"Polarization is the Mother of Extremism" | Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Ideas Beyond Borders
(Mis)perceptions of "The Other" | Uriel Epshtein, Renew Democracy Initiative
Iraqi-born human-rights activist Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is a firm believer that education and a free flow of ideas across the world can combat extremism. His organization, Ideas Beyond Borders, is dedicated to empowering the vulnerable with hope and preventing extremism before it takes root. For example, they have translated more than two million words into Arabic that promote diversity of ideas.
"I have to instill confidence in every voter, not just the people in my party." | Kim Wyman, WA Secretary of State
The Renew Democracy Initiative seeks to revitalize the political center by educating the American public about the principles fundamental to our liberal democracy. RDI’s executive director, Uriel Epshtein, has developed an understanding of the importance of trying to reconcile people's perceptions of "the other" over his entire life.
"If I'm not challenging your world view...I'm not doing my job" | Deb Mashek, Heterodox Academy
For four years, Washington's Secretary of State Kim Wyman was the only Republican to hold statewide office across the entire West Coast. You could say she knows a thing or two about working across the aisle.
"Polarization Is Not the Problem" | Professor Morris P. Fiorina
Did you ever choose to stay quiet in a college classroom in fear of rustling feathers? If so, the Heterodox Academy wants you to know you’re not alone. Founded in 2015, Heterodox is a network of over 2,500 academics across the country that are committed to having a diversity of viewpoints in the classroom. We spoke with their executive director, Deb Mashek, about their important work and about two elements that are critical to learning: discomfort and challenge.
The McCain Institute Is On A Mission to Get Us In the Arena | Ambassador Kurt Volker
Morris P. Fiorina is an optimistic political scientist like few others. He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and worked in steel mills to put himself through college. A professor at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Fiorina has spent much of his life studying the American electorate. In this episode, Fiorina busts political myths, explains the difference between sorting and polarization and offers a reassuring perspective on today's political climate.
Putting (Customer) Service Back in News | Jenna Lee
Since the fall, the McCain Institute has used its #MavericksNeeded campaign to stand up against injustice and defend the dignity of all people. Following President Trump’s latest round of tweets about Senator McCain, the institute released a fact sheet about the Senator’s legacy to set the record straight.
In this episode, we sit down with Ambassador Kurt Volker, Executive Director of the McCain Institute and former US Ambassador to NATO, to discuss Senator McCain’s legacy as well as the work the Institute is doing to get more citizens engaged and In the Arena.
Voters Not Politicians | Katie Fahey
In journalist Jenna Lee’s words, it’s all too easy to feel disgusted reading and watching the news these days. That’s why the former Fox News co-anchor is on a mission to produce a refreshing, customer service-centered alternative: SmatHER News. The non-partisan platform is working to be a source consumers can not only trust, but also enjoy.
Building A Movement: Democracy Entrepreneurs | Alan Khazei
The bright and bubbly Katie Fahey of Grand Rapids, Michigan wanted to do something that captured the energy of the 2016 election that people from across the aisle could actually unite over. Sound impossible? Not to Katie. What started as a Facebook post led to hundreds of thousands of Michiganders taking on the fight to tackle gerrymandering.
All In Together: Rising Tides Lift All Boats
Alan Khazei builds movements. First, it was expanding service through City Year, which later became the brainchild for AmeriCorps (which has facilitated 1.2 billion hours of public service!). Then it was expanding social entrepreneurship through Be the Change. Today Alan is spearheading the group Democracy Entrepreneurs, which just hosted its first Democracy Entrepreneurship Summit at the Harvard Kennedy School. Inspired in part by seeing his own family divided by the 2016 election, he’s working “to get underneath what is going on in our democracy” and to support organizations in this space.
In the fall of 2016, former journalist Erin Ruberry set out to create In Better News, a newsletter that highlights acts of kindness from Americans across the country. Erin built an online space focussed on the Good joins Sanity to talk about her mission to make the internet a happier place (and to talk about the one and only Dolly Parton!).