Courageous Dialogues: Moving Beyond Polarization is a project that aims to build skills, capacity and willingness to understand how we as a society have come to be so divided on so many issues of social concern and what we can do to overcome these divisions.
It is important to find ways of helping us all move beyond polarization so we can bring our best selves forward to collaborate around solving the big social and environmental problems we face.
This is a collaborative project led by the Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College and Selkirk Innovates along with Capilano University and Vancouver Community College.
Read our literature review and annotated bibliographies.
What is Polarization?
Polarization is a complex social dynamic that occurs when an issue that involves many different people, concerns and opinions is reduced to two opposing sides— “for or against” or “us vs them.” It goes well beyond ordinary disagreement. In fact, it can lead us to avoid debate or consideration of others’ ideas completely. When we believe that we alone hold the truth, we may see differences of opinion, values and beliefs as threatening and intolerable. These dynamics disrupt effective patterns of home and workplace communication. Instead of working with difference and making conflict constructive, we allow polarization to create painful divisions that are hard to overcome.
The project aims to identify tools, strategies and other resources for helping our communities overcome polarization.
Moving Beyond Polarization: Community Learning Circles
We are currently hosting community learning circles exploring strategies and tools for overcoming polarization.
Our goal is to create an even greater collection of resources, review them and make them available to other people who want to overcome polarization.
Forms for participants
If you are interested in learning more about the project, please contact Project Director Jennie Barron.
People & Culture Coordinator
Advisor, Community Education & Workplace Training
Advisor, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Vancouver Community College
Advisor, Adult Education
Student Research Assistant
Advisor at large
Independent Consultant, Adult Development and Public Participation
Continuing Education & Training Association of BC (CETA)
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL)
Community Literacy Coordinator, Settlement Program Lead
Decoda Literacy Solutions
Courageous Dialogues: Moving Beyond Polarization is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.