on political polarization in the TwinCities.com Pioneer Press
- Pioneer Press’s “Their antidote for red vs. blue political poison: conversations” features a Braver Angels Workshop at the Inver Grove Heights Library
- West Central Tribune “Talking politics with the “other” side? A few tips for better conversations”
- Twin Cities PBS segment of Almanac at the Capital featuring a Braver Angels Red/Blue Workshop at the Inver Grove Heights Library
- StarTribune Article about family relationships and polarized politics