October 16, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

How a new Vanderbilt project plans to overcome America’s divide

At a time when the country is more divided than ever, a new project based in Nashville hopes to help the nation overcome its differences to build a better and stronger America. 

The Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy will include community conversations, white papers, podcasts and briefings with leading experts while elevating the importance of evidence-based reasoning. 

But how do you unite a polarized country when some facts can’t be agreed upon, truths can be misinterpreted  and differing viewpoints can be dismissed as fake? 

One of the first steps is listening, project co-chair Samar Ali told The Tennessean. 

“When you begin to listen to the other person, you humanize them,” Ali said. “When you humanize them, you start to empathize with their story. You start to see their perspective. You start to check your bias. When you begin to then empathize with them, you start exploring common ground.”

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