Nathan Bomey

Depolarizing America: Bridge Builders. Bringing People Together.

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How can we bring people together in a polarized age? A journalist explores stories of hope.

Common Ground Committee is part of a robust and growing national movement of bridge builders, who are working to reduce incivility and toxic polarization in America today. We look in-depth at this diverse, vital coalition: Who are they and how are they tackling racial, cultural, and political schisms?

Our guest, Nathan Bomey, is a reporter for USA Today, and author of the new book, Bridge Builders: Bringing People Together in a Polarized Age. In this interview, we hear more about people from many walks of life who are building the structure of a new, more united America.

“Despite its transformational qualities, bridge building often attracts considerable resistance,” says Bomey. “In many cases, that’s because bridges promise to disrupt the status quo for people who previously benefited from or preferred social isolation.”

This episode looks at a way forward.

Learn more about the bridge-building groups mentioned in this episode:

  • The Everyday Projects uses photography to challenge the stereotypes that distort our understanding of the world.
  • Be the Bridge is a Christian group led by Latasha Morrison that seeks to empower anti-racist bridge builders.
  • Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project creates bridges of communication, understanding and support between Americans and Iraqis in response to decades of sanctions, war, and occupation.
  • Common Ground Committee is a member of Bridge Alliance, a community of more than a hundred organizations across the country.

Nathan Bomey

Nathan Bomey is a reporter for USA TODAY and the author of three nationally published nonfiction books, including most recently Bridge Builders: Bringing People Together in a Polarized Age (2021, Polity Press). Bridge Builders features insights from Americans who are overcoming their differences, whether it’s politics, race, religion, class or culture.

Before joining USA TODAY in 2015, Nathan was a reporter for the Detroit Free Press and several newspapers in his home state of Michigan. His first book, Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back (2016, W.W. Norton & Co.), chronicles the saga of the city’s historic bankruptcy. His second book, After the Fact: The Erosion of Truth and the Inevitable Rise of Donald Trump (2018, Prometheus), explores the implications of the misinformation age.

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Nathan is the winner of several national journalism awards, including the National Headliner Award and various honors from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. You can follow him on Twitter @NathanBomey.

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race relations podcast

Monuments and Marriage: The Most Personal Lessons About Race

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To find common ground on improving race relations, start with personal stories.

The need to find common ground for improving race relations has rarely been more urgent than it is today. In this episode, we share profound insights from an interracial couple and a young African-American scholar and poet.

Caroline Randall Williams wrote a widely-read opinion column for The New York Times that added fresh insight to the debate over Confederate monuments and how America remembers its past. As a Black southern woman with white ancestors, she brings a passionate first-person point of view.

We also share the deeply personal story of Errol Toulon, the first African-American Sheriff of Suffolk County, New York, and his wife Tina MacNicholl Toulon, a physician liaison and business development executive. She’s white. He’s Black. Tina tells us what she’s learned since their marriage in 2016 about racism, “driving while Black,” and other indignities that are often part of a Black person’s daily life.

This episode includes edited extracts from longer interviews that were first published in 2020.

Caroline Randall Williams

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Harvard graduate Caroline Randall Williams is an award-winning poet, young adult novelist, and cookbook author as well as an activist, public intellectual, performance artist, and scholar. She joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University in the Fall of 2019 as a Writer-in-Residence in Medicine, Health, and Society while she continues to work and speak to the places where art, business, and scholarship intersect, moving people closer to their best lives and corporations closer to their ideal identities.

She has spoken in twenty states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia, in venues that range from as small as a classroom in a neighborhood school to as large as the Superdome mainstage during Essence Fest. To every speaking engagement, Caroline brings a fierce intelligence, disarming charm, a touch of glamour, and a depth of lived experience that belies her thirty-two years. She has taught in two of the poorest states in the union — Mississippi and West Virginia — and she has been educated at two of the richest universities on the globe — Harvard and Oxford.

Named by Southern Living as “One of the 50 People Changing the South,” the Cave Canem fellow has been published and featured in multiple journals, essay collections, and news outlets, including The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, CherryBombe, Garden and Gun, Essence and the New York Times.

Errol Toulon

On January 1, 2018, Errol D. Toulon, Jr., Ed.D., became Suffolk County, New York’s 67th Sheriff and the County’s first African-American to be elected to a non-judicial countywide office. As Suffolk’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, he works to serve and protect 1.5 million residents through innovative programs to reduce crime and recidivism, and the implementation of sound fiscal policies.

