“How to Have Meaningful, Even Difficult, Conversations with Civility”

The Arkansas Alliance of Braver Angels (www.arkansas.braverangels.org) has announced that it will be conducting a seminar titled “How to Have Meaningful, Even Difficult, Conversations-with Civility” on Friday, April 21, from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM at the Village Methodist Church, at 200 Carmona, Hot Springs Village.

Braver Angels is a national non-profit organization that teaches civil communication skills and hosts events with a goal of helping people connect despite differences. Arkansas Alliance State Co-Coordinator, and Village resident, David Childs says, “Braver Angels teaches specific communication techniques used by experts in conflict resolution, dispute mediation, and family counseling. Braver Angels does not focus on what idea you may want to express, it helps you communicate almost any idea with respect and civility rather than with anger and contempt. Unfortunately, we have become a society that really needs to re-learn and use these skills.”

National Braver Angels (www.braverangels.org) has conducted national zoom discussions in which over 1,000 participants have civilly discussed such controversial topics as Election Integrity, Abortion, and Racial Relations for up to two and a half hours. Childs says, “Braver Angels conducts seminars that bring people together on both sides of very controversial issues. It conducts seminars between conservatives and liberals. One of its most popular seminars is one regarding talking to the diverse people in your own family. That seminar is especially popular on college campuses with students who are about to go home during semester breaks. It is very encouraging to know that the college generation is prioritizing seeking ways to communicate more civilly and to maintain close family bonds.”

Braver Angels is deeply rooted in the model set by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. The name “Braver Angels” is adapted from a phrase in President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address in which, during the depths of the Civil War, he called on “the better angels of our nature.” Braver Angels also likes to cite another famous Lincoln quote, “I do not like that man; I must get to know him better,” summarizing a philosophy that Lincoln lived by, that all people have good and ‘common ground’ within them if we take the time to seek it.

Says Childs, “Recently, I was having lunch with a man who is very passionate about his political beliefs. We talked about such controversial topics as whether the Supreme Court expresses flagrantly political opinions or merely opinions that are rooted in legitimate liberal or conservative legal interpretations of the Constitution, and whether private Corporations should become openly political. During this discussion, I used some communication techniques that Braver Angels had taught me. After about an hour, a couple sitting near us got up to leave, came over to our table, and said, ‘We have been eavesdropping on your discussion because it has been so refreshing to hear people having a civil, respectful conversation.’ That is exactly what Braver Angels and this seminar hope to promote.”

For more information, contact David Childs at dchilds@braverangels.org.

Braver Angels Arkansas Seminar Flyer