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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

WA organization connects people across political divides

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Monday, December 11, 2023   

Americans are deeply divided on political issues. One organization is attempting to bridge this gap.

The group Braver Angels brings together people of different political leanings to engage in civil conversations.

It's Washington state chapter holds events throughout the year, including a welcome social on Tuesday for new members. State coordinator Sue Lani Madsen talked about the organization's mission.

"It's okay to be really passionate and firm in your belief and be able to express that," said Madsen. "You also have to be able to hear that from somebody else and to acknowledge that. Then we're all still going to go on living together in this country. And that's really the key point."

Braver Angels was created in 2016. Since then, it's held more than 3,200 events for more than 33,000 participants.

Madsen said Braver Angels hosts workshops that focus on communication skills.

"There's depolarizing within, which is a very basic workshop for just recognizing your own biases that you bring to a conversation," said Madsen. "That makes it a little easier to hear. You can understand why you're hearing something some way, makes it easier to understand why another person may hear it a different way."

Madsen said the organization also hosts workshops in schools, reaching an important demographic.

"They need to practice those skills now as high schoolers, as middle schoolers," said Madsen, "before they get into the adult stage where they really need to be able to have conversations about tough subjects."




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