It’s no secret that polarization is deepening divides across the US. Over the past few years, many people have started or joined what are called bridging organizations to try and bring people together across those divides and help people bridge their differences by cultivating relationships -helping us see each other’s humanity and connecting on commonalities. The hope is that this helps us work together to solve the problems in our communities and society.

In this episode, we welcome Graham Bodie, professor of integrated marketing communication at the University of Mississippi, and chief listening officer with the Listen First Project.

This is Civity Week on News in Context. Civity is a culture of deliberately engaging in relationships of respect and empathy with others who are different - moving people from us-versus-them to we-all-belong.

Listen First also bridges, focusing its efforts on elevating the impact, visibility, and voice of organizations doing bridging work

We explore how Listen First brings bridging organizations together, and works to bring more people to the experience of connecting across differences, and scale the work of bridging divides in communities across the U.S.

We also discuss the act of listening itself, the importance of learning how to listen, and what listening looks like in different contexts.

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