For Immediate Release Contact: Colleen Rice, Executive Director

Leadership Medina County

330-721-7118 ext. 1

colleen@leadershipmedinacounty.org

Medina County Residents Share How to Bridge Political Divide

Medina, OH—Fifty-three people who live or work in Medina County participated in Bridging the Political Divide over eight sessions facilitated by Leadership Medina County and the Medina Diversity Project in May 2020. There are so many things that unite us; our participants shared that a love for our children, freedom, opportunity, and hard work bring us together as Americans. Many times, in American History, for example, America’s people have united together to pick up the pieces after hurricanes, tornados, and terrorist attacks. That’s the America they love. At the same time, there are so many things that divide us: religion, politics, social status, race, etc. The people we talked with said that while both political parties have their faults, both parties are ultimately working to improve the country, and most elected officials have a deep love for their country and community. A 2-minute video with four participants is available at https://youtu.be/LfxRDbF8mdE.

So why do we tend to lose perspective when we are trying to get to the same destination? Listen to the wisdom from 53 people on gaining perspective and healing the divide. They said we need to:

1. Enter a political conversation with the attitude of being non-judgmental and civilly engage with others that differ from yourself, face to face.

2. Practice listening, understanding, and not dismissing. Listen like you are listening to a friend with a problem or struggle. Listen more than you talk, and don’t focus on the differences.

3. Register people to vote. Free and fair elections are vital to our country.

4. Have courage to speak up, protest, and stand up for what’s right. Don’t destroy others property to get a point across.

5. Appreciate and respect the values, views, and opinions of people based on their experiences. Be curious. Focus on what we have in common. Put yourself in their shoes of others and consider their point of view.

6. Get rid of labels and focus on people. Realize that candidates are more than just Democrats and Republicans.

7. Take responsibility with social media and news that you share. What you share can promote or destroy the political divide. Take sensitive conversations offline and respond privately. Don’t make decisions based on what you read on social media.

8. Be educated, listen, research, and read. Look at the facts and not the emotions. Look at issues from both sides.

9. Focus on what we want. Togetherness. Respect. Whatever you give attention to will bloom and blossom.

Can you see a bridge forming? We can. Let us know if you would like to be a part of future conversations. For more information visit https://medinadiversityproject.org/ or www.leadershipmedinacounty.org.

 

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