A Declaration of Dialogue

On June 11-13, Let’s Talk America and the Democracy in America
Project, two dialogue initiatives aimed at bridging the left-right
divide, co-hosted two dozen thought leaders from across the
political spectrum at the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan,
to explore the potential to bridge their political differences
through dialogue. It worked better than anyone dared hope. Shared
concerns and perspectives that never show their faces in debates
bubbled up in the space of dialogue, leading the group to sign this

We respect our differences and recognize America needs every one
of our viewpoints, ideas, and passions — even those we don’t agree
with — to keep our democracy vital and alive;

We recognize that meeting here and across our land for dialogues
across differences builds trust, understanding, respect, and
empowerment — the conditions necessary for freedom and democracy
to live in us and around us;

And, therefore, each still grounded in our own considered views
(conscience and convictions), we commit ourselves and our
communities of interest to foster dialogue across the many divides
in America, in large and small groups, to build trust, insight, and
inspired action toward the more perfect union we all

The signers included Ginny Sloan, founder of the Constitution
Project; Bob Barr, National Rifle Association board member and
former Republican congressman; Barbara Marx Hubbard of the
Foundation for Conscious Evolution; David Keene, chairman of the
American Conservative Union; Tom Atlee, president of the
Co-Intelligence Institute; Mark Satin, author of Radical
; and Bill Thomson, national field director of the
Christian Coalition. To see the full list of signatories and the
text of the declaration, and to add your name, log on to

How to Get Involved

Democracy in America Convention — In
late September, with the Democratic and Republican conventions
behind us, the Democracy in America Project is convening a ‘We the
People’ convention in Springfield, Illinois, bringing several
hundred people together to explore what it is that unites them as
Americans. To register for the convention, September 26-29, visit

Let’s Talk America — LTA is
continuing to organize cross-spectrum political dialogues in
neighborhoods across the country. To find or host a conversation in
your neighborhood, log on to

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