How to have good conversations across political divides

Coming up at 9 a.m. on Thursday

four people in broadcast studio
From left to right: MPR News host Angela Davis talks with MPR News reporter Catharine Richert, therapist and mental health consultant Corey Yeager and Braver Angels co-founder Bill Doherty in an MPR News studio in the Kling Public Media Center in St. Paul on Dec. 19, 2023.
Gretchen Brown | MPR News 2023

Ever felt like you had to choose between your political convictions and a friendship? Or that you had to hide what you believe to protect family ties?  

During what promises to be a divisive election year, MPR News and the nonprofit organization Braver Angels are partnering to bring Minnesotans Talking Sense, an online and in-person platform to help people have hard conversations, better.  

Talking Sense will teach Minnesotans how to think through these challenging conversations in advance, without letting the need to “win” and change minds stand in the way of preserving important relationships.

Talking Sense aims to help people develop a deeper understanding of where their friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors are coming from, even when we disagree, and to lay the groundwork for additional conversations and connections in the future.

In this encore conversation, MPR News host Angela Davis talks about the new Talking Sense project and asks experts how media contributes to political division, how we can minimize its impact on our most important relationships and how to navigate challenging political conversations.


  • Bill Doherty is co-founder of Braver Angels, a nonprofit that seeks to restore trust, respect and goodwill in American politics. He’s also a professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota.  

  • Corey Yeager is a licensed marriage and family therapist and director of mental wellness for the XFL professional football league. He previously held a similar position with the Detroit Pistons and works with professional athletes in the NBA and NFL. He has a doctorate in family social science, runs his own therapy and consulting business Harmony Road and sits on the board of WonderMind, the mental wellness arm of musician and actress Selena Gomez.

  • Catharine Richert is a correspondent for MPR News based in Rochester. Talking Sense is a project she dreamed up after years of covering politics and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.

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