Persuade, Don’t Preach by Karen Tibbals Restoring Civility Across the Political Divide Menu

Support Organizations

Braver Angels: From their website: Braver Angels is a national citizens’ movement to reduce political polarization in the United States by bringing Liberals and Conservatives together to understand each other beyond stereotypes, forming red/blue community alliances, teaching practical skills for communicating across political differences, and making a strong public argument for depolarization.

The Center for Non-Violent Communication: Although not specifically focused on politics, the skills taught by this group can be useful preparation. I have attended a weekend training.  

Deep Canvassing:  This technique has been proven to change people's minds. A description of the technique can be found here. See also the link to People's Action, who are implementing it.

Ethical Frames: I am creating an online community to support those who want to do this work. Join the waiting list.  

Freedom of Mind Resource Center: America's Leading Cult Expert wtih blogs about how to help those who are in a cult

Heterodox Academy: Created out of Jonathan Haidt’s calling out of the colleges not being tolerant of Conservative culture. Meets once a year. Primarily composed of academics and a few students. Once a year conference held in New York City that I attended once. It’s a terrific way to hear examples of people trying out new ways.

Illusion of Explanatory Depth: This is a psychological phenomenum which explains part of what is behind our inability to talk to each other. This paper explains it in detail, but the wikipedia article is a good place to start. Once you know about this, you can develop questions designed to get the other person to think more deeply about what they actually do and don't know for certain.

Johns Hopkins Civility Project:  Created by Professor D.M. Forni who has a passion for increasing civility in our society. Has a list of recommended books including his book, Choosing Civility, which has a list of the 25 Rules of Civility. I highly recommend the book.

The Open Mind Platform: Based on Dr. Haidt’s research and other psychological research, this platform has been created to help a group become less politically polarized. I have not used it. It is available for nonprofits at no charge.

People's Action:  This is a group of grassroots organizing efforts in a variety of states which use deep canvassing techniques and is trying to heal the nation.  

The Priviledge Institute: A black-owned conference that runs once a year, changing locations every year. Creates a sense of community among people of all races, with a shared sense of letting each other try new behaviors and being okay with making mistakes. I attended once and learned a lot about myself and the blinders I had on. Can act as a counterpoint to the duality mindset and to the fear of being called out if you make a mistake.

I will continue to update this list as I find more. If you have a suggestion for other resources, please email me.

Other Resources

Mending Fractured Relationships:  My newsletter which tells stories of how political polarization has affected our everday relationships, with suggestions on how to mend them, based on the ideas from my book.

Moral Foundations.org:  the site by social psychologists briefly explaining the theory, with videos.

Public Religion Resource Institute: A non-profit, non-partisen organization dedicated to conducting independant research at the intersection of religion, culture and public policy.

Reframing TED Talk by Robb Willer: How to have better political conversations provides a summary of the research

The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt is the best selling book that describes the moral foundations. (I prefer mine, but go ahead and get the seminal work.)

Your morals.org is where you can take a test to see how you stack up. Or email me for a copy of an older test. 

Podcasts

The Ezra Klein Show: This podcast dives deep into the issues behind our politics. Ezra has written a book on the same cultural issues I am exploring, but he is more politically focused than I am.  I particularly found the episode in November 2020 with Ian Haney Lopez useful for understanding how Donald Trump won votes from Hispanic and African American men. I am ordering Haney Lopez's book Merge Left to read his research.

Learning How to See is a podcast by Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren and Jaqui Lewis discussing how understanding psychology can change your religious beliefs 

The Liturgist podcast provides support for those who are deconstructing and reconstructing their religious faith and how faith and politics interact

To See Each Other is a short podcast series from the People's Action which illustrates what happens when they use the Deep Canvassing technique. 

 

Karen Tibbals @KarenTibbals

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