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Can Marriage Counseling Save America?

The Atlantic // Andrew Ferguson — Borrowing techniques from couples therapy to bring liberals and conservatives back together.

Speaking out: Political depolarization begins with us

Bismarck Tribune // Ellie Shockley — I am asking that we see the full humanity of ordinary North Dakotans who identify with a different political party than our own. Better Angels defines depolarization in the way I’m using the term.

How to Get Trump Voters and Liberals to Talk: Don’t Make Anyone Sit in a Circle

The New York Times // Nellie Bowles — Classes, apps and message boards are trying to bridge the divide between the left and the right, one conversation at a time.

2020 Vision: Warren Wilson College gives students tools for political discourse

WLOS TV Ashville NC // “So what can we do to make the world a better place for everybody?” she wondered.

Better Angels Documentary to Be Shown Again

Arizona Daily Star// Andrea Molberg — It’s time to enjoy the Fall weather! Come spend your time watching the Better Angels documentary to see how citizens across the country are turning down political heat.

Community Members Invited to Better Angels Workshop

Talbot Spy // Better Angels is a national organization formed in 2016 after the Presidential election by folks who felt that the divide between red and blue Americans had become so severe that we were headed for civic breakdown.

Better Angels: Group launches chapter in Sheridan

The Sheridan Press // Sheridan — About 50 local residents showed up Tuesday to hear about the launch of the local Better Angels chapter, which is part of a national effort to reduce political polarization and promote civil political discussions.

WATCH: Better Angels Red-Blue Workshop with Van Jones on CNN!

A red-blue workshop in Evanston, IL welcomed CNN’s Van Jones — and participants from the left and right reflected on the personal impact that Better Angels programming had for them.

Documentary to promote civil political dialogue will be shown in Wilmington

Wilmington Star News// Cheryl Whitaker — The public is invited to a free screening of the documentary “Better Angels: Reuniting America” on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the Hannah Block Historic USO/ Community Arts Center, 120 S. Second St. Registration is at 6 p.m., the showing begins at 6:30 p.m., and a discussion will follow.

Word of the day: Unique

The Sheridan Press — Better Angels is a nationwide grassroots movement to depolarize America. We think of it as a companion to Community Conversations where we model how to talk about tough subjects in a civil and respectful way. Learning how to bring people of opposing political parties together in the same manner will be enlightening.

CVC to host program about depolarizing America

The Sheridan Press // SHERIDAN — Launched in 2016, Better Angels is a bipartisan citizen’s movement to unify America. By creating opportunities for meaningful discussions, Better Angels works to dial down the heated rhetoric that gets in the way of real conversations and accurate understanding of our differences.

CVC to host program about depolarizing America

The Billings Gazette// Launched in 2016, Better Angels is a bipartisan citizen’s movement to unify America, according to a news release from Sheridan College.

The one question every American can ask themselves about impeachment

The Fulcrum // What’s going on here? Do Republicans and Democrats have vastly divergent conceptions of what constitutes proper and improper presidential conduct? Do they have different recollections of the behavior of past presidents?

Two Frederick County residents aim to bridge political divide

The Frederick News-Post// Jim Carpenter and Natalie Abbas are on different sides of the political aisle —Carpenter, a Democrat from Frederick, and Abbas, a Republican from Myersville. But that hasn’t stopped the two Frederick County residents from talking politics in a respectful way. And now, they aim to spread civil discourse through a national nonprofit tasked with teaching Democrats and Republicans how to discuss the issues without inflaming the rhetoric.

Group works to bring liberals and conservatives together

KCRG // Marion — Better Angels has a mission to depolarize American political conversations, and the group spoke Tuesday at the Marion – East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club.

‘We must not be enemies‘

Newton Daily News // “We can still have our differences — that’s fine — but we should be able to get along while we do it,” Peters said, noting that although he ran as a Republican candidate he sees himself more as a Libertarian. “So that’s kind of what Better Angels is all about.” Last week, Peters held a screening of the “Better Angels: Reuniting America” documentary and coaxed a brief discussion with some of Jasper County’s elected officials, 2020 campaign workers, candidates and voters at the Newton Public Library.

How to Respectfully Disagree

The Daily Universe// Is there a good way to disagree with someone while still being respectful of their thoughts and opinions? BYU persuasive writing professor Erin Blackmun teaches her students that sharing their opinions with each other is an opportunity to be enlightened.

Velis and Humason act to bridge political gap

The Reminder // SOUTHWICK — Bringing together people with opposite political views often creates a volatile situation. To keep the peace and bring back civility, open discussion, and understanding, Better Angels is bringing political parties together in Western Massachusetts at their Sept. 30 bi–partisan public event.