Sheriff Toulon launched the Sandy Hook Promise School Safety Initiative, which has taught more than 22,000 students how to recognize the signs of a peer in distress and report concerning information to a trusted adult. He has also made it a priority to get to the root causes of youthful delinquency and inter-generational crime. His work in this area includes launching the Deconstructing the Prison Pipeline Task Force; Choose Your Path for young adults; Choose to Thrive for incarcerated women; a Senior Citizen Program POD;  and the nation’s first jail-based Human Trafficking Initiative, which assesses all county inmates for signs of victimization. He has also expanded correctional rehabilitation programming aimed to reduce recidivism, and made significant improvements to the Sheriff’s Addiction Treatment Program, with programming offered to both pre-trial and sentenced individuals.

Sheriff Toulon has more than 30 years of criminal justice experience, centered upon corrections intelligence and combating gang violence. Prior to serving as Suffolk County Sheriff, he worked for the New York City Department of Correction. He received his Master’s degree in Business Administration and Doctorate in Educational Administration from Dowling College; an advanced certificate in Homeland Security Management from Long Island University; and attended leadership courses at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.

Tina Toulon

Tina Toulon is an accomplished expert in sales, marketing, and relationship building. She founded and was President of The Catamount Group, successful marketing, and list brokerage agency serving numerous corporate clients which she sold to Eway Direct.

She has also held senior positions with Epsilon Data Solutions and LSC Digital managing key client campaigns. Currently, she works with New York Cancer & Blood Specialists.

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Neal Temko, Scott Peterson

American Foreign Policy: Challenges, Threats, Opportunities.

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America’s foreign policy challenges are evolving rapidly. What are the implications?

The takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan; a more aggressive China and Russia; a newly-elected hardline President in Iran, are all major challenges facing President Joe Biden and his administration.

Our podcast guests are Ned Temko, who writes the weekly international affairs column “Patterns” for The Christian Science Monitor, and Scott Peterson, the Monitor’s Middle East bureau chief. Both are highly experienced and well-traveled foreign correspondents, who bring depth and expertise to coverage of global affairs.

Among the many topics covered in this episode: Similarities and differences to President Trump’s “America First” approach, the implications of the rapid withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, why China is the biggest overseas challenge for the Biden Administration, relations with America’s allies, and the increased threat to human rights in Asia and the Middle East.

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Ep. 37: American Foreign Policy – Challenges, Threats, Opportunities. 

Ned Temko

Ned Temko writes the weekly international affairs column “Patterns” for The Christian Science Monitor. A longtime Monitor foreign correspondent, he was based in Beirut, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Johannesburg before moving to London at the end of the 1980s for the Monitor’s television news program.

He has covered stories ranging from Middle East war and peace and the hostage crisis in Iran to the final years of Soviet Communism and apartheid in South Africa. As the Monitor TV correspondent, he also covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson covers the Middle East for The Christian Science Monitor from London, with a special focus on Iran, Iraq, and Syria. A well-traveled and experienced foreign correspondent who is also a photographer for Getty Images in New York, he has reported and photographed conflict and powerful human narratives across three continents for more than two decades.

Scott first joined the Monitor in 1996 as the Middle East correspondent based in Amman, Jordan, then became the Moscow bureau chief. In Afghanistan, he traveled with the Taliban in 1999, and later was witness to their collapse when Kabul fell in 2001.

He has made 30 visits to Iran, which form the backbone of his book Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran – A Journey Behind the Headlines (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He has also frequently reported from Iraq, first during the 1991 Kurdish uprising, when he secretly crossed the border from Turkey, before being forced to flee across the mountains with more than a million Kurds – and a handful of fellow journalists – when Saddam Hussein’s armed forces crushed the resistance.

Since 1997, he has traveled often to Baghdad, except for a two-year period when he was blacklisted by the former regime. He was embedded for one month with US Marines during their November 2004 assault on Fallujah. Prior to joining the Monitor, Scott covered the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Africa, and the Balkans for The Telegraph (London) and was based in Cyprus; Nairobi, Kenya; and Zagreb, Croatia.

Scott is the author of Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda (Routledge, 2000), about his work in war zones in Africa during six years in the 1990s.

Read more about Scott’s work on his website.

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Education Reimagined

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America wants transformation in its educational system. But can we agree on how to get there?

Convergence

Everyone wants the best education for their children. But parents and teachers don’t always agree on how to get there.

In this episode we talk with two education leaders whose views clashed when they first met. Dr. Gisèle Huff is a philanthropist and longtime proponent of school choice, including charter schools. Becky Pringle spent her career in public education. A science teacher for three decades, today she is president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union.

After some deep initial skepticism these women and other leaders came together and developed a transformational vision for US education. Along the way they developed a deep respect for one another, and a friendship that has helped each of them through personal tragedies.

This podcast was co-produced in partnership with Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and is one of a series of podcasts that Common Ground Committee and Convergence are producing together. Each highlights the common ground that resulted from one of Convergence’s structured dialogues-across-differences.

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Ep. 36: Education Reimagined

Becky Pringle

National Education Association president Becky Pringle is a fierce social justice warrior, defender of educator rights, an unrelenting advocate for all students and communities of color, and a valued and respected voice in the education arena. A middle school science teacher with 31 years of classroom experience, Becky is singularly focused on using her intellect, passion, and purpose to unite the members of the largest labor union with the entire nation, and using that collective power to transform public education into a racially and socially just and equitable system that is designed to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.

Becky’s passion for students and educators, combined with her first-hand classroom experience, equip her to lead the movement to reclaim public education as a common good. Becky was elected in 2020 as COVID-19 ravaged Black, Brown, and indigenous communities nationwide.

Before assuming NEA’s top post, Becky served as NEA vice president and before that as NEA secretary-treasurer. She directed NEA’s work to combat institutional racism, and spotlight systemic patterns of racism and educational injustice that impact students. Under Becky’s guidance, NEA works to widen access and opportunity by demanding changes to policies, programs, and practices. The Association’s goal is to ensure the systemic, fair treatment of people of all races so that equitable opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every student. This is why Becky is a staunch advocate for students who have disabilities, identify as LGBTQ+, are immigrants, or are English Language Learners.

Those who know Becky best know that she is also a passionate Philadelphia Eagles fan who loves anything purple, and for two special someones who hold the coveted title of “Best Nana B” in the world.

Gisèle Huff

Dr. Gisèle Huff is president of the Gerald Huff Fund for Humanity. The loss of her son Gerald to pancreatic cancer in 2018 spurred Dr. Huff to apply her talents and energy to a cause they both shared – concern about technological unemployment, the growing economic divide and the potential of UBI to help address these challenges on a broad scale. Dr. Huff served as San Francisco University High School’s director of development for twelve years, and the Executive Director for the Jaquelin Hume Foundation for over twenty years where her return on investment for launching blended learning is legendary. 

During her tenure funding initiatives and raising awareness for education reform, she has held numerous board positions, including founding member and chairman of the Board of Directors of The Learning Accelerator and the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, member of the Board of Directors of iNACOL and the Advisory Board of Education Reimagined. She currently serves on the board of Income Movement. 

Her substantial policy proficiency includes the Advisory Board for Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy, the advisory committee for the National Charter School Research Project at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, and the Executive Committee of the Digital Learning Council. She is the recipient of the Thomas A. Roe Award and the iNACOL Huff Lifetime Achievement Award. She earned a Ph.D. in political science, with a concentration in political philosophy, at Columbia University.

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The Long-Term Care Crisis

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America’s long-term care system needs much more than a facelift. Is there a common path to solutions?

Convergence

Most baby boomers who retire today can expect to live years longer than their parents or any previous generation. That’s the good news. But there’s a greatly increased need for long-term care as they age. The current system is in crisis and needs much more than a facelift.

In this episode, we hear first from a policy expert, Howard Gleckman, of the Tax Policy Institute, who explains why solutions to this crisis have been so hard to find. We also interview Stuart Butler and Paul Van de Water on their differences in overpaying for long-term care, and how they came to find common ground.

This podcast was co-produced in partnership with Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and is one of a series of podcasts that Common Ground Committee and Convergence are producing together.

Convergence brings together key stakeholders of an issue to develop policies that deliver the most value to the greatest number of people. These projects emphasize collaboration and often result in friendships among people with strongly held opposing positions. Convergence recently published Rethinking Care for Older Adults, a report with recommendations to improve care, housing, and services for seniors.

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Ep. 35: The Long-Term Care Crisis

Howard Gleckman

Howard Gleckman is a Senior Fellow at The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., where he is affiliated with both the Tax Policy Center and the Program on Retirement Policy.  He is the author of Caring for Our Parents (St. Martin’s Press).

