Braver Angels to Host Skills Workshop for AAUW on November 30

Bipartisan group to teach AAUW members and friends the skills for having difficult political conversations.

In today’s polarized environment, political conversations often turn angry and counterproductive. Braver Angels’ skills help people listen and understand without arguing to build trust, clarify disagreements, and find common ground based on common values and humanity. Launched in 2016, Braver Angels is a bipartisan citizen’s movement to unify America. By bringing Red and Blue Americans together in a working alliance, Braver Angels is building new ways to talk to one another, participate together in public life, and influence the direction of the nation. By creating opportunities for meaningful discussions, we work to dial down the heated rhetoric that gets in the way of real conversations and accurate understanding of our differences. The objective is not to push an agenda or change the minds of participants, but rather to provide a safe place for deeper understanding.

This is a golden opportunity for all AAUW members. Creating safe places for understanding ties closely into our commitment to create and promote equity for women.  The skills we learn and practice in this workshop serve us in our personal interactions and in policy advocacy, which is why the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee proposed this to the Program Committee as a “Let’s do this” program for our branch.

It’s different from what we usually do for branch meetings, but we are in an unusual time of continued zoom interactions when we long for our being together in person. We are meeting in the evening (from 6:30-8:15PM) on Eventbrite; that’s a lot longer than we usually meet, because this is an interactive workshop which includes small group practice sessions and lots of    give-and-take between the presenters and the participants.

You’ll need to register on the provided link (below) and we strongly advise that you register early. There’s a preliminary presentation which you do on your own as preparation and while it isn’t mandatory, we highly recommend you check it out.  The registration itself requires a bit of your time.  Ignore the reference to staff, you’ll be a general admission.  And while a donation to the organization (they are providing this workshop free of charge to us) is appreciated, it is not mandatory.  Later in the registration process you’ll be asked to define yourself into Blue, Red, Other or No Preference. This information will only be used to pair you up in the small group sessions. There’s room for 125 participants so do invite others.  We are also inviting AAUW-NC members across the state to participate—that’s how important we think this is.

This is a lot of information to digest and November 30 seems far away, but please check out Braver Angels and register with this link: . Your being there and inviting one or two others (someone or more you think will benefit from participating) will ensure a successful, energizing, pro-active experience for us all. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to Johanna Manasse at


This year we are in a quandary about convening our branch meetings at the Goodwill Career Center. Given the necessity for keeping ourselves safe and healthy, the Board recommends we not gather in a physical location through the remainder of 2020 but to revisit the possibility of resuming in-person meetings in early 2021. However, we will continue to meet virtually and engage with one another via Zoom.

Joining the meeting from home gives you the opportunity to enjoy a delicious lunch you prepared while still being able to chat with “tablemates” from across the city. And the Board hopes more of you will be able to participate because neither weather, nor driving, nor parking will be an issue. If you are a working member, you will be able to pop in for an hour or so from the comfort of your office. We hope the result will be increased enthusiasm and commitment without straining resources and schedules.  So, reserve these dates and watch for specifics via email and the newsletter.

   October 26, 2021 Jaclyn Kiger, Pisgah Legal Services: Health, Justice & COVID-19
   November 30, 2021 Braver Angels: Bridging the Divide.  Skills in tone setting, etc.
   December, 2021 TBD – Get together with celebratory focus
   January 25, 2022 Eileen Reavey, National Popular Vote:  Popular Vote & Electoral College by Webinar-6:30-7:45 PM
   February 22, 2022 Becky Nichols, Entomologist: It’s All About the Bugs!  Women in Science & Synchronous Fireflies
   March 22, 2022 Ron Katz: What Does NC Voting Look Like Right Now? 
   April 26, 2022 Our GEM partners discuss:  How We Choose our GEM scholars
   May, 2022 A Field Trip TBD