Churchill: Trying to hear our ‘Better Angels’

TimesUnion // ALBANY — France, a right-leaning libertarian from Albany, and Galvin, a progressive who lives in Niskayuna, are founders of the local chapter of Better Angels, a national movement working to depolarize a highly polarized America.

Be a ‘Better Angel’ and bake muffins for those who disagree with you politically

White Bear Press // SAINT PAUL — At the end of June, I attended the Better Angels National Conference with a friend in St. Louis, Missouri. We had a great time learning more about the organization and how we can help heal the political divide in the USA. People from all 50 states attended the conference.


Inside Sacramento // Better Angels is not another summit of academics or a photo-op for politicians. It is citizen-to-citizen advocacy focused on breaking the cycle of political retribution and partisanship at the grassroots level. Unlike efforts to assign blame or browbeat people, Better Angels embraces ideological differences and focuses on returning civility to political disagreement.

A Separate Peace

Tab Berg, Inside Sacramento America is binging on outrage because liberals are …

How to bring divided Americans together and save our democracy

AlterNet // On a roadside billboard in North Carolina promoting the Cherokee Guns store, beneath the words “The 4 Horsemen Cometh are Idiots” appear American citizens and congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, collectively known as “the squad,” whom Trump told to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Locals attend ‘Better Angels’ conference

The Sheridan Press // SHERIDAN — When it comes to politics, the only thing everyone seems to agree on is that no one can agree on much of anything. Everyone also seems to agree that intractable political conflicts are doing more harm than good.

Bridge to peace: Rutland invites Better Angels to connect community

The Rutland Herald // In a time of increasing political tensions and extreme world views, one Democrat and one Republican from Rutland County are trying to unite their communities in the spirit of respectful conversation.

Civil Conversation, Your Time Has Come

The American Conservative // The Prayer Breakfast is symbolic of various national and local efforts to promote bipartisan respect, civility, and understanding. You wouldn’t know it from watching the news, but there is a growing movement of civility-centered groups, organizations, websites, and social circles sprouting up on every corner.

Group tries to find common ground

The Lynden Tribune // WHATCOM — Over the past three years, residents of Whatcom County have attempted to bring citizens of differing political opinions together to find common ground. They are working through a national organization called Better Angels, which seeks to find common ground in the midst of a politically polarized society today.

Sounds simplistic, but in uncivil times, try to let ‘better angels’ guide you

Florida Today // An 80something grandmother who watches conservative TV for hours on end. A young man whose Republican parents consider him a left-wing activist. A first-time voter stuck in the middle of political uproar with many questions for friends who don’t seem to listen. How do they and others with conflicting views best communicate without acrimony but also, without sacrificing their values?

We are humans before we are liberals or conservatives

The Journal Times // The vast majority of us are neither evil nor stupid, and we can learn from each other and work together for the common good, but only if we see each other as human beings first.

A time-honored concept is that healthy relationships fuel healthy living

Kenosha News // I am a conservative. I am not ashamed of it. In fact, I’m proud of my beliefs. However, it has become difficult to talk about it for fear of being disregarded, rejected or dismissed.

Harry C. Boyte: “We the People” – meeting polarization and other challenges

St. Paul Pioneer Press // A week before last month’s presidential debates, when politicians’ rhetoric threatened deepening polarization, a movement to depolarize America called “Better Angels” held its second annual convention. Equal numbers of Republican and Democratic delegates participated, 130 from each side and from every state, June 20 to 23 in St. Louis.

Gordon: We need to restore civility in politics

BlueRidgeNow // Herdersonville — It is often easier to see the opportunity we want than to see the opportunity we have, particularly when it is couched in the warlike fever of vitriolic language and the extremism of political polarization. Yet hidden in this mass of anger and vitriol is exactly where our opportunity, and our power, are to be found.

The Laura Flanders Show- Listening To Our Better Angels

The Laura Flanders Show // Red, blue, rich, poor, country, city, left or right. Chances are you probably fall into one of those categories. And you may be quite happy where you are. The people of Better Angels believe there’s still value in talking, and they’ve come up with a way of doing it that actually seems to bring people together.

Nonprofit aims to coach us on how to talk to each other again

NBC KARE-TV Minneapolis // It’s true we live in polarizing times. How can Republicans and Democrats talk to each other without shutting each other out?

How to bring out the ‘better angels’ in your community

MPR News// Are you wringing your hands over the political polarization we’re experiencing in this country? Are you egging it on among your kindred spirits?

