A Note from Samar Ali
We are all waiting, and I am waiting with you. The uncertainty of this election exacerbates feelings of anxiety, distrust, and division. Today I write to you – not in anger, elation, or indifference – but with a task for each of us. I write to you with a plan of action.
1. Together, while we recognize that we are all neighbors, we also recognize that we share this democracy. This election is about us. We have a responsibility to hold our leaders accountable and to protect our neighbors. I ask each of you to hold our system to the highest standard, recognizing that, when we do so, we are protecting each other. We have a duty to have our voices heard in the same way we have a duty to respect our country and its systems. I ask each of you to wait patiently for these results. While we wait, we will reflect on our collective duty to one another. As you wait, think about your neighbors. Think about your family. Think about your friends. Think about strangers. Think about every, single person who calls themselves an American and believes in democracy. That’s who makes up our country, and we have a greater responsibility to one another than we do any candidate.
2. While we make this commitment to build our communities, we can also acknowledge that America has never been a perfect democracy. That is why I work so hard at Millions of Conversations to facilitate the discourse that will build up our democracy. We all have a role to play in this commitment to building community and strengthening the American democratic experiment. Many of us are not elected officials. Some of us may have absolutely no role in politics. That does not limit our ability to lift one another up. Fighting for a just democracy is so much more than just one election. A just democracy requires each of us to listen to one another, to call out injustices, and to commit ourselves to living together, as one country.
As we continue on through the next day, months, and four years, I encourage each of us to renew our commitment to listening. This election was divisive. It exacerbated existing divisions and made us feel like we were no longer part of one nation. This election will not fix that feeling. One man cannot fix the division that exists in the United States today. However, together, we can transcend our divides. Today I ask you to do something simple: listen to your neighbor. Listen to a human being who lives near you. Listen and be heard. With each conversation, we can begin to heal. Together, make this commitment for the rest of our lives when we #PledgeToListen to one another and see each other for who we are: human beings, neighbors, and Americans.
We are excited to announce an ongoing print advertising campaign that will appear in The Tennessean over the next few months. Above, you will find our first piece. You can also share it on Instagram.
You’re Invited: Depolarization Summit
Together, Millions of Conversations, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, Vanderbilt University, and the Fetzer Institute will host a virtual Depolarization Summit on November 19 from 10 am to 3 pm ET to seek insights from thought leaders on how to prepare for and proactively address political violence following the 2020 presidential election. During the event, we will share emerging insights and best practices on addressing division, strengthening civil society, and facilitating peace and mediation following the election season. Through a series of four workshops, participants will forge new connections, share experiences, and shift the collective posture from reactive to proactive.
Join us as we come together to engage and create proactive plans for depolarization in our communities. There is no cost for attendance.
Watch Something Uplifting
Our recent episode of the Engine for Art, Democracy & Justice motivated all of us to work for change. Take a minute and watch it with a friend or family member. You can register for upcoming EADJ episodes here.
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