Building Bridges

Helping Us Have Those “Difficult Conversations”

We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together, and if we are to live together, we have to talk.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Advocacy is hard work. Constantly butting up against opposition can wear us out. As an antidote to frustration and burnout, sometimes we just need to sit down and talk to one another. But how do we do that in today’s polarized society?

The Building Bridges program uses the Living Room Conversation model as a way for people from differing perspectives to have meaningful conversations. Rather than seeking to convince one another, we practice listening and engage our authentic curiosity. Good conversations help build relationships and illuminate the places where values align—which is where agreement can grow even if opinions differ.

We encourage you to explore Building Bridges through conversation events and training workshops.

Upcoming workshops:

Building Community: Having Real Conversations 

Wednesday, May 22
10:00-11:00 am PT / 1:00-2:00 pm ET 

Welcome to the Elders Action Network community! Get acquainted with others as you learn how we use guided conversation to help build relationships and reconnect divided communities. We call it Building Bridges.

Please note: Each session requires several skilled facilitators, according to the number of people who register.  Once you’ve registered for the session, please make sure to show up and to sign on 5-10 minutes before the start. Thank you!

Registration deadline is May 19


Confronting Whiteness and Building Bridges with Conversation

Elders for Social Justice Monthly Meetings

Thursday, May 16 – REGISTER

Thursday, June 20 – REGISTER

9:00-10:00 am PT / 12:00-1:00 pm ET

How can we personally take part in healing the racial and political divisions within our country…and even within our communities and families? How can conversation help us understand ourselves and others to find common ground?

At the May 16 meeting of Elders for Social Justice, we present a brief explanation of EAN’s Building Bridges program and its relation to bridging efforts throughout the US; how it’s designed to build participants’ bridging skills so they can actively take part in relieving tensions within their own communities.

At the June 20 session of Elders for Social Justice, participants invest the full 90-minute session in conversation on the theme of Confronting Whiteness. You’ll experience first-hand, being in civil conversation with people who may hold ideas very different from your own, and finding common ground among members of your group.

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