Join the movement to bridge divides by getting involved with Braver Angels and supporting their mission. Register for the Braver Angels 2024 National Convention by June 15th and be part of a legacy of restoration.

In a world where disagreements can easily lead to division, it’s crucial to find ways to love our neighbors despite our differences. The Braver Angels organization is dedicated to bridging these divides through respectful dialogue, fostering a sense of community and connection. This mission is also embodied in the efforts of Mrs. Utah American, Stacie Proctor, who is hosting a Collaborative Discourse Dinner Series in partnership with Braver Angels in Vineyard, Utah, to promote understanding and unity.

Old watchtower at former Iron Curtain borderline in Bildein | Photo credit: Andy Proctor

The Village of Bildein: A Legacy of Compassion

Stacie Proctor’s, great-great-grandma Maria hailed from Bildein, a small village with fertile vineyards on the Austrian-Hungarian border. During a time of war, Bildein’s villagers chose compassion over division, providing food, shelter, and care to anyone in need, regardless of which side they were on. This legacy of empathy and community has deeply influenced Stacie’s mission to create inclusive, welcoming spaces. Inspired by her ancestral village, Stacie’s family strives to make their home a safe haven for all, believing that diversity is beautiful and strengthening.

Utah Lake Shoreline in Vineyard, UT | Photo credit: Andy Proctor

Vineyard, Utah: A City Built for Connection

Nestled between the breathtaking sunrises over Mount Timpanogos and the enchanting sunsets over Utah Lake, Vineyard, Utah, is a city designed with connection and wellbeing in mind. Its natural beauty and walkable pathways connect numerous neighborhoods, parks, and outdoor spaces. Vineyard was recently named the fastest-growing city in the fastest-growing state in the nation. It is a vibrant community espousing the motto “Stay Connected”. However, strong opinions in recent local elections have challenged community members’ ability to stay connected, giving rise to an atmosphere of tension and animosity.

Collaborative Discourse Dinner Series in Vineyard

The Collaborative Discourse Dinner Series, hosted by Stacie Proctor in collaboration with Braver Angels, in Vineyard, seeks to promote understanding, reduce polarization, and rebuild connections. These dinners provide a platform for community members to engage in meaningful conversations, share perspectives, and develop mutual respect. The hope is for participants to leave better equipped to tackle potentially polarizing topics as family, friends, and neighbors with a renewed sense of hope and community, discovering common ground even in the face of disagreement.

Photo courtesy of Braver Angels

Bridging Divides: The Role of Braver Angels

Braver Angels, a bipartisan organization, aims to depolarize America by fostering understanding and dialogue. Their initiatives and tools help individuals navigate disagreements constructively. David Blankenhorn, co-founder of Braver Angels, encapsulates this mission: “We believe that the fight to depolarize America is the fight to build a more perfect union, a union in which our differences do not divide us, but strengthen us.”

Braver Angels provides valuable resources for engaging in respectful, empathetic conversations. Key strategies include active listening, finding common ground, and approaching disagreements with curiosity rather than judgment. As the fastest growing organization in the civic renewal movement, their efforts have shown that by applying these principles, we can foster understanding and strengthen our communities.

Photo courtesy of Braver Angels

The Braver Angels 2024 National Convention

The National Governors Association has been promoting a campaign that reaches across political lines to start a movement of confronting ideas, not people, called “disagree better”. But how do you actually do it in real life with your sister or son-in-law? If you would like to learn how to disagree better, Braver Angels is putting on a national convention this month to help you be a better neighbor, and a civil citizen. The upcoming Braver Angels 2024 National Convention is a pivotal event dedicated to unity and constructive dialogue. This convention offers a unique opportunity for individuals from across the political spectrum to engage in honest and respectful discussions. David Blankenhorn highlights its significance: “The Braver Angels National Convention is a testament to our commitment to bring Americans together from across the political spectrum to engage in honest and respectful dialogue.” To register and participate, visit the Braver Angels website.

A Path to Connection and Healing

In times of division, especially during a major election year, loving and understanding our neighbors is crucial. By adopting the principles of compassion and connection, as exemplified by the village of Bildein, Vineyard’s Collaborative Discourse Dinner Series, and organizations like Braver Angels, we can bridge divides and restore a sense of community locally and globally. Drawing from a legacy of Christlike love, we can foster inclusive, welcoming environments where every individual is valued and appreciated.

Join the Movement

Join the movement to bridge divides by getting involved with Braver Angels and supporting their mission. Register for the Braver Angels 2024 National Convention by June 15th and be part of a legacy of restoration. Together, we can heal broken relationships and create communities where all are welcome, and our differences can become sources of strength rather than division. Connect with Stacie Proctor, Mrs. Utah American, on Instagram and visit the Braver Angels website to learn more and get involved.