How Americans Can Find What They Have in Common

Greater Good Magazine // Focusing on shared identities is a valuable way for people in diverse societies to bridge their differences without shedding or suppressing what makes them different in the first place. Doing so allows us to come together with people who we previously imagined we had nothing in common with—which research suggests can open the door to greater empathy and cooperation.

Civility Brevard: Workshop will teach talking politics with people you disagree with

Florida Today // “Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements.”
That definition of civility by The Institute for Civility in Government stuck with me when I was doing research before launching FLORIDA TODAY’s Civility Brevard project in March.

Better Angels change my view of the other side

The Post Star // Glen Falls — In our society today, it has become very difficult for people on both sides of the aisle to talk about their beliefs. We are afraid to voice our political opinions, because it could create a rift with family or friends. This has gotten way out of control.

Better Angels Host Red and Blue Workshop

KAMR // AMARILLO — Better Angels, a national citizens organization, hosted a Red/Blue Workshop in hopes of reducing political polarization in Amarillo and in the nation. On Saturday, June 29, Better Angels brought conservatives and liberals together so they could better understand each other beyond the stereotypes.

Americans are better than our leaders’ rhetoric. A road trip showed me that.

Tennessean // Despite the hateful and divisive rhetoric we hear on TV from our leaders, both local and national, and the toxic atmosphere we are reminded of daily, Americans are caring, warm and wonderful people. It does not matter where they come from, what their backgrounds are, what race they are or who they voted for.

Maybe Better Angels is making a difference

The Post-Star // What is clear is that we need that type of civil discourse, the type of discourse that Better Angels is trying to delivery across our communities.

This Group Got Black Lives Matter And Tea Party Leaders To Talk. Can The Rest Of Us?

The Federalist // ‘I don’t know at what point we moved from disagreeing with the argument to hating the person, and that scared me. I decided I have to do something,’ says this Better Angels delegate.

Can One Group Depolarize America? Better Angels Comes To St. Louis To Try

St. Louis Public Radio // After the 2016 presidential election, David Blankenhorn, president of the national organization Better Angels, wanted to bring voters together to try to find common ground despite their political differences.

Better Angels: Bridging the Uncivil Discussion Divide

RealClearPolitics // During a time of deep political polarization, not everyone could get a representative from Black Lives Matter and the Tea Party in the same room. But an organization known as Better Angels can do it – and will – at its second bipartisan national convention later this week.

Political divide has hit home for many

The Post-Star // Over the past couple weeks, Better Angels held two information programs and one skills workshop at the library. More than 50 turned out for the three meetings. Each person at the meeting was asked why they were there. More than one talked about how the political divide had impacted family relationships.

Don’t get divorced because of Trump. The tough work of settling America’s political differences

USA Today // In the Trump age, political polarization in the United States has never been higher. Groups like Better Angels are promoting civility to lower angst.

Open focus: ‘Reds,’ ‘blues’ work on issues that divide them

Greenfield Recorder // Alternating “red,” “blue,” “red,” blue” in their seating, 16 participants at a recent Better Angels workshop spent seven hours working toward bridging their political differences.

Bringing together both sides of the political spectrum

Chillecothe Gazette // The Better Angels Workshop has participants examining stereotypes: the ones they have about the other side of the political spectrum and also the ones that the other side might have about them.

Putting civility back into civil discourse

The Rotarian Magazine // “Applying The Four-Way Test to the idea of having a civil conversation is really appropriate,” Nelson Holmberg explains. “Being able to be part of both Rotary and Better Angels is incredibly valuable.”

Minnesota professor pushes for national unity, to speak next week in Cottage Grove

Hastings Star Gazette // Much of Doherty’s advice centers on active listening. The first step to a productive conversation where participants walk away learning, he said, is for everyone involved to commit to not trying to convert others to their beliefs. bridging the political divide

CBS19 NEWS // Judith Minter, the co-moderator of, discusses Better Angels.

COLUMN: Better Angels is one way to bridge political divide

The Post-Star // If you are disgusted with politics and the current state of political parties, you should do something about it.

‘Better Angels’—pushing back on political polarization

Twin Cities Pioneer Press // Bill Doherty gets emotional when he recites a favorite quote from President Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address.

Better Angels Debates

Catalyst // Truth springs from argument amongst friends. —David Hume, 18th C. Scottish empiricist and philosopher

Mission to Bring Back Civility to Politics

ABC 6 News // The political divide is prominent and it can be argued that it’s the deepest it has ever been. Labels such as conservatives, moderates, independents, tea partiers, and socialists are seen as more than party affiliations, it becomes part of your identity as a person or citizen of the United States.

