During the 2016 election season, several offices in the Archdiocese partnered together to launch a program – Civilize It – that called on both the principles of USCCB’s Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship and our faith’s demand that we recognize and honor the dignity of every person. (Prior to the 2020 election, the USCCB adopted this program as part of their national initiative to call for charity, clarity, and creativity in our politics.) At the same time…

In the wake of the very divisive 2016 election, a new organization – Braver Angels – was formed to heal the division that was tearing us apart. The founders harkened back to President Lincoln’s call for us to appeal to our “better angels” to guide us towards reconciliation, peace, and civility. (Since that time, Braver Angels has grown into a national organization with coordinators in all 50 states.)

In recent months, the Respect Life and Social Action offices have been working with Braver Angels to bring these two programs together: using the ideals and values of Civilize It and the proven practices of Braver Angels. The overlap of the ideas of the two programs is overwhelming, and the synergy that has been created has been significant.

We are proud to now be able to offer the first fruits of this work. The primary workshop of Braver Angels is the Red-Blue Workshop, and we are offering, for the first time, the Red-Blue Workshop – Catholic version. We’ll share more about the content of the workshop next month, but here are details to save on your calendar: the workshop will take place on two successive Thursdays – June 2nd and 9th from 6:00-9:00pm (over Zoom). There are a limited number of spots available so we’ll have registration for the program, and we’ll be sure to have an equal number of people who tend to lean red and tend to lean blue.

If you have any questions, please contact the Social Action Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Don’t forget to save the dates, and look for more information next month.

Description

Join us for a two-part online workshop that brings together Red (conservative or Republican-leaning) and Blue (liberal or Democratic-leaning) citizens for moderated activities and structured discussions that reduce stereotyped thinking, clarify disagreements, build relationships and find common ground through listening and learning rather than declaring and debating.

This workshop is hosted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The framework of this Braver Angels workshop will include guidance based on our Catholic values and beliefs. Each workshop will open and close in prayer.

Registation

Registering for Part 1 (June 2nd) automatically includes you in Part 2 (June 9th) of the workshop. This workshop is conducted on two separate Thursday evenings and is three hours for each session. It is important to be available and committed for both segments. Register here in advance.

Process

In part one, participants get to know one another and a foundation of trust is established. This paves the way for a deeper dive into authentic, respectful and thought-provoking questions and answers in part two.

Who can attend?

Catholic parishioners who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of, and connection with, people whose political beliefs differ from their own. This Braver Angels workshop has been revised to incorporate Catholic values and perspectives. There are two ways to join a Red/Blue Workshop: as a Participant or as an Observer.

  • Participants engage in small – and large – group discussions with individuals of both the same and different political persuasions. Participants identify as “red” or “blue” leaning. We strive for an equal balance of red and blue participants: 6 to 8 people on each side.
  • Observers watch and listen, but do not participate in the discussions.

Workshop Goals

  • To better understand the experiences and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide;
  • To seek out areas of common ground in addition to acknowledging and respecting difference;
  • To gain insights that might help to heal the increasing polarization in our community and the nation.

Questions?

Andrew Musgrave, Director Social Justice Office: amusgrave@catholicaoc.org

Bob Wulzelbacher, Director Respect Life Ministries: bwurzelbacher@catholicaoc.org

In an era of political polarization and often vitriolic public discourse, educational institutions are uniquely positioned to create countercultures in which civil discourse can thrive. In this session, we’ll explore what civil discourse can look and sound like in educational institutions and consider what educators can do to create cultures in which it is possible to disagree, with mutual respect and compassion, about key issues facing our society.
Dr. Sivan Zakai, Sara S. Lee Associate Professor of Jewish Education, will lead this lecture.
Register in advance at this website.