Bridging the Political Divide: Optimism for Moving Beyond Polarization
Political polarization in the U.S. is at a record high. As anger, fear, distortions, and social media drive the wedge ever deeper, what hope is there for maintaining connection within families, friendships, workplaces, and communities? Dr. Israel can offer solutions. Grounded in evidence, experience, and skills, she will share practical and research-based strategies to help bridge the political divide. Her approach to building understanding will leave you informed, optimistic, and empowered to take action.
Tania Israel is a Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Israel’s award-winning book, Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work(APA, 2020) grew out of the skill-building workshop that she developed and delivered to hundreds of participants following the 2016 election. It draws on her strengths as a psychologist and community collaborator to prepare people to engage in dialogue across political disagreement.
Dr. Israel has facilitated educational programs and difficult dialogues about a range of topics, including abortion, law enforcement, religion, and sexual orientation. Her honors include 2019 Congressional Woman of the Year (CA 24th District), Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Award for Excellence in Mental Health from the California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, and Emerging Leader Award from the APA Committee on Women in Psychology.