The Braver Angels and Mountain State Spotlight teams are coming to Berkeley Springs.
First up is Mountain State Spotlight.
Mountain State Spotlight is a reader-supported, investigative West Virginia newsroom. The Spotlight says that it reports “on what’s happening in your town that people across the state need to know about.”
In October, reporters from Mountain State Spotlight will visit communities around the Eastern Panhandle on a listening tour to inform its coverage of issues that matter to West Virginians.
Mountain State Spotlight will be in Berkeley Springs on Tuesday, October 10, from 4 pm to 5 pm at the Star Theatre and from 5:30 pm – 7 pm at The Lazy Sundae, both in downtown Berkeley Springs.
For more information, check out the Spotlight’s road trip page.
And then on October 21, 2023, Braver Angels will hold what they are calling a Red-Blue workshop at the Berkeley Springs Presbyterian Church to teach skills for having political conversations across the divide.
Braver Angels West Virginia State Coordinator Ed Tomlinson says that “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 non-profit bipartisan citizen’s movement to unify America.
“By bringing Red and Blue Americans together into 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, the group says.
“Red-Blue workshops are an effective way to help people disagree without being disagreeable, an important step in finding common ground,” notes workshop organizer Gary Levine, a Braver Angels volunteer. “Follow-up surveys from Braver Angels events indicate that participants across the political spectrum find value in the workshop experience.”
“Recent polls show that a majority of Americans feel our country is more divided than ever, and increasingly view members of the opposite political party as not just wrong – but bad people,” the group says.
“At the same time, Americans are increasingly divided into bubbles and echo chambers with limited exposure to the other side, consuming news that confirms their opinions and stereotypes.”
“By creating opportunities for meaningful discussions, Braver Angels works 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 participant’s minds, but rather to provide a safe place for deeper understanding.”
For more information check out the group’s Berkeley Springs page.