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Convergence Connection with Convergence Logo
April 4, 2022
 
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For the second year, Convergence will join with several partners to co-create, host, and promote America Talks, the year’s largest online bridging event in the U.S. America Talks, which takes place April 21-23, and will engage thousands of Americans of all backgrounds, politics, and beliefs in small groups and one-on-one conversations – all with a goal of encouraging and equipping the nation to talk, listen, and build understanding that can help reduce divides.   

“Toxic polarization and division are paralyzing our nation, leaving too many Americans feeling helpless and fearful and too many solutions stuck in gridlock,” said Convergence CEO David Eisner. “America Talks brings national attention to this urgent crisis and also provides a tangible way for people to get personally involved in solving the problem — one conversation at a time — and in helping to normalize collaborative dialogue.”

America Talks also kicks off a parallel initiative, the National Week of Conversation (NWOC). Beginning on April 23, NWOC will engage thousands more people in meaningful activities, events and conversations showcasing the power and potential of bringing people together across our divides – and examining the urgency and pathways for doing so. 

America Talks has become America’s largest bridging program that gives everyday people opportunities to engage with others who oppose their viewpoints; and, likewise, the National Week of Conversation has come to offer the largest and broadest annual opportunity to spotlight and publicly discuss issues critical to the bridging field and all who care about bringing Americans together.  

This year, Convergence will co-host a special event on “Bridging Across Generations.” We’re delighted to moderate this digital event together with BridgeUSA, Millennial Action Project, and Encore.org, and feature each of their CEOs – respectively, Manu Meel, Layla Zaidane, and Marc Freedman, who is also the author of a new book, How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations.” Together with David Eisner, these leaders will explore with the audience how younger and older groups find alignment, conflict, and opportunities to engage together on issues relating to religion and politics, the so-called “cancel culture,” the “woke” movement, and more. We’ll also identify best practices and opportunities for fostering cross-generation collaboration that mutually supports both older and younger generations to thrive.   
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Join us for ample opportunities to learn and participate in this highly relevant conversation. Our "Bridging Across Generations" event takes place on:
 
Monday, April 25 from 1:30 - 2:30 PM ET
Register to Join Us for this Engaging Event
America Talks and the National Week of Conversation are sponsored by several media organizations including USA Today, which is promoting the events with press releases and opinion pieces about our critical work.  

To learn more and sign up for America Talks, please visit: americatalks.us/.
Participants must be 18 or older. 

 
David in USA Today
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"As leaders of organizations committed to healing the divides of our nation, we’re here to tell Americans that there is hope on the horizon," write Convergence CEO David Eisner; Co-founder and CEO of Common Ground Committee, Bruce Bond; Founder of the Listen First Project, Pearce Godwin; and Executive Director of Civic Health Project Kristin Hansen.

Read this USA Today opinion piece on how bridging organizations are working to heal divides.
 
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David Quoted in The Seattle Times Editorial
Seattle Times Article: Support U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer's Building Civic Bridges Act March 3.2022. with Drawing of Diverse People talking
“Congressman Kilmer has brought an entirely new way for Congress to be looking at bipartisanship and collaboration,” said Convergence CEO, David Eisner. “This bill is a high point, from my perspective, with that work.” Read more of The Seattle Times editorial to learn about the Building Civic Bridges Act designed to support the bridging community. 
 
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Podcast: Finding Common Ground on Reentry from Prison
Podcast Image: Episode 52: Partner Series Featuring Marc Howard and Daren Swenson Convergence Let's Find Common Ground with Photos of both
At first, they were wary of each other, but they soon discovered they had much more in common than they realized. Marc M. Howard and Daren Swenson were brought together by the Convergence Reentry Ready Project where they found common ground on reentry from prison. Several years after their initial meeting, they’ve become good friends. This podcast series is produced as part of Convergence's partnership with Common Ground Committee
 
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Leadership Council March Meeting Highlights
Eboo Patel with his new book We need to Build...with quote from Van Jones: "A Blueprint and a Guidebook for an Inclusive 21st century democracy. Read this book.
 Convergence CEO David Eisner interviewed Eboo Patel, author, speaker, educator, and interfaith leader founder of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). Eboo Patel provided a special preview of his book. You can pre-order it here. 
Watch Eboo Patel Segment
Images of: Donna Benton, Ph.D. Marc Cohen, Ph.D., Naomi Lopez

Convergence Dialogue on Reimagining Care for Older Adults Manager Isabel Hinestrosa interviewed three Dialogue participants: Donna Benton Ph.D., USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Research Associate Professor of Gerontology, Director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center (FCSC); Marc Cohen Ph.D., UMASS Boston Gerontology Professor of Gerontology, Co-Director LeadingAge LTSS Center; and Naomi Lopez, Director of Healthcare Policy, Goldwater Institute. Watch the event recording to learn more.  
Watch Reimagining Care for Older Adults Segment
Making Care Effective and Affordable
America needs to reimagine long-term care to make it effective and affordable, explains Stuart Butler, Convergence Board member, Convergence Dialogue on Reimagining Care for Older Adults participant, and a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution

In this Pioneer Institute podcast with Joe Selvaggi, Butler discusses how the Convergence Dialogue on Reimagining Care for Older Adults is convening leaders to identify strategies to help older adults age where and how they choose. 
 
Listen Now
Convergence Convening on Student Debt
As U.S. student loan debt topped $1.6 trillion and the pandemic-related moratorium on repayments was set to expire, the debate about loan forgiveness heated up. In partnership with The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, the National Consumer Law Center, and with the support of the Consensus Building Institute, Convergence co-convened a ‘short-form dialogue’ for experts with divergent perspectives to discuss the nature of the problem and the best solutions. 

Following the Dialogue, two convening partners with very different perspectives on the issue published a report outlining key issues related to income-driven repayment. 

 
Read the Article
Watch the Digital Disinformation Partnership Launch Event
Our dynamic speakers — Dr. Krishnan Narasimhan, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, and Hillari Lombard — brought some clarity and insights into digital disinformation. Watch the event Convergence co-hosted with Civic GeniusInterfaith Youth Core, and More in Common to engage in the powerful conversation. This event marked the launch of a new partnership among the co-host organizations through which, for the first time, there will be a series of grassroots dialogues running alongside a Convergence National Dialogue.
 
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Convergence Dialogue on Budget Resonates with new Impact on Capitol Hill
US Capitol on Cloudy day
Together with our network of coalition partners across America, Convergence submitted a statement by CEO David Eisner to urge the Senate to consider the Fiscal State of The Nation resolution. Learn more about the Convergence Building a Better Budget Process Project and read the press release.
 
Read the Press Release
We’re Hiring!
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 Convergence is hiring! We are looking for a Digital Content Manager for Communications, an intern for Reimagining Care for Older Adults, and an intern for Pathways to Better Jobs. Learn more and please share Convergence opportunities with your networks.
 
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Follow Us On Social Media!
Are you following Convergence on your favorite social media platform? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and now Instagram to keep up with the latest at Convergence and in the bridge-building community.
 
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You can help Convergence bridge divides, find solutions for America’s cascading crises, and advance the bridge-building movement against toxic polarization. Invest today in solving problems through collaborative dialogue.
 
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