- I joined about 400 highly-regarded metro-Milwaukee business and nonprofit leaders to hear a presentation from former food industry CEO, Katherine Gehl, and Harvard Business School economist, Dr. Michael Porter, on “Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America”, which also included a pathway to fix the political system. The response and desire to get involved was overwhelmingly positive.
- I participated in a lively “Red & Blue Dialogue” on the topic of higher education, which was facilitated by the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion and sponsored by the Millennial Action Project, an organization that has successfully pulled together over 600 federal and state legislators to focus on bipartisan policy solutions.
- I attended Ex Fabula's session on “Nonprofits, Race and Inclusion: Stories and Conversation”, where I was able to network with community leaders committed to unifying people and solving problems.
- Our Unite America-Milwaukee chapter hosted a 92Y-sponsored Ben Franklin Circle Discussion on the virtue of justice as it relates to immigration, which proved that as diverse as we may be, we can find common ground to solve our shared problems.
These face-to-face gatherings were refreshing and energizing experiences that, above all else, instilled hope. All across the United States, our movement is building momentum through collective efforts with like-minded organizations that share a passion for fostering unity and facilitating problem-solving. Through these experiences, we have learned several key factors of success:
- Establish ground rules for listening and sharing. Our ABC’s of discussion are: Be… Accurate, Brief, and Courteous.
- Avoid “trigger” words and learn to use replacement words and phrases that communicate differences in a way that leads to productive discourse. Look out for my next guest blog with Unite America for a dynamic list of replacements and a more in-depth discussion about making this change.
- Consensus can be achieved and the government works best when a balanced solution respects the will of the majority, even as it protects the rights of the minority. James Madison covered this concept so eloquently in the Federalist Papers.
I encourage everyone to participate in these types of opportunities in your communities; they are sprouting up everywhere in Meetups, Facebook Groups, and local non-profits. Unite America’s mission may take more than one election cycle to come to complete fruition, but I believe that it is nonetheless worth pursuing to ensure a better future for our country and our children.
Rich Eng is the Chapter Leader of the Unite America Milwaukee Chapter.
Views and opinions expressed in guest posts do not necessarily reflect those of Unite America.