BETTER ANGELS MINNESOTA

Welcome!

Better Angels in the North Star State is happy to have you as a member. Our volunteer MN coordinators of regional activities, Pat DeVries and Ruth Lunde are here to help. You may contact them at [email protected] and [email protected] for registration and for more information.

How to get involved:

The best way to stay in touch is to join as a member ($12 annually) at better-angels.org. This will allow you to receive emails regarding monthly member calls, new initiatives, and local events.

To experience and learn about the Better Angels way of understanding political differences, participate in workshop or event.

Workshop & Event Descriptions:

Families and Politics:  How to Talk with Loved Ones on the Other Side

Family relationships are becoming casualties of our toxic political environment.  Family members are having nasty political arguments, avoiding each other, and even cutting off lifetime relationships. If you want to preserve important family bonds while still being true to your values and political beliefs, this workshop will offer you insight into why family differences over politics are uniquely challenging. Learn to recognize common roles and strategies for handling differences in a constructive way

Depolarizing Within: Becoming a Better Angel in Your Own World

(Depolarizing Within Workshops)
Learn the discipline of non-polarizing attitudes and words about the political “Other” with whom we share a national past and future. Become more aware of polarization inside us and between us. Practice skills for being critical—even sharply critical—without demonizing, dismissing, and stereotyping. Learn to constructively intervene in social conversations that veer into contempt and ridicule for people who hold other political views.

Bridging the Political Divide: Conversation Skills
(Skills Workshops)
Learn skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground and affirm the importance of maintaining relationships with those on the other side of the political divide. Practice conversation skills in pairs with someone of your same political persuasion.

Bridging the Political Divide: Listening and Understanding (Red/Blue Workshops)
Focus on listening and reflecting during this structured conversation between balanced groups of Republican- and Democratic-leaning citizens. The conversation is designed to increase understanding of the experiences and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide.

Better Angels Debates
You probably haven’t experienced anything like a Better Angels Debate. It’s not a political debate, where competing candidates attempt to win votes. Nor is it a high school or college debate, where people advocate positions in which they may not believe for the sole purpose of vanquishing their foes.

A Better Angels Debate is a highly structured conversation in which a group of people think together, listen carefully to one another, and allow themselves to be touched and perhaps changed by each other’s ideas. When done well, everyone walks out a little closer to the truth, more aware of the validity in opposing views, and with tighter community relationships.

Using the parliamentary debate process, the conversation grows and develops through a series of speeches supporting or opposing the resolution. The structured format of a Better Angels Debate encourages the passionate and energetic expression of ideas. The speeches that support or challenge the resolution together with the questions to the speakers from those in attendance lead to a stimulating exploration of the topic through civil discourse. The primary rule of these debates calls on participants, speakers and questioners, to articulate what they actually believe, even if it’s complicated or incomplete, instead of trying to provide an air tight case or advancing a position they don’t really support.

Registration is required for all events.

Events are typically three hours and none require advance preparation, knowledge of any specific subject, or fees. Just find a workshop or debate that works for you and register. All events are highly structured to ensure respectful and constructive conversation.

If you register, please keep in mind that the group is counting on you to attend so be sure to let the Organizer know well in advance if your plans change.

Additionally, if you would like to Organize a workshop in your community, and would like to enroll as an Organizer, click here.

If you have seen a workshop in action and would like to apply to become a Better Angels-certified Moderatorclick here.

If you are interested in the emerging Better Angels Debates, learn more and apply to be a Debate Chair, click here.

Alliances:

An alliance is a regular meeting of Better Angels members who have attended at least one workshop. The Alliance discusses policy and opportunities for civil engagement.

Eagan Alliance

The Eagan Alliance typically meets the third Tuesday of each month. Contact [email protected] for more information.

MN Volunteer Positions

Greeter – Need friendly greeter to welcome new members to Better Angels, tell them what’s happening in their area, and answer basic questions.

Please email Pat DeVries or Ruth Lunde for more information at [email protected] or [email protected].

Upcoming Events

Community hosted events:

Better Angels Debate (Fort Snelling)
Tue, March 3rd, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Better Angels Debate:  Capitalism
Click here to register

Plymouth Congregational Church (Minneapolis)
Sat, Mar 7th and Sat, Apr 18th, 9:00 am – noon
Red/Blue Workshop (Full day in two parts)
Click here to register

The Basilica of St. Mary (Minneapolis)
Sat, Mar 7th, 9:00 am – noon
Depolarizing Within Workshop

Click here to register

First Universalist Church (Minneapolis)
Sat, Mar 14th, 9:00 am – noon
Skills Workshop
Click here to register

The Basilica of St. Mary (Minneapolis)
Sat, Mar 21st, 9:00 am – noon
Skills Workshop
Click here to register

Delano Public Library (Delano)
Sat, March 28th, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
Depolarizing Within Workshop
Click here to register

The Basilica of St. Mary (Minneapolis)
Sat, Mar 28th, 9:00 am – noon
Skills Workshop
Click here to register 

First Universalist Church (Minneapolis)
Sat, April 25th, 9:00 am – noon
Red/Blue Workshop (3-hour) 
Two workshops will be running concurrently
Click here to register

Dakota County Library hosted events presented by the Eagan Alliance:

Better Angels Debate (Fort Snelling)
Tue, March 3rd, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Better Angels Debate:  Capitalism
Click here to register

Pleasant Hill Library (Hastings)
Tue, March 10th, 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Skills Workshop
Click here to register

Galaxie Library (Apple Valley)
Sat, April 18th, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Depolarizing Within Workshop
Click here to register

Galaxie Library (Apple Valley)
Sat, April 18th, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Red/Blue Workshop (3-hour)
Click here to register

Galaxie Library (Apple Valley)
Sun, April 26th, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Skills Workshop
Click here to register

Wentworth Library (West St. Paul)
Sat, May 9th, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Red/Blue Workshop (3-hour)
Click here to register

Wentworth Library (West St. Paul)
Sat, May 9th, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Depolarizing Within Workshop
Click here to register

Wentworth Library (West St. Paul)
Thu, May 21st, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Skills Workshop
Click here to register

 

Media

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Let’s Go DePolarize Minnesota!