12 episodes

One of the most dangerous divisions in the United States is between urban and rural communities. The urban-rural divide runs deep. Resentment is widespread, and clashes over politics and culture can turn violent. One nonpartisan organization is trying to bridge the divide. This series examines a multiyear effort to help people on both sides build relationships, find common ground and take on systemic problems that impact everyone.

Areas of Agreement Elia Powers

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

One of the most dangerous divisions in the United States is between urban and rural communities. The urban-rural divide runs deep. Resentment is widespread, and clashes over politics and culture can turn violent. One nonpartisan organization is trying to bridge the divide. This series examines a multiyear effort to help people on both sides build relationships, find common ground and take on systemic problems that impact everyone.

    Episode 12: Bridging Generational Divides and Rebuilding Trust

    Episode 12: Bridging Generational Divides and Rebuilding Trust

    Conversations around diversity often focus on race, gender, politics, socioeconomic status, geography,  even education level. What about generational diversity? We are an age-diverse society, with almost equal numbers of people alive from every stage of life. But often, generations are siloed, leading to division and misunderstanding. This episode features conversations with leaders in the movement to bring older and younger generations together to bridge divides. First, Eunice Lin Nichols, co-CEO of CoGenerate, and Dr. Cal Halvorsen, a senior research fellow at CoGenerate and an assistant professor at Boston College, discuss a recent study on what Americans think about cogeneration, and how to make intergenerational initiatives successful. Then, Joe Bubman of Urban-Rural Action and Deborah Tien of Common Agency/UR Action speak about being Gen2Gen Innovation Fellows, and Tien discusses how her organization is seeking to build a new type of neighborhood network online and in person. 

    Host


    Elia Powers (@eliapowers)

    Learn More:


    Urban-Rural Action (https://www.uraction.org/)
    REPORT: Cogeneration: A National Opinion Survey from Encore.org (now CoGenerate) with NORC at the University of Chicago’s AmeriSpeak Panel (https://tinyurl.com/3tud4cs9)
    Common agency (https://commonagency.org/)

    Credit: Music By Blue Dot Sessions

    • 32 min
    Episode 11: What We Mean When We Talk About Polarization

    Episode 11: What We Mean When We Talk About Polarization

    Polarization is typically thought of as being bad. We’re so polarized, the narrative goes, that we can’t find common ground. But what exactly is polarization? Is it always bad? Is there such a thing as good polarization? In their book, The Philosophy of Group Polarization, Dr. Fernando Broncano-Berrocal & Dr. J. Adam Carter argue that group polarization is a neutral phenomenon, and they present ways that groups can polarize in epistemically good ways. Alex Sussman sits down with the co-authors to discuss their findings and recommendations. Elia Powers speaks with Urban-Rural Action's Joe Bubman about his thoughts on polarization and how groups taking part in UR Action programs can deliberate effectively and take action. 



    Host:


    Elia Powers (@eliapowers)

    Learn More:


    Urban-Rural Action (https://www.uraction.org/)
    The Philosophy of Group Polarization 

    Credit: Music By Blue Dot Sessions

    • 29 min
    Episode 10: Supporting Small Businesses

    Episode 10: Supporting Small Businesses

    People from across the political spectrum, young and old, urban and rural often find common ground on the importance of supporting small business owners. This episode follows a group put together by Urban-Rural Action that aims to support immigrant entrepreneurship on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Small business owners from Easton, Maryland, share the joys and challenges of running a company. Staff members from the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center discuss what they learned from these interviews and how the center can address business owners' challenges.   

    Host:


    Elia Powers (@eliapowers)

    Learn More:


    Urban-Rural Action (https://www.uraction.org/)
    Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center (https://chesmrc.org/)

    • 34 min
    Episode 9: The State of Public Discourse on Campus

    Episode 9: The State of Public Discourse on Campus

    Urban-Rural Action, with support from Heterodox Academy, has done a series of workshops with college students on how to have dialogues across difference. The need for this training is clear. Students often go through school without having constructive conversations with people they disagree with, and research shows that they are often hesitant to express their views on divisive topics. In this episode, two students share what they learned from a recent workshop, what it's like trying to encourage thoughtful deliberation on their campus, and why that can be a challenge. A professor who has dedicated his career to promoting a culture of debate and deliberation describes how he goes about doing that inside and outside the classroom. We discuss the need for viewpoint diversity and constructive disagreement, and examine the state of public discourse on college and university campuses. 

    Host: 


    Elia Powers (@eliapowers)

    Learn More: 


    Urban-Rural Action (https://www.uraction.org/)
    Heterodox Academy (https://heterodoxacademy.org/)
    Program for Public Discourse at UNC (https://publicdiscourse.unc.edu/)
    2021 Campus Expression Survey (https://heterodoxacademy.org/campus-expression-survey/)

    • 32 min
    Episode 8: On Political Violence

    Episode 8: On Political Violence

    One year after Jan. 6, 2021, Urban-Rural Action and partner organization Lead for America took part in the first National Day of Dialogue. In this episode, representatives from both organizations discuss how they felt on the anniversary of the insurrection, how they define political violence, what they make of a recent poll showing that roughly one-third of Americans say violence against government can be justified, and what questions they would ask people who share that view. 

    Host:


    Elia Powers (@eliapowers)

    Learn More:


    Urban-Rural Action (https://www.uraction.org)
    Lead for America (https://www.lead4america.org/) 
    National Day of Dialogue (https://www.nationaldayofdialogue.com/) 
    Poll: (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/01/1-3-americans-say-violence-against-government-can-be-justified-citing-fears-political-schism-pandemic/) 

    • 25 min
    Episode 7: Representing Rural America

    Episode 7: Representing Rural America

    In this episode, an interview with an author who is part of a cottage industry of books about the political and cultural forces shaping rural America. I asked him why he decided to write about Nebraska, who his audience is and why there seems to be so much fascination among people who live urban areas about the small rural town where he grew up. In part two of this episode, an interview with a rural resident who's heavily involved in Urban-Rural Action about the recent attention paid to rural America and why it can be difficult to engage people from these communities in initiatives that aim to bridge the divide between urban and rural.

    Host:


    Elia Powers (@eliapowers)

    Learn More:


    Urban-Rural Action (https://www.uraction.org) 
    Rural Rebellion by Ross Benes (https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-3045-5.html)
    Op-ed by Joe Bubman (https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2021/04/09/build-bridges-peace)

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

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5 Ratings

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Important topic

Great podcast, very important and timely subject

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