1:1 Conversations Across Difference

Let’s unite across our differences: 

  • Want to help unite our country/world?
  • Ready to learn from a different perspective?
  • Tired of all the animosity? Let’s do something about it!

Mason’s Leadership Education and Development Office (LEAD) has partnered with Braver Angels (a well-respected national non-profit organization focused on depolarizing our country) to offer some powerful 1:1 conversations across difference. These conversations provide a clearly structured way for Mason students, faculty & staff to connect with others to increase understanding. Participants will typically be paired with someone outside of Mason to expand their horizons.

There are multiple types of 1:1 conversation that you can sign up for. For example: 

  • Rural/Urban
  • Red/Blue (Conservative/Progressive)
  • Generational Differences (18-30 years old/61+ years old)
  • And more

When signing up, be sure to use Mason’s “Group Code”, which is GMU. 

Here’s a brief review of the focus of these conversations, as noted on the Braver Angels website: 

  • Emphasizes storytelling, listening and learning.
  • Both people say their piece. Neither is teaching the other or giving feedback about how to think or say things differently.
  • Participants take turns answering a series of questions of increasing depth, with the other person listening without interrupting, then responding with what they learned about the other’s views and experiences, and seeing if there is something in common.
  • Usually ends with both people coming up with action ideas to make a difference.
  • After the structured conversations are over, participants often decide to continue talking to each other in unstructured conversations. This allows them to dig deeper into issues…

Please read more about these 1:1 conversations, including the conversation guides, at: https://braverangels.org/online/1-1-conversations/

Click below to go directly to the sign-up form and be sure to enter GMU when asked for the “Group Code”: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd4wVguczz8vL8Z-Sfu5pxjYAGY78_X9GF607U3z7Zjc_YsTw/viewform

Important information:

  • This is for participants who are at least 18 years old. Please do not sign up if you are under 18 years old.
  • George Mason University does not vet participants, does not control who participants get paired with, and does not influence what happens during the conversations.
  • These 1:1 conversations should not be mandatory (e.g., required for a class with no other options for an assignment). Participants who sign up will share some information (e.g., contact information) with a third-party entity: Braver Angels. Only 1 or 2 people from Braver Angels will see their information, but participants should have the choice to participate if they want to. For faculty members who want to have it as part of a class, there should be an alternative activity for students who don’t want to engage in a 1:1 conversation organized by Braver Angels.
  • In the very rare occurrence that you have concerns that come up during or after the conversation please contact Nick Lennon, PhD (LEAD’s Director) at nlennon@gmu.edu and/or see these helpful George Mason University resources: