Can Empathy Heal The Divide? Upcoming Radical Empathy Forum at Berkeley, California

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BridgeUSA, in conjunction with the Empathy Tent, will be hosting a panel featuring candidates running for California Assembly District 15 on Saturday, April 7th, with the goal of understanding how people can build a more empathetic and caring political culture in California’s 15th district, in California statewide, and in the nation as a whole. The Radical Empathy Forum will practice the “Empathy Circle” dialogue process in order to promote constructive discussion amongst the Democrats and one Republican vying for the seat. The forum will be focused around the increasing divisions along lines of race, class, and political party both locally and nationally, along with what the potential assembly member plans to do to address such divisions.

Empathy Tent has, in the past, set up and practiced empathetic listening and discussions at rallies and riots across the state of California, seeking to create an oasis of empathetic discourse in otherwise hostile settings with the goal of getting rioters, protesters, and impassioned attendees of these rallies to express their feelings to a listening set of ears. BridgeUSA has hosted similar events in which partisan opposites are brought together to sit down and earnestly engage with one another on a variety of political topics.

Acclaimed monologist, Josh Kornbluth, will open the event by introducing his timely video “The Empathy Circuit”. This forum is sponsored by Contra Costa OFA, Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, East Bay Young Democrats, Berkeley Citizens Action Steering Committee, and others. This first of its kind forum will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, April 7th, in the Genetics and Plant Biology building on the University of California, Berkeley, campus from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. Registration can be found on Facebook here. The event is free and open to the public.

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