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Advocacy group, church host conversations to help bridge the political divide

Posted at 6:12 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 18:12:57-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — American has split down the middle when it comes to who should be president.

That split is causing rising tensions in many communities.

In the Capital City, groups are stepping up to say we're stronger together with a message that togetherness starts by addressing the very thing dividing the country: politics.

In the middle of a contentious election, that dreaded dinner table topic is virtually unavoidable.

For some, politics is the centerpiece of discussion and a way to unite as one.

"Half of our country isn't going to just go away and and and let us do it our way," said Liz Joyner, the CEO of Village Square. "And so it's a message that now's the time for us to invest in those relationships."

The cost of that investment is a conversation.

"We have consistently found that we learn tremendous things from speaking to people who don't see it our way," Joyner said.

Joyner created Village Square 15 years ago as a way for people with opposing viewpoints and backgrounds to see life through someone else's eyes.

"It's how you fix it," said Joyner. "You gather with people who are neighbors and spend less time, you know, worried about national politics and more time gathering with people who can be in your lives."

The hot topic is even seeping into religion.

"Often we see and church and politics separate, and really we are political and spiritual beings and the class we have offered an opportunity for dialogue and discussion," said Rev. Abi Moon., the assistant rector at St. John's Episcopal.

St. John's Episcopal is hosting sessions to talk about the role of religion and politics in Tallahassee, hoping people see past party lines.

"That means seeking common ground and having relationships with each other that go deeper than who you vote for on a specific day," Moon said. "But value the relationship you have with your children, common ground as parents, peers within the workplace, people who care about the people down the street and right beside us."

Village Square is hosting a virtual conversation next Friday. St. John's conversation is Tuesday.