MPR News with Angela Davis

Talking Sense: The roots of political polarization

On Feb. 27, a group of Minnesotans gathered in Woodbury to share how political division has affected their communities and personal lives.   

The group was a mix of conservatives, liberals and independents with a common purpose: to learn how to communicate without letting their political views conflict with important relationships.

This in-person discussion was the first in a series from Talking Sense, MPR News’ online and in-person platform to help Minnesotans have hard conversations, better.

Bill Doherty, co-founder of Braver Angels, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that works to help people bridge political divides guided the conversation and asked the audience to share their thoughts on sources of polarization today.

MPR News host Angela Davis takes us through the first in-person discussion and workshop from Talking Sense and Braver Angels. 

The next in-person Talking Sense event will be held on Wednesday, April 24 at the Chateau Theatre in Rochester. It will be open to students and members of the community.


  • 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. 

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Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.