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Unique program explores differing views ahead of 2020 election

President Abraham Lincoln led a nation to recognize the dangers of extreme division in 1858. He could make the same caution for our nation in 2020. Is there any hope that we, the people, can work together when we are so far apart?

AVOW Advancing Voices Of Women is embarking on a year-long journey to find answers. AVOW and its media partner WANE 15 are facilitating broadcast discussions and Civil Conversations unlike any ever undertaken in Northeast Indiana … and the Civil Conversations are being hosted at First Wayne Street United Methodist Church!

AVOW has carefully selected 12 women who represent different viewpoints, political affiliations and demographic differences. A third of the women are Republican, a third are Democrats, and a third do not identify with either political party.

These everyday women are meeting throughout 2020 to begin to build relationships as they break bread together, and then discuss the polarizing topics that are dividing the nation: Gun control, healthcare, immigration, climate change, Me Too, education and more.

In the first session, AVOW trained the women in Civil Conversation and facilitated the development of a “Community Agreement” about how they discuss these really difficult subjects.

The year-long TV broadcast project will culminate with analysis by these women live on election night 2020, followed by a final program to reflect on the year.

First Wayne Street UMC member Marilyn Moran-Townsend serves on the Governing Committee and Virginia Kreamer is on the panel.

Her hope for this project: “Over the course of the year, the goal of the project is to see if the House Divided can find common room for different opinions while providing important ways to mend the divides with our own families, friends and co-workers.”