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Community Book Clubs

SPRING 2023

I Never Thought of It That Way: How To Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times

By Monica Guzman

Journalist Mónica Guzmán is the loving liberal daughter of Mexican immigrants who voted—twice—for Donald Trump. When the country could no longer see straight across the political divide, Mónica set out to find what was blinding us and discovered the most eye-opening tool we’re not using: our own built-in curiosity. 

Partisanship is up, trust is down, and our social media feeds make us sure we’re right and everyone else is ignorant (or worse). But avoiding one another is hurting our relationships and our society.

In this timely, personal guide, Mónica, the chief storyteller for the national cross-partisan depolarization organization Braver Angels, takes you to the real front lines of a crisis that threatens to grind America to a halt—broken conversations among confounded people. She shows you how to overcome the fear and certainty that surround us to finally do what only seems impossible: understand and even learn from people in your life whose whole worldview is different from or even opposed to yours. 

Drawing from cross-partisan conversations she’s had, organized, or witnessed everywhere from the echo chambers on social media to the wheat fields in Oregon to raw, unfiltered fights with her own family on election night, Mónica shows how you can put your natural sense of wonder to work for you immediately, finding the answers you need by talking with people—rather than about them—and asking the questions you want, curiously.

 

Mónica Guzmán is a bridge builder, journalist, and entrepreneur who lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. She’s a senior fellow for public practice at Braver Angels, the nation’s largest cross-partisan grassroots organization working to depolarize America. Guzmán also hosts a live interview series at Crosscut and co-founded the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey.

Guzman studied social and political division as a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and researched how journalists can rethink their roles to better meet the needs of the participatory public as a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. She was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle and served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes

Bridges to Healing US: Stories and Strategies for Racial Healing

By Erin Jones

Journalist Mónica Guzmán is the loving liberal daughter of Mexican immigrants who voted—twice—for Donald Trump. When the country could no longer see straight across the political divide, Mónica set out to find what was blinding us and discovered the most eye-opening tool we’re not using: our own built-in curiosity. 

Partisanship is up, trust is down, and our social media feeds make us sure we’re right and everyone else is ignorant (or worse). But avoiding one another is hurting our relationships and our society.

In this timely, personal guide, Mónica, the chief storyteller for the national cross-partisan depolarization organization Braver Angels, takes you to the real front lines of a crisis that threatens to grind America to a halt—broken conversations among confounded people. She shows you how to overcome the fear and certainty that surround us to finally do what only seems impossible: understand and even learn from people in your life whose whole worldview is different from or even opposed to yours. 

Drawing from cross-partisan conversations she’s had, organized, or witnessed everywhere from the echo chambers on social media to the wheat fields in Oregon to raw, unfiltered fights with her own family on election night, Mónica shows how you can put your natural sense of wonder to work for you immediately, finding the answers you need by talking with people—rather than about them—and asking the questions you want, curiously.

 

Mónica Guzmán is a bridge builder, journalist, and entrepreneur who lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. She’s a senior fellow for public practice at Braver Angels, the nation’s largest cross-partisan grassroots organization working to depolarize America. Guzmán also hosts a live interview series at Crosscut and co-founded the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey.

Guzman studied social and political division as a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and researched how journalists can rethink their roles to better meet the needs of the participatory public as a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. She was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle and served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes

Sparking Courageous Conversations

With grant support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we are thrilled to launch our inaugural Community Book Club to spark courageous conversations in communities throughout our region that will drive the 2023 Community Leadership Summit.

Together, we will read, discuss and gather insights from books that help bridge gaps in understanding from differing points of view. The first selection will be Monica Guzman’s I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times. The second book selection is Bridges to Heal US: Stories and Strategies for Racial Healing by Erin Jones. Both are well-respected authors hailing from the Pacific Northwest.

Become a Book Club Host!

Gather your circle and submit your book host application! We are seeking book hosts from across our region to gather with friends, colleagues and neighbors for transformational discussions around our two book selections.

Host applications close February 9, 2023.

Submit your host application.

Fill out your book club host application before February 9.

Gather your book club participants.

Recruit your friends, colleagues and neighbors to join your club.

Read and discuss!

Book clubs launch in March.

FAQS

We will provide each book club host with a hosting roadmap. We recommend clubs meet at least twice, once to discuss each book selection. Virtual or in-person, each club may determine what format works best. 

The book clubs will launch in March and culminate in two events this spring. The first event on May 2 will feature a keynote and fireside chat with Monica Guzman, author of the first book club selection. The second event in early June will feature the second book selection by Erin Jones. Hosts will receive a roadmap with a sample timeline for groups to read each book leading up to the events.

We encourage everyone in our region to read, discuss and gather insights from this year’s book selections. Share this one-pager with friends, family, colleagues and neighbors to spread the word!

Registration for book club members opens February 2. Your book club members will have the option to select your book club during registration. 

Book club host registration is free and includes a complimentary book! Book club members will have the option to purchase one or both of the books during registration at a reduced rate. 

SAVE THE DATE

MAY 2, 2023

Our book clubs will culminate
in two events this spring,
the first featuring Monica Guzman
on May 2.

Other Questions?

Contact our book club organizer Scott Ferguson, Associate Director of Grants.

Scott Ferguson
Associate Director of Grants
509-624-2606 | sferguson@innovia.org

Special Thank You to Our 2023 Sponsors

PRESENTING SPONSOR
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