SAGE Citizen Project to Bring People Together Across Differences
Trends in America show that we are growing increasingly divided and angry toward each other. SAGE is concerned that as these trends persist, it will become harder for people to work together to find solutions to the growing public problems faced by younger and future generations.
The goal of our Citizen Project is to inspire and support people to work across differences to solve public problems. Each year, we aim to reach hundreds of people through our events and to help people identify shared goals in their communities and to work across differences to pursue these goals. We also collaborate with other groups and support partners working to strengthen civics education in schools.
Citizen Project Events
SAGE offers many no-cost events. We can facilitate or co-facilitate with your group, and we can help defray costs for venues or refreshments. Each event has its own energy and pace, and the format can adapt to your needs. Our goal is for guests to feel comfortable sharing their views in a respectful and supportive atmosphere. The event can range from 1 to 3 hours, and it can be offered online, in-person, and hybrid.
Examples of Educational Events
• What can you do to bring people together across differences?
Today’s news can make us feel like our communities are more polarized and less able to bring people together to take on projects and solve problems. What do you think? Can we work across differences and lead good projects together? In this gathering, guests explore whether they share long-term goals in their community and, if so, what projects might come about to pursue these goals. Guests are encouraged to share their own ideas, insights, and actions. SAGE also highlights the work of organizations across Oregon that help communities address public problems or take advantage of new opportunities.
- Bringing people together across differences: What is the leadership role of older adults?
SAGE engages older adults as leaders to take on challenges facing younger and future generations. We’re concerned about growing divides in our country, and we know older adults have energy, experience, and resources to make a difference. In this gathering, guests share ideas about how to promote better discussions that bring people together to solve problems. Young adults are very welcome to attend and share their views too.
- What are our shared values? How can we listen to understand?
There’s plenty in the news about what divides us, but let’s talk about what unites us. Turns out, that despite the rancor in the news and on social media, many of us share common values that unite us in service of a greater good. In this conversation, we discuss common values as a foundation for working across divides. We also practice listening to each other so we can better understand our concerns and how each of us can make a difference.
- What would we have to give up to get the political system we want?
Every American is affected by divisions that prevent us from making progress on public problems. We are finding it harder and harder to talk with one another, and it is damaging in many ways. In this forum, we rely on a guide published by the National Issues Forum called A House Divided to help participants discuss how we should approach this challenge.