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Leading Edge Workshop: Skills For Bridging The Divide

Leading Edge Workshop: Skills For Bridging The Divide

Thursday, February 22, 2024 (12:00 PM - 2:30 PM) (EST)


Skills For Bridging The Divide

In Partnership With Braver Angels

Braver Angels has boldly stepped into this divide through offering our Skills for Bridging the Divide Workshop. This workshop teaches crucial capabilities for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the primary importance of our relationships. It also provides participants a safe environment to practice those skills, followed by interactive and enlightening opportunities to debrief the practice sessions in ways that further our learning. You will learn about the perspectives, feelings, and experiences of people from a different political viewpoint. You will have a sense of satisfaction about how you conveyed your own perspective, feelings, and experiences. And, you discover some common ground.

In our current polarized political environment, many people avoid or dread political conversations with friends or family members whose politics differ from their own. They worry, rightly so, that any attempts at political discussions will devolve into arguments and acrimony, and result in hurt feelings or anger. Braver Angels Skills for Bridging the Divide Workshops teach skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship. They also give participants a safe environment to practice those skills.

Here's What You'll Learn: 

  • An understanding of what it takes to have constructive, non-polarizing conversations across political differences
  • Skills needed for these complex conversations
  • How to have these conversations with friends, family, and others in the community 

Lunch Graciously Provided By Our Program Sponsor - Boileau & Co.

About The Moderator: Dr. Cathy Anthofer-Fialon

Dr. Cathy Anthofer-Fialon holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Capella University and a Master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. Although born and raised in Iowa, she has spent 23 years in Michigan working in key roles such as the Executive Director of Northern Michigan Red Cross and the Program Manager for Grand Traverse County 13th Circuit Court, Family Division. She began her career at Northwestern Michigan College and has broad experiences in higher education and non-profit work. Blogging, presenting and teaching often, she is passionate about translating her service into tangible solutions to create stronger communities.

About The Moderator: Janet Hrydziuszko

Janet Hrydziuszko has been a member of Braver Angels for over three years. She is a BA Moderator, Participant Manager and Organizer and a member of the state steering committee. Janet worked in the consulting and training industry for over 30 years working with automotive, financial and other clients as a Senior Project Manager and Instructional Design Consultant. She has worked with international clients located around the globe and was the Managing Director of China Operations for her firm. She has a M. Ed and Ed. S. in Instructional Technology.

About The Coordinator: David Joseph

David Joseph serves as the "Blue-State Coordinator-Michigan" for Braver Angels. He has been actively involved with the BA organization since 2019, initially joining as a moderator and organizer before assuming the role of State Coordinator. Motivated by an intrinsic desire to address challenges through collaboration, David strives to bring together the best minds, regardless of background, to work collectively. He believes that the current societal challenges remain unmet due to a hyper-polarized culture, a barrier that can only be overcome by individuals of goodwill. Through his involvement with Braver Angels, he has the opportunity to engage with such like-minded individuals. On a professional level, David Joseph boasts a 29-year tenure as a buyer at General Motors.

About The Organizer: Vincent Boileau

Vince Boileau is the managing partner at Boileau & Co, a strategic communications company in Holland. He is dedicated to growing a company that creates meaningful change for his clients, team and the community. In his free time, Vince enjoys playing and recording music, socializing over nerdy board games, reading classic literature, and doubling as a jungle gym for his three kids.


There is no cost to attend this event, but registration is greatly appreciated.

Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce
272 E 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423
Event Contact
Hannah Bowen
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Thursday, February 22, 2024 (12:00 PM - 2:30 PM) (EST)
Leading Edge Educational Workshop
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