Better Angels session helps bridge political divide

Clinton Herald // Just as warmer weather brought hints of spring to the Clinton region this past weekend, so was there a dramatic thawing of the often icy relationships between Republicans and Democrats thanks to a series of workshops with the Better Angels organization.

Tired of partisanship? Better Angels wants to bring ‘reds’ and ‘blues’ together

Florida Today // Tired of hyper partisanship? Are you concerned when you hear political leaders or friends and neighbors refer to those who hold opposing political views as “the enemy” or “evil?”

Together, we can tackle anything

Victoria Advocate // We urge everyone to practice civility now more than ever. We also challenge you to befriend others who don’t necessarily believe in what you do. You don’t know what relationships you’re missing out on if you immediately label others around you.

Smith College Republicans, group open up political correctness for debate

Daily Hampshire Gazette // A bipartisan group wants to bring people from both sides of the aisle together to better understand each other and reduce political polarization.

Discussion groups look past political divides in search of common ground in Edina

Andrew Wig // It sounds like the makings of a reality show, sans the secret alliances, immunity challenges and – crucially – the petty spats: Five liberals and five conservatives are picked to form a circle in an Edina living room. Their mission? Find something in common.

Millennials are fed up with politics (and rightly so). Here’s a way out of hopelessness…

Fox News // Over the course of their adolescence and early adult life, they’ve watched our political culture descend into tribalism, rancor, and partisan warfare.

Better Angels: Bringing Red and Blue Together

Bloom Magazine // On a Saturday morning in December, Republicans and Democrats came together in a Monroe County Public Library meeting room, hoping to learn to better communicate with one another.

Robert Forman and Maureen Bateman: You can help close the red/blue divide

The Berkshire Eagle // Is it possible to find civility in a time of strife? Robert Forman and Maureen Bateman are looking for a few good Reds and Blues in the Berkshires.

Looking for a few good Reds and Blues

The Berkshire Edge // To the Editor: We are two residents of the Southern Berkshires, a Democratic Clinton voter and a Republican Trump voter.

BETTER ANGELS: A Minnesota based initiative to bridge the great red-blue divide in America.

Almanac at the Capital, PBS // Twin Cities PBS segment of Almanac at the Capital featuring the Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop at the Inver Grove Heights Library in January 2019.

Letter: Politically diverse parent group addresses polarization in Edina

Sun Current // We are a group of Edina parents who came together because we are concerned about polarization in our community about how our schools deal with political and social issues.

Today’s leaders should ask themselves: What would Lincoln do?

Los Angeles Times // Amid conflict, Lincoln sought conciliation. Amid anger, he advocated “charity for all.” Amid despair, he summoned “the better angels of our nature.”

Perspectives: Fixing America’s growing polarization, my Better Angels experience

St. George News // I came away from this gathering with my principles intact and with a greater love for all of the individuals who made the time to be there. If you’re tired of trading insults online and looking for a way to make a difference, this may be well worth your while.

How To Improve The State Of Our Viciously Polarized Union

The Federalist // ‘We’ve reached that point where we view people on the other side of the political divide not only as misguided, but as threats.’

State of the Union 2019: We’re so divided we see others who don’t agree with us as bad — Here’s our solution

Fox News // America is built on the pursuit of a more perfect Union, but today we are yet again on the brink of a civic fissure so deep it threatens our democracy.

Collective Therapies in Donald Trump’s Country

Radio Canada // Two years after the arrival of President Donald Trump at the White House, the United States is deeply divided.

MSNBC Reports on Better Angels

MSNBC // Chris Jansing of Voice of the People reports on a Better Angels Workshop in North Carolina.

Better Angels Ascribe To Notion That Civility And Politics Can Coexist

WUSF News // The idea of civility in politics has become almost a quaint idea in some circles. A nonpartisan group called Better Angels is advancing the notion that we can talk about our differences – respectfully.

Group works to bring civility to politics

The Walton Sun // Recently, more than a dozen local political activists from both sides of the spectrum — and some in between — gathered in Dune Allen to practice agreeing to disagree.

The Bipartisan Group That’s Not Afraid of Partisanship

Atlantic Magazine // One Saturday morning this past fall, a handful of progressive voters were seated in a neat circle, pondering why more people don’t agree with their preferred policy solutions for the country.

Better Angels program taking flight

Albany Times Union // A group of 14 Capital Region people who came together for a day late last month to learn strategies for bridging the political divide were so inspired by the experience that they plan to spread the lessons further.

