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Finding Commonalities and Solutions With Decision-Makers

Additional Resources

  • Racial Equity in Public Policy: Message Guide

    Voices for Healthy Kids

    The intention of the guide is to advance both equitable policies and conversations about structural racism. This is an update of Voices for Healthy Kids’ 2018 Health Equity Message Guide, which grew out of a request from advocates for ways to inspire decision-makers to embed equity in policy language. The 2021 messages are strengthened to focus on racial equity.

    Talking about racism and early childhood development: Evidence-based strategies for science communication

    FrameWorks Institute

    The science of early childhood development is poised to contribute in meaningful ways to the ongoing public conversation about racism and the need to dismantle racist systems. This brief offers a summary of key scientific points to translate; a story format that centers racism as a key influence on early childhood development; a summary of the cultural models that people rely on when thinking and talking about race, racism, and related issues; and recommendations for how to communicate more effectively on these vital topics.

  • Typology: Perspectives on Families in America Survey

    Every Family Forward and NORC at the University of Chicago

    Although this tool focuses on voters rather than policymakers, it provides additional insights on thinking patterns around PN-3 issues. It explores differences in public views about the deservingness of families with low income, the importance of systemic-level causes for the lack of social resources and the role of government in addressing problems that families with young children face. 

  • Bridging Differences Playbook

    Greater Good Science Center

    Drawing on cutting-edge research and insights from trailblazing programs, this resource highlights the key skills and strategies for overcoming divides.  

    Connecting Across Differences: Finding Common Ground with Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

    Dr. Dian Killian and Dr. Jane Marantz Connor 

    Much of our nonpolarizing language strategy is grounded in the principles of a field called Nonviolent Communication, which focuses on underlying needs and feelings to get to the heart of the issue and build mutual understanding. This research-based approach offers advice on how to reach across the aisle and help people with opposing views and different beliefs uncover shared values and feel truly heard and understood. This book offers a comprehensive and accessible introductory guide to exploring the concepts, applications and transformative power of Nonviolent Communication. Providing research-based insight into the psychology of communication, this reference explores the most common barriers to effective communication and provides tangible steps to address these barriers head-on.

    I Never Thought of it That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times

    Mónica Guzmán

    Partisanship is up, trust is down, and our social media feeds make us sure we’re right and everyone else is ignorant (or worse). But avoiding one another is hurting our relationships and our society. Journalist Mónica Guzmán, the chief storyteller for the national cross-partisan depolarization organization Braver Angels, shows how to overcome fear and certainty to understand and even learn from people in your life whose whole worldview is different from or even opposed to yours. She shows how you can put your natural sense of wonder to work for you immediately, finding the answers you need by talking with people — rather than about them — and asking the questions you want, curiously.

    Bridging Political Divides in Local Government

    Constructive Dialogue Institute

    This resource focuses on understanding and reducing polarization at the local government level by applying six key moral foundations: Care, Fairness, Liberty, Loyalty, Authority and Sanctity, and how they apply to the political left and right.

    At its conclusion, it offers five tips to reverse polarization:

    • Know your own moral foundations.

    • Recognize the moral foundations in policy conflicts.

    • Apply “moral reframing” to conflicts.

    • Separate goals from strategies.

    • Use integrative thinking.

    Talking Across the Divide: How to Communicate with People You Disagree with and Maybe Even Change the World

    Justin Lee

    A guide to learning how to communicate with people who have diametrically opposed opinions from you, how to empathize with them, and how to (possibly) change their minds.

    1. Nowadays a lot of us live in an echo chamber, which brings about group polarization.

    2. Strategic dialogue can be used to bridge gaps and fix fences.

    3. Preparation and listening are the first steps to successful strategic dialogue.

    4. There are five barriers that can hinder a successful dialogue, and ego protection is the first one.

    5. Team loyalty, as well as comfort, are two more barriers to successful dialogue.

    Atlas of the Heart

    Brené Brown

    In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances — a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.

    A Question of Respect: Bringing Us Together in a Deeply Divided Nation

    Ed Goeas, Celinda Lake

    The intensity of disagreement between Americans threatens the nation's well-being, presenting itself as disrespectful and distrusting in politics, culture and conversations. In A Question of Respect, pollsters and political strategists Ed Goeas, Republican, and Celinda Lake, Democrat, have worked together to create a political resource that depicts a compelling case for how the nation reached this moment and, more importantly, where it needs to go and what it might take. They posit that mutual respect is the foundation upon which we can trust one another again.

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