The Convention brings together Better Angels members from across the country to debate and deliberate on three questions:
1. How can we depolarize America?
2. What is the Better Angels Way?
3. How should we engage politics and public officials?
When & Where
The Convention will run from 4pm Wednesday, June 6th through the evening of Friday, June 8th and will be held at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Delegates may attend a pre-Convention skills workshop beginning at 1pm on Wednesday. There will also be post-Convention moderator training sessions, a student caucus, and other optional sessions on the morning of Saturday, June 9th.
All delegates must be Better Angels members. (If you haven’t, join now.)
Each member must apply to be a delegate. Apply here.
Half of the delegates will be red and half will be blue.
- Optional: Participate in a Better Angels skills workshop
- Registration and hospitality
- Opening ceremonies with a parade of states, plus delegate introductions
- How polarized are we?
- The Better Angels story – so far
- Participate in the new "Better Angels Debate"
- Experience the new "BA Issue Workshop" (choose gun rights/control or immigration)
- BA in community engagement - principles & ideas for action
- Better Angels in universities & in the media - principles & ideas for action
- Advance screening of the new documentary on Better Angels from Emmy-award winning filmmaker Jim Brown
- BA in scholarship and in the media - principles & ideas for action
- How should we engage politicians? - principles & ideas for action
- Help us formulate our message to the nation
- Closing ceremonies
Friday Night - Concert:
- Student caucus: Taking Better Angels to college campuses
- Moderator & organizer training sessions
- Better Angels Board meeting
The Convention fee, which covers food & accommodations, is $250 per person. Our reduced student fee is $125.
Some financial assistance is available.
Private dormitory rooms with shared facilities have been booked on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University. Convention registration includes accommodations in these private dormitory rooms from Wednesday night through Saturday morning. You are welcome to stay elsewhere should you prefer other accommodations. The following hotels and inns are located within four miles (10-15 minute drive) of the Eastern Mennonite University campus:
Joshua Wilton House
412 South Main St, Harrisonburg VA 22801
710 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
DoubleTree by Hilton Harrisonburg
1400 E. Market Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Candlewood Suites Harrisonburg
1560 Country Club Road, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801
Motel 6 Harrisonburg
10 Linda Ln, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Getting to Harrisonburg
The closest airports to Harrisonburg, VA are: Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD, 17 miles); Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO, 48 miles); Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD, 117 miles); Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA, 133 miles); Richmond International Airport (RIC, 140 miles); and Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI, 168 miles).
Rail tickets can be purchased to Staunton, VA (30 miles) via Amtrak. Bus services to Harrisonburg are also available from New York City and Washington, DC via Megabus, and from points in DC and Virginia area via the Virginia Breeze Intercity Bus. National bus tickets on Greyhound can be purchased to Charlottesville (48 miles away).
While we have included the above information for your planning purposes, please be sure not to book travel until you have been accepted as a delegate.
Do You Want to Attend?
If you haven’t already joined Better Angels, join now.
For further information, email info [at] better-angels.org.
The Better Angels Mission
Better Angels unites red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America.
As individuals, we try to understand the other side’s point of view, even if we don’t agree with it.
In our communities, we engage those we disagree with, looking for common ground and ways to work together.
In politics, we support principles that bring us together rather than divide us.
Our activities are organizing community workshops and local alliances, gathering annually to determine national priorities, and convening red and blue thought leaders to make new arguments and show better ways to disagree.
Our rule of balance is that in all our red-blue workshops and alliances, and at every level of leadership, we are half red and half blue. Our leaders and members range from working class to affluent, and come from many backgrounds, so that our organization can reflect the country we seek to serve.
Our name comes from Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address in 1861 when he said that Americans would “again be touched” by “the better angels of our nature.”
Check out a recent CBS News story about Better Angels.