He is the author of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center’s fiscal policy blog Tax Vox and a weekly blog on aging issues for Forbes.com.  

Mr. Gleckman served on the National Academy of Social Insurance Study Panel on Long-Term Services and Supports (2018-2019). He was a convener of the Long-Term Care Financing Collaborative (2012-2016), a 2006-2007 Media Fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation and a 2006-2008 Visiting Fellow at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. He was senior correspondent in the Washington bureau of Business Week, where he covered health and elder care as well as tax and budget issues, for nearly 20 years.

In 2016, he was named one of the nation’s top 50 Influencers in Aging by Next Avenue. He was a 2003 National Magazine Award finalist for “The Coming Revolution in Health Care” for Business Week.

Mr. Gleckman is president of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington, a member of the Johns Hopkins Health System’s National Capital Region Executive Governance Committee, and a trustee of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Patient Safety and Quality Committee. He previously served as chair of the board of trustees of Suburban Hospital (Bethesda, MD), trustee of Johns Hopkins Medicine (2017-2019), as a member of the board of the Symphony of the Potomac, and president of Tifereth Israel Congregation (Wash, DC).

Stuart Butler

Stuart Butler is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution. Prior to joining Brookings, Butler spent 35 years at The Heritage Foundation as director of the Center for Policy Innovation and earlier as vice president for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies.  He is also a visiting fellow at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a member of the editorial board of Health Affairs and the board of Mary’s Center, a group of Washington, D.C.-area community health centers.

Butler also serves on several advisory councils, including for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community, and the March of Dimes. He is also a member of the Advisory Group for the National Academy’s Culture of Health Program.

Previously he was a member of the Board on Health Care Services of the National Academy of Medicine and served on the panel of health advisers for the Congressional Budget Office. For over 10 years he taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and in 2002 he was an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard University. In 1990, he served as a member of Housing Secretary Jack Kemp’s Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.

Most recently, Butler has played a prominent role in the debate over health care and reform, arguing for solutions based on individual choice, state innovation, market competition, and social determinants of health. He has also been working on a wide range of other issues, including budget process reform, the future of higher education, economic mobility, and federal entitlement reform.

Stuart Butler was born in Shrewsbury, England and emigrated to the United States in 1975. He was educated at St. Andrews University in Scotland, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mathematics in 1968, a Master of Arts degree in economics and history in 1971, and a Ph.D. in American economic history in 1978.

Paul Van de Water

Paul N. Van de Water is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he specializes in Social Security, Medicare, and health coverage issues. His previous positions include Vice President for Health Policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the Social Security Administration, Associate Commissioner for Research, Evaluation, and Statistics at Social Security, and Assistant Director for Budget Analysis at the Congressional Budget Office. Van de Water holds an A.B. with the highest honors in economics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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daryl davis & Ryan Lo'Ree

How to Take Direct Action Against Hate

 

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What motivates people to leave hate groups? Hear from a race reconciliator and a former white supremacist.

What steps are needed to cause people to leave white supremacists and other hate groups of their own volition? In this deeply personal podcast episode, we explore the tactics and commitment needed to be successful in this work.

Daryl Davis, an award-winning Black musician, race reconciliator, and renowned lecturer, has used the power of human connection to convince hundreds of people to leave white supremacist groups. His fellow guest, Ryan Lo’Ree, a former white supremacist, is now an interventionist working to deradicalize people who have been lured into right and left-wing extremism.

These two men, who came from very different backgrounds and belief systems, discuss their life experiences, lessons learned in their work, and what motivates them to convince people to change their convictions.

Watch the recording of the Common Ground webinar with Daryl and Ryan: “Turning Racism and Extremism into Hope and Healing.”

Listen to our 2020 podcast with Daryl: “KKKrossing the Divide – A Black Man Talks With White Supremacists.”

Read Nicholas Kristof’s profile of Daryl in The New York Times— “How Can You Hate Me If You Don’t Even Know Me?”

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Ep. 34: How to Take Direct Action Against Hate

Daryl Davis

Award-winning musician Daryl Davis earned a degree in Jazz and tours nationally and internationally with The Daryl Davis Band. He is also the first Black author to interview KKK leaders and members, detailed in his book, Klan-Destine Relationships. Today, Davis owns numerous Klan robes and hoods, given to him by active members who renounced their racist ideology after meeting him. As a race reconciliator and lecturer, he has received numerous awards and is often sought out by news outlets as a consultant on race relations and white supremacy.

