Talking Across the Political Chasm (April 2017)


Talking Across the Political Chasm (April 2017)


How to Listen + Talk In Divisive Times

For many of us, the election results felt deeply personal. We responded with anger, but we must redirect our attention. This course will give you cathartic doses of direct action and a chance to shift the system, through effective communication across the political divide.

Register Now

Tuesdays, April 4rd-25th || 6:00-8:00 pm
Wayfinding Academy || 8010 N Charleston Ave
$140 || Space is limited to 25 students || Scholarships Available

For many of us, if we are liberal or moderate, the election results felt deeply personal. Certainly a vote for Trump was a resounding affront to the “liberal elites” in an ongoing culture war. Many of us respond with anger, but we must redirect our attention. This course will give you cathartic doses of direct action, and a process for making possible true shifts in the system. What we did before didn't work. Together, we'll try something different.

This experiential course will take lessons from Dialogue Across Difference, radical inquiry, and exercises in understanding complex, adaptive systems. These tactics will influence our plans for talking through the seemingly insuperable cultural divide created and inflated by the Trump candidacy, its media attention, and now his presidency.

Each week of class will have an experiential activity and homework, designed around a series of questions: what, so what and now what? Each activity will be practice talking across the divide. Whether that means a call to Auntie Claire in a red state, a tour of a local mill, or a day trip to visit and talk with a rural friend … we shall see, but be prepared!

WEEK 1: Anger and Awareness
Taking a look at how and why Trump was elected, thinking about what it means from different perspectives, examining our own anger and self righteousness.

WEEK 2: Walking into the Void
Facing our bias, and figuring out what we CANNOT DO to solve the insuperable divide between those who voted for Trump and those who did not

WEEK 3: Slow democracy
The role of radical inquiry across systems – and examination of what we CAN DO … and how understanding how systems work will help us understand our selves.

WEEK 4: The Way Forward
Turning out words into action, Jackson.

“Violence is what happens when people don’t know what else to do with their pain.”

— Parker Palmer

Christine Dupres (Cowlitz/Cree), Ph.D., is a writer, teacher, and Native citizen. She is the author of Being Cowlitz: How One Tribe Renewed and Sustained Its Identity (University of Washington Press). She has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oregon.