Alliances can offer participants many opportunities for engagement. Below are some activities that have worked well for others. See also this "live bravely" brochure, as well as a possible meeting open ritual for non-workshop events.
There is a suggested meeting open ritual to be used for Alliance and State INTERNAL events (i.e. not workshops). This ritual was designed as an output of the Red Research Project. The ritual is short, welcoming and should help set expectations for under-represented groups (e.g., Reds and minorities). Field feedback to date is that the ritual is helpful in priming participation from ALL voices.
Visit the national website for information on Braver Angels' workshop offerings or to get trained to lead workshops. For the most up-to-date information on workshop development, go to the workshop information dashboard. You can find the Moderator Training Syllabus at this link, as well as the final workshop files at this link. Note, though, that the final files are not event specific and do not include evaluation form links for your event, so you will still need to go through the Event Request form found here when planning your workshop.
If you'd like to know more about the event development process, go to this link.
Specific organizer resources can be found on the members' portal at this link. You can also find a list of trained volunteers here or on a map here.
Additional resources for moderators, organizers, and zoom event managers can be found at the volunteer portal here, which is where you can find out what events you are signed up to work or what events still need volunteers.
Information on how to share google slides in a virtual meeting can be found here.
If you need help finding someone to staff an event, see the link here for trained moderators and zoom event managers. Also, Field Operations now has several part-time Braver Angels' organizers who provide support for field organizers, meeting with alliances to find out what resources they need to put on workshops and events in the field. These folks are available to support local organizers all around the country. You are welcome to reach out to them for assistance; make sure you indicate what you need and your timeline for needing assistance.
If you have an idea to change something within a specific Braver Angels branded workshop, propose your idea using the Workshop Feedback form at this link.
If you have people at in-person workshops who are unable to complete the evaluation form on their phones or electronic devices, feel free to tell them this.
We really value your feedback and want to improve our workshop. Here's an anonymous online survey that just takes a few minutes to fill out. I have the feedback form pulled up on my phone, if you want to use that. So-and-so has one on her tablet, if you want to use that. You can also share with your neighbor.
Then when someone asks, "Don't you have a paper copy?"
You say, "Unfortunately, we don't. We would love to hear your comments, though, if you want to take a few minutes and write them down," and you provide them with a pen and paper to do that.
Braver Angels welcome all who wish to progress our mission to bridge the political divide and strengthen our democratic republic. By definition, this means that a multitude of perspectives will be presented in our offerings. As part of our goal of inspiring a social movement, we want to partner with a wide range of organizations to host workshops that can bring depolarizing skills and experiences to their organizations. Inspiring a social movement is about giving a whole range of organizations a vehicle for bringing the BA Way to their constituents.
Faith-sponsored workshops (FSW) is just one way Braver Angels is doing this. Some of our members find faith at the core of their identity. We welcome such members. Some members do not find faith at the core of their identity. We welcome such members. Some members reject faith completely. We welcome such members. The goal of Braver Angels is the strengthening of our democracy which occurs when ALL such members interact and find common ground.
To learn more about these workshops, watch this 10-minute training video here. Also, check out the FSW webpage at this link. There is also a FSW supplemental checklist for those who are interested in developing a faith-sponsored workshop for their type of faith-based or spiritual tradition, as well as a workshop information dashboard, which includes FSW information, from which you can select a promotional flyer in the first column and the resource folder in the second column.
Faith-sponsored workshops are offered in the Braver Angel Way. We therefore use the Braver Angel Way to guide our communications:
We state our views freely and fully, without fear.
We welcome opportunities to engage with those with whom we disagree.
We treat people who disagree with us with honesty and respect.
We seek to disagree accurately, avoiding exaggeration and stereotypes.
We look for common ground where it exists, and if possible, find ways to work together.
We believe that all of us have blind spots and none of us are not worth talking to.
We believe that, in disagreements, both sides share and learn. In Braver Angels, neither side is teaching the other or giving feedback on how to think or say things differently.
If you have questions about these faith-sponsored workshops, please contact John Schwenkler at email@example.com.
Please visit the Debates section of the Braver Angels national website to learn more about Debates. For help setting up a local debate, visit the Where to Turn directory and search for "debates."
Alliance Meeting Templates ("Alliance Meetings in a Box") & Experiences
When an alliance creates a programming idea that is not a branded Braver Angels workshop that has worked well for them, we share these templates here with other field leaders. If you have an idea of programming you've tried or would like to try, to be included, feel free to share it with this form or create the materials needed for this with these directions.
A Red and Blue pair explore the world through each other's news sources.
Speakers with different viewpoints on a specific topic go deep into a specific issue.
An event template for discussing national crises.
An event that seeks to stimulate improvements in the reporting of news in the country.
Alliance members discuss Braver Angels' YouTube content.
Alliance meeting in a box materials for using 1:1 conversations as part of an alliance meeting.
Materials for talking about "a perfect storm" of events that are going on in our country causing polarization.
Materials for having difficult discussions on a particular topic at an alliance meeting.
Alliance meeting in a box materials for building empathy between participants related to covid experiences.
This alliance meeting allows people to do round-robin sharing of a 3-minute essay of one belief they hold, using materials from the This I Believe project.
Public Policy Events & Projects
The Public Policy Working Group's Final Report describes processes, guidelines, and guardrails for running public policy related events.
Common Ground Town Halls are issue-focused discussions, using Braver Angels principles, with the participation of public representatives such as Members of Congress or state legislators.
Workshop on Identifying Shared Values
Exercise for participants to discuss American values.
In a Single Issue Exchange, one topic is discussed in-depth for the entire workshop.
Braver Politics is a national initiative to depolarize our politics and remake our political culture from the ground up in a spirit of trust, citizenship, and good-will. By fostering opportunities for elected officials, candidates, and their staffs to participate in Braver Angels programs with each other and with constituents, develop skills for communicating across difference, and build constructive relationships across partisan divides, Braver Politics will influence our politics at the local, state, and federal level.
Policies for Braver Angels Events
We recommend that you set up clear ground rules for Braver Angels events. Here's a possible template you can use as a BA meeting opener for that purpose. You can also use these rules of engagement for that purpose.
Braver Angels has established a set of guiding principles which reflect past learning of what worked and did not work, while supporting innovation at the grassroots level. See this link for these guardrails for alliance experiences, branded offerings, and moderator expectations. This will help you understand what we consider to be the Braver Angels lane and what we do and do not do.
If you need a Certificate of Liability Insurance issued for a Braver Angels Event, please contact Braver Angels field funding team at this email. See more information in the FAQ section.
You do NOT have to be a member to take a workshop or to take an e-course.
We are open to people who live abroad participating in our events, if they are an American citizen or in a relationship with an American citizen.
There are no age restrictions on attending a workshop. However, all participants agree to abide by the ground rules and if they are under legal age, their parent or guardian agrees to the ground rules on their behalf.
We do have some policies for media attendance at events. See link here.
Braver Angels has developed a Policy for In-Person Events during Pandemic based on input from Reds and Blues.
Help with Event Organizing
Braver Angels currently has several paid staff who help train and support Field Leaders who are organizing events. For help from these organizers, please email the Event Organizers' email address.