Ryan Lo’Ree

Ryan Lo’Ree, Light Upon Light Interventionist and Program Specialist, was once a right-wing extremist with the Rollingwood Skins, a Michigan-based offshoot of the largest Nazi movement in the United States. To finance these efforts, Ryan found himself in trouble with the law. After Ryan’s incarceration, he went through a process of transformation and healing centered around trauma associated with sexual, physical, and mental abuse he endured from male family members. Ryan has helped to pull dozens of former extremists out of hate groups in Michigan.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Depolarizing America: #ListenFirst and America Talks

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How can we push back against toxic polarization? Explore lessons learned by two brave leaders.

We examine two brave and successful attempts to get Americans of differing backgrounds and political convictions to engage in personal face-to-face conversations.

America Talks and the National Week of Conversation, both held in mid-June, were part of ongoing efforts to push back against deep divides and toxic polarization.

In this episode, we discuss lessons learned, insights gained, and the vital difference between talking and listening. Our guests are Kristin Hansen, Executive Director at Civic Health Project and Director at AllSides; and Mizell Stewart, Vice President, News Performance, Talent & Partnerships for Gannett and the USA Today Network. Both were involved in this new initiative.

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Ep. 33: Depolarizing America – #ListenFirst and America Talks

Kristin Hansen

Kristin Hansen is Executive Director at Civic Health Project, Director at the media technology company AllSides, and Lecturer in Management at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She contributes her executive skills and experience to the movement across the United States to reduce polarization, improve civil discourse, and restore democracy. Kristin serves as an advisor for AllSides’ online civil discourse and dialogue initiatives including America Talks and AllSides Connect.

Mizell Stewart III

Mizell Stewart III is Vice President, News Performance, Talent & Partnerships for Gannett and the USA TODAY Network. He is the former Chief Content Officer of Journal Media Group and former VP/Content of the Newspaper Division of The E.W. Scripps Company. Earlier in his career, he led newsrooms in Akron, Ohio; Evansville, Indiana; and Tallahassee, Florida.

Want to hear more? Check out our podcast page to see all the discussions!

Law and Reform

Guardrails of Democracy: Law and Reform

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America’s political system is being challenged. How can our democracy be strengthened?

American democracy is being challenged by hyper-polarization, widespread distrust of competing parties, and vocal extremists whose intrenched views further divide the nation. In a recent poll: Few in US say democracy is working very well, only one-in-six Americans said our democratic system is working very well, while nearly two-in-three voters told a Pew Research Center survey that major reforms are needed.

“I certainly feel we are more vulnerable than we have ever been in the modern era,” says our podcast guest, constitutional law scholar Rick Pildes, a professor at New York University’s School of Law and author of the book The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process.

In this episode, we discuss proposed changes aimed at strengthening democracy, particularly elections — from ranked choice voting and reform of political primaries, to limiting gerrymandering, and campaign finance reform.

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Ep. 32: Guardrails of Democracy – Law & Reform

Richard Pildes

Richard Pildes is one of the nation’s leading scholars of constitutional law and a specialist in legal issues concerning democracy. A former law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, he has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute, and has also received recognition as a Guggenheim Fellow and a Carnegie Scholar. In dozens of articles and his acclaimed casebook, The Law of Democracy, he has helped create an entirely new field of study in the law schools. His work in this field systematically explores legal and policy issues concerning the structure of democratic elections and institutions, such as the role of money in politics, the design of election districts, the regulation of political parties, the structure of voting systems, the representation of minority interests in democratic institutions, and similar issues.

He has written on the rise of political polarization in the United States, the transformation of the presidential nominations process, the Voting Rights Act (including editing a book titled The Future of the Voting Rights Act), the dysfunction of America’s political processes, the role of the Supreme Court in overseeing American democracy, and the powers of the American President and Congress. In addition to his scholarship in these areas, he has written on national-security law, the design of the regulatory state, and American constitutional history and theory. As a lawyer, Pildes has successfully argued voting-rights and election-law cases before the United States Supreme Court and the courts of appeals, and as a well-known public commentator, he writes frequently for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and was part of the Emmy-nominated NBC breaking-news team for coverage of the 2000 Bush v. Gore contest.

Environment & Climate Change: Can Young Americans Bridge the Gap?

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They agree the government should take action on climate change. Can young voters lead the way to common ground?

