Southern Dialogues is an opportunity to listen.
Listening by itself points to a different way of civic media. Polarization pushes us to stop seeing each other's views or values as legitimate, which cuts away at the principle of the co-equality of citizens that is critical to democracy or self-government.
We're all Americans here, we are all in this together.
By listening we can re-learn and rebuild trust to better lead ourselves in our own circles, our own communities, and go toward a shared future.
Political polarization means we're more likely to find ourselves at the extremes. It means more often our interactions with each other just drive us further apart. It means we define ourselves more and more by opposition, to the point that it's almost like we're speaking different languages.
Listening means taking a moment and connecting with another person's experience. When we listen to each other, we grow together. That's the solution to growing apart that Southern Dialogues is based on.