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‘Engaging with Braver Angels’ is AAUW talk topic
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Paul Norris and Maxim Schrogin of Braver Angels. Photo Contributed

With the political divide growing ever wider, individuals are finding it challenging to have civil conversations between people with whom they have different opinions and beliefs. Yet there is an organization, which is committed to making this happen. In 2016 a grassroots organization named Braver Angels formed with the aim of building respect and kinship across the divide. Its goal is to unite Red and Blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America.

On Thursday, Jan. 18, two members of the organization – Paul Norris and Maxim Schrogin – will demonstrate how this can happen in a Zoom presentation to the American Association of University Women, Oakdale-Riverbank-Escalon Branch. Norris, a psychotherapist, is the conservative of this duo while Schrogin, a community organizer, is the liberal. In addition to giving an actual demonstration to the group, Norris and Schrogin will talk about the LAPP model as a technique people can use to facilitate civil discussions. LAPP is an acronym, which stands for Listen, Acknowledge, Pivot, and Perspective. Paul Norris, a member of Braver Angels since 2018, worked in the technology field for 30 years. After retiring he began a career as a psychotherapist and is now a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. Maxim Schrogin, the son of what he calls Fundamental Atheists and a Berkeley Progressive, founded the Berkeley/Oakland Branch of Braver Angels four years ago.

Members, guests and other community members in the Oakdale, Riverbank, or Escalon area looking for common ground and ways to work together to bridge the divide are invited to attend this 7 p.m., Jan. 18, Zoom meeting. To obtain the Zoom link for the meeting, contact Teri via email at

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) advances gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university members. Learn more at Branch information is at or by emailing the branch at Graduates holding an associates or higher degree from an institution of the AAUW list of qualified institutions and persons holding an honorary degree are eligible for membership in AAUW.