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Will Progressives’ Infighting Impede Our Progress? A Dialogue

Saturday, April 27, 2019; 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Easthampton Council on Aging, 19 Union Street, Easthampton

Norma Akamatsu
Trainer: Norma Akamatsu, Clinical Social Worker focused on reconciliation in families and communities.
Gail Perlman
Trainer: Gail Perlman, retired mediator and conflict resolution facilitator.

Both Norma and Gail are embers of Community Conversations of Western Massachusetts, a group focused on strengthening the ability of rivals to have productive conversations in our deeply polarized democracy.


Many observers have raised the problem that progressives’ internal disagreements weaken the power of our collective voice to effectuate change. In this class we will seek to identify the differences within this broad coalition and the recurrent tensions that can threaten our momentum as we advance toward the 2020 election. We will use a dialogue format to explore the values underlying differing positions and approaches. We will seek a nuanced understanding of the best uses of each approach and explore the extent to which a respectful shared platform is a viable and useful possibility.

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