Area’s ‘Better Angels’ work to improve political discourse

Essex New Daily // The day after the 2016 presidential election, South Orange resident Andy Roth woke up feeling disappointed in the way discussions about the ballot had gone in the country.

Holiday blessing: Fewer arguments [+video]

Boston Herald // Nothing spoils Thanksgiving dinner like family members throwing political daggers across the table at one another — a sour sport that pits Trump-cheering kin against Warren-rooting in-laws and ruins the holiday for everyone.

Clemson ‘Better Angels’ group seeks to defuse bitter political divide

Greenville News // During the exact moment when worshipers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh were being gunned down, an evenly split group of ideologically polar opposites was sitting down in Clemson to begin trying to defuse the rancor that has come to define political discourse in 21st century America.

Better Angels tour brings civil discourse to Americans bitterly divided over politics

Washington Times // Liberal Susana Isaacson, 70, and conservative Susan Symingron, 63, are friends who have bridged their political divide but couldn’t find anyone else to join their bipartisan exchanges.

Meet The Group Trying To Fix America’s Partisan Divide One Workshop At A Time

The Daily Caller // Sixteen people from both sides of the ideological aisle gathered Saturday for an unlikely experiment: learning how to speak civilly and trying to understand each other.

Respect First, Then Gun Control by David Brooks

The New York Times // This has been an emotional week. We greet tragedies like the school shooting in Florida with shock, sadness, mourning and grief that turns into indignation and rage.

ABC Nightline on Better Angels

ABC Nightline // Greg Smith and Kouhyar Mostashfi are perhaps two of the strangest political bedfellows imaginable.

CBS This Morning Visits Better Angels

CBS This Morning // A recent CBS News poll found the number of Democrats and Republicans with negative views of the other party is growing.

Students for Free Expression aims to convince students that free speech is nonpartisan

The Eagle // New student group holds open debates on policy issues

Bill Doherty joins Roshini Rajkumar to discuss how we can regain our civility when it comes to politics and our daily discourse with each other

WCCO Middays // Professor Bill Doherty from the U of M joins Roshini Rajkumar in studio for two segments to discuss how we can regain our civility when it comes to politics and our daily discourse with each other.

MIDTERMS 2018 – Vechten tegen polarisatie

Arjen van der Horst // Amerika gaat de eindfase van de verkiezingscampagne in na een ongekend turbulente week. Democratische kopstukken waren het doelwit van bompakketjes.

Video: Better Angels round table

The Local Live # 233 // In our Round Table, Maura Carlin speaks with Ken Freeman and Sara Silver, volunteer organizers for Better Angels, an organization that brings people together not to change their views, but to listen and to respect opposing points of view.

“Dialogue can not be established” division of American society

NHK News Web // Under President Trump who attacks to obey people with different opinions, the division of society is deeper than ever in the United States. 

How Can We Bridge the Partisan Divide?

PrincetonInfo // What do you say, what do you do, a week from today if you wake up in the morning and discover that Trump still controls the Senate and the House of Representatives?

This Group Gets Democrats and Republicans to Do Something Radical: Talk to Each Other

San Francisco Magazine // Better Angels is doing the saintly work of getting liberals and conservatives in the same room—and teaching them to play nice.

Productive conversations

My Faith Radio // Dr. David Stevens discusses physician-assisted death, the cost of healthcare, and crowdfunding. Then, John Wood, Jr. and Rob Robertson talk about Better Angels and their work to create productive and humane conversations.

Bridging the political divide

Greenfield Recorder // Although officially described as a workshop, a gathering of “blues” and “reds” on Saturday was also something of a retreat.

Red-blue workshop aims at bridging the political divide

TimesUnion // During their pre-Halloween weekend, about a dozen area residents will do something that sounds genuinely scary: spend seven hours talking face to face with others who hold opposing political views.

Conestoga Students Host Non-partisan Political Program

Tredyffrin Patch // The Conestoga Young Democrats and Young Republicans sponsored an event aimed at reducing political polarization among the left and right.

Local Alliance is Determined to Depolarize Politics

Inside East Sacramento // Local alliance is determined to depolarize politics.

Bi-Partisan Workshop Held to Overcome Division in Charlotte

WBTV // Democrats and Republicans came together to talk through tough issues for an afternoon in Charlotte.

Better Angels movement hopes to unify a ‘divided nation,’ hosts Charlotte event

WCNC // “I may not agree, but they have valid opinions just like I do.”

We’re in the danger zone of distrust

StarTribune // But there’s a way out. It entails building relationships — for real, not for the sake of saying so.

Dissolving our differences

My Faith Radio // It seems that even a name holds enough division to set our pulses racing. A new movement is trying to bring people back together.