Young Americans, aged 18-29, believe that the threat from climate change is real regardless of their ideological leanings, compared to older Americans. Recent polling shows that Republican voters, born after 1980, are much more likely than older Republicans to think that government efforts to reduce climate change have been insufficient (52% vs. 31%).

In this episode, we ask: can the youngest generation of voters put aside partisan differences and agree on policies needed to protect climate and the environment as well as address the needs of business and the economy? We discuss the roles of government and business, and how to find common ground.

Our guests are Danielle Butcher, a conservative political executive and a leader of the American Conservation Coalition; and a liberal, Andrew Brennen, who is a National Geographic Explorer and Education Fellow, who co-founded the Kentucky Student Voice Team.

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Ep. 31: Environment and Climate Change – Can Young Americans Bridge the Gap?

Andrew Brennen

Andrew Brennen is a National Geographic Explorer and Education Fellow supporting youth led movements and organizations around the globe. As a junior in high school he co-founded the Kentucky Student Voice Team, which helps to amplify and elevate students as partners in improving Kentucky schools.

Today, the Kentucky Student Voice Team consists of over 150 young people from across the Commonwealth and serves as a national model for how young people can hold educational institutions accountable. Andrew graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in political science and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Danielle Butcher

Danielle Butcher is a conservative political executive who aids organizations in developing and implementing their national strategies. Danielle currently serves as Executive Vice President of the American Conservation Coalition and on the Advisory Board of the British Conservation Alliance, where she merges her love of leadership with her passions for free-market capitalism and the environment. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) working on environmental and energy issues. Danielle was recently named to 2020’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

She has spoken at several prominent conservative events including CPAC, appeared as a frequent guest on Fox News Radio and NPR, and has had her work featured in publications such as The Times, The Hill, The Washington Examiner, VOX, and more. With her work prior to ACC, she served in leadership roles at various conservative nonprofits and organizations. Danielle attended Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she studied Political Science and Rhetoric Communications.

Environment and Climate in Business

Environment and Climate: Can Business Bridge The Gap?

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Banks & businesses are betting big on sustainable investments. Can they help politicians bridge the gap on climate change?

When Joe Biden talks about the challenge of fighting climate change, he mentions jobs: not green jobs or renewable energy jobs, but “millions of good paying union jobs.”

The new administration is working to reframe the conversation about the environment at a time when many of Wall Street’s largest banks and corporations are betting big on sustainable investments — from electric cars and trucks to new kinds of renewable and carbon-free energy.

On Let’s Find Common Ground, we interview journalists Stephanie Hanes and Mark Trumbull of The Christian Science Monitor, and learn the latest on the changing landscape in the great debate over the environment and climate. Can business help politicians from both major parties bridge some of their differences? Listen to find out.

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Ep. 30 – Environment and Climate: Can Business Bridge the Gap?

Stephanie Hanes

Stephanie Hanes is The Christian Science Monitor’s environment and climate change writer.  After covering justice for both The Concord Monitor and The Baltimore Sun newspapers, she began writing for the Monitor as a correspondent from southern Africa in the mid 2000s. There, she took particular interest in the many intersections of development, conflict, conservation and culture. Her environmental reporting in Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and elsewhere led to her book, White Man’s Game: Saving Animals, Rebuilding Eden and other Myths of Conservation in Africa (Henry Holt/Macmillan, 2017).

From the US, Hanes has written broadly on subjects ranging from climate and the environment to education, families, food and farming. She has been an Alicia Patterson fellow and a multiple-time grant recipient from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.  She holds teaching positions at Yale University’s School of the Environment and The College of William & Mary.

Read more by Stephanie Hanes: Biden Wants to Tackle Climate Change. His Pitch is All About Jobs.

Mark Trumbull

Mark Trumbull is currently serving as The Christian Science Monitor’s economy and science editor. He has reported for the Monitor from both US coasts while maintaining ties to the Midwest where he grew up. Having majored in history during college, he’s aware that today’s linkages between economic and environmental sustainability echo age-old challenges that humans have faced before.

Mark’s reporting on climate change has included stories on shifts among Republican lawmakers, state governments, neighborhoods, and the business community. He has written about some of the “big ideas” for policy, like a carbon tax or carbon “dividends,” and the tension between environmental regulation and economic freedom. On a lighter note (or maybe heaviest of all) he’s explored how people with differing views can “talk turkey” constructively with one another – a step, perhaps, toward finding durable points of agreement.

Read more from Mark Trumbull and Stephanie Hanes: Explore The Christian Science Monitor’s Environment page.

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