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Our lives have changed – our politics need to change too. Now is a time for us to remember that we need each other as Americans. Now is a time for us to reject those voices that say we don’t. The Braver Angels Podcast brings you face to face with leading voices from across the divide alongside remarkable Americans you did not know existed. Experience a movement to reignite the spirit of America and defeat the forces that divide us. With John Wood, Jr., Ciaran O’Connor and April Lawson.
 
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show series
 
In the first Braver Angels Podcast episode of the new year, John Wood, Jr. and Ciaran O'Connor share a deep and heartfelt conversation about the state of American politics on the one-year anniversary of January 6th, 2021. Happy 2022! Ready to become a Braver Angels member and build a house united together? Join us: https://braverangels.org/get-invo…
 
In the 1950's and 60's the reverend Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a nation with a message of hope, aimed against the forces of racism, inspired by the philosophy of nonviolence and what he believed to be the moral and spiritual teachings of the gospel. Is that philosophy relevant to today's fights against injustice and our struggle against polari…
 
On the weekend of December 9, 2016, a small group of citizens—half Donald Trump voters, half Hillary Clinton voters—gathered in South Lebanon, Ohio, for an experiment. Could we talk with each other rather than at each other? Five years later, the co-founders of Braver Angels (David Blankenhorn, Bill Doherty, and David Lapp) reflect on that inaugura…
 
In a special all-women roundtable edition of our podcast, two Red and two Blue Braver Angels leaders get passionate, personal, and curious about what led them to hold opposing views on one of the toughest political dilemmas in America: abortion. How do voices on the left and right strengthen or weaken our country’s grasp of what’s at stake? And how…
 
What are the historical roots of political polarization in America? Why do Americans hold such dissonant perspectives on the meaning of our core ideals? How might we understand our history to create a more perfect future union? Ciaran O'Connor hosts Seth David Radwell, author of American Schism, for a wide-ranging conversation on the political, cul…
 
Toxic levels of ungrace are tearing us apart. That's the diagnosis from Kirsten Powers, senior political analyst at CNN and former political analyst at Fox News. But is grace really possible across divides this huge and seemingly threatening? In a candid interview with host Mónica Guzmán, Kirsten draws on her Catholic faith, her years of cross-part…
 
Andrew Yang isn't done challenging the way Americans look at politics. The former presidential candidate and entrepreneur is launching the Forward Party: a third-party effort to depolarize our politics through election reform. Can it work? And what does Yang have to say about the sensitive issues of race that divide Americans? Silas Kulkarni and Jo…
 
Ciaran O'Connor convenes Hawk Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York; David Iwinski, a Trump supporter who helps lead Braver Angels Debates; and Dr. Tess Russell, an anesthesiologist and intensive care specialist at Columbia New York Presbyterian Hospital for a raw and wide-ranging discussion on trust, science, and the COVID …
 
Barbara Thomas is a lifelong liberal. Rick Hotchner is a committed conservative. As a couple, they are one of a dwindling number of politically mixed marriages between Democrats and Republicans in America. They made a life-changing decision last summer to leave a diplomatic post abroad to depolarize America—one divided relationship at a time. How d…
 
Social media has become a prism that distorts our identities, empowers status-seeking extremists, and renders moderates all but invisible. In his new book, Breaking the Social Media Prism, Duke professor Christopher Bail challenges common myths about echo chambers, foreign misinformation campaigns, and radicalizing algorithms, revealing that the so…
 
Ready to take on the COVID-19 divide? In this special roundtable edition of our podcast, two red and two blue Braver Angels leaders tackle big questions about vaccines and vaccine mandates. How do the left and right help and hurt America’s struggle against the pandemic? Are President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates tough love or bad medicine? Featurin…
 
Joy Mayer just launched a bold effort to help conservatives trust journalists. What will it take for America's local journalists to tell stories responsibly—not just for liberals, whose views most journalists identify with, but also for conservatives, whose views are easier for most journalists to misunderstand, neglect, or dismiss? Joy, director o…
 
After enduring significant childhood trauma, Morgan Brown spent much of his adult life homeless. Now an advocate for housing and mental health, Morgan shares his perspectives on trust, dignity, and how "going the extra gracious mile and beyond" can make all the difference—both on the streets and in politics. Morgan resides in Montpelier, Vermont, w…
 
Is it worth striking up a conversation with the stranger in the checkout line? What’s on the other side of that silence, and how do we bridge it? Journalist Joe Keohane is out with a new book, The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting in a Suspicious World, which explores the lost art of connecting with unfamiliar people. Ciaran O'Connor t…
 
Ever wonder just how expansive the American national service system is and how those involved in it see their work? Luke Nathan Phillips interviews AmeriCorps' chief of external affairs, Sri Preston Kulkarni, about the work and mission of the organization. They discuss how AmeriCorps aims to promote service and national unity in troubling times, al…
 
Extra! Extra! In this special roundtable edition of our podcast, two red and two blue Braver Angels leaders square off about the media. Where do the left and right step up or fall short in their approach to the Fourth Estate? Is all the partisan messaging out of line, or do the ends justify the memes? Featuring John Wood, Jr. (national ambassador),…
 
Sheba Williams is the founder of Nolef Turns and an advocate with deeply personal experience surviving life after incarceration. In this episode of the Braver Angels Podcast, Sheba chats with John Wood, Jr. and Silas Kulkarni about her recent appearance in the Braver Angels Coliseum Debate on Voting Rights and the efforts underway to bring together…
 
Later this month, thousands of Americans—including several Braver Angels—will gather near Mount Rushmore for FreedomFest, a three-day conference dedicated to furthering libertarianism in America. In this episode of the Braver Angels Podcast, Ciaran O'Connor sits down with Valerie Durham, the executive director of FreedomFest, for a wide-ranging con…
 
Boom! In this special roundtable edition of our podcast, two red and two blue Braver Angels leaders share their takes on critical race theory and the recent out-of-this-world UFO stories fascinating both right and left. Also in this episode: some real talk about the hard work of building a house united—plus some stories about how thrilling (or terr…
 
In an era in which politics have become a religion, what role do religious people have to play? And how can people look to their faith as an inspiration for coming together rather than breaking apart? Former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam joins the Braver Angels Podcast to discuss the role of faith in the public square and how Christians can become…
 
Sho Baraka is a hip-hop artist known for bringing a deep lyrical and philosophical treatment to Christian rap. But he's also a cultural commentator who takes a nuanced perspective on issues of race and politics—and has a front row seat for seeing these controversies play out in the church. Sho joins John Wood, Jr. to talk music, the culture of hip-…
 
Author Jonathan Rauch is a long respected voice in American journalism on matters ranging from marriage equality to freedom of speech. In his upcoming book, The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth, Rauch explains the social infrastructure by which truth is protected, breaking down assaults on truth from the right and the left and explorin…
 
Not only does political polarization breed fear, anger, and mistrust—it also breeds a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. How can we take action? Not only to make our voices heard but to work together with our political opponents to improve our communities and perfect our union? Braver Angels alliances are where the meat of our work takes place…
 
Professor Steven Pinker is on a mission to spread the good news of human progress. He asserts that human life, for all its problems, has overwhelmingly improved in recent generations. But how is the progress of humanity threatened by our inability to appreciate it? And how is that progress threatened by our inability to communicate respectfully wit…
 
America is more than half a year removed from the 2020 election. Most Trump voters still suspect voter fraud determined the outcome. The vast majority of Biden voters think such ideas are off the wall. Many Americans, meanwhile, believe that media bias and the practices of Big Tech are the real corruptors of American elections. Can left, right and …
 
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