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Moving from Debate to Dialogue in Divided Times: A Community Conversation facilitated by Mónica Guzmán and Peggy Holman

Booksmith / Virtual Events

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Booksmith and Berkeley Arts & Letters are thrilled to co-present, with Kepler's Literary Foundation and Reimagining Bookstores, a community conversation facilitated by Mónica Guzmán and Peggy Holman around Mónica's new book I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times.

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About the book

In Mónica Guzmán’s new book, I Never Thought of It That Way, the award-winning journalist illustrates how important it is to hear people out fully and freely. She provides a toolkit for asking what you really want to know, even if you’re afraid to; how to grow smarter from even the most tense interactions; and how to cross boundaries and find common ground with anyone.

Whether you're left, right, center, or not a fan of labels: if you're ready to transcend the confusion, heartbreak, and madness of our dangerously divided times, join us for a brief discussion of the book followed by small and large group conversations to experience talking constructively with strangers about difficult topics.

About community conversations

A community conversation is a dialogue among participants. A community conversation is different from a traditional author event because it requires participants to practice active listening, explore each other’s views, and strive to discover common ground. This pilot community conversation is sponsored by Reimagining Bookstores, a movement to support bookstores as a social cause, a public good similar to libraries, public radio and television stations, and nonprofit journalism. We are committed to helping bookstores deepen literacy, strengthen their communities, and pay living wages to their staff.

About the authors

Mónica Guzmán is a bridge builder, journalist, and entrepreneur who lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. She's director of digital and storytelling at Braver Angels, the nation's largest cross-partisan grassroots organization working to depolarize America; host of live interview series at Crosscut; and cofounder of the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey. She was a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, where she studied social and political division, and a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where she researched how journalists can rethink their roles to better meet the needs of a participatory public. She was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle, served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes, and plays a barbarian named Shadrack in her besties' Dungeons & Dragons campaign. A Mexican immigrant, Latina, and dual US/Mexico citizen, she lives in Seattle with her husband and two kids and is the proud liberal daughter of conservative parents.

Peggy Holman supports diverse groups in facing complex issues by turning presentation into conversation and passivity into participation. In The Change Handbook, Holman & her co-authors profile 61 practices that engage people in creating their desired future. Her award-winning Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity provides a roadmap for tackling complex challenges through stories, principles, and practices. Holman is a co-founder of Journalism That Matters, a nonprofit that supports and equips the adventurers who transform relationships between communities and journalism for a strong, inclusive democracy.

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Refund Policy:

No refunds or returns. Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Cancellation Policy:

If we have to cancel an event, you will be refunded within 4 business days of the event date.