Pluralism in Action: Talking Respectfully about Divisive Issues
Yom Kippur Oscar Bregman Memorial Program presented by Chris Satullo with Rev. Sandra L. Strauss
The nation's political discourse is in crisis. Debate by insult. Online trolls. Toxic tweets. People hunkered down in partisan silos where assumptions harden. What can be done? Can communities of faith become places where respectful dialogue takes root and flowers, where we blaze a trail out of the poisonous wilderness? Chris Satullo (journalist and principal at the Penn Project for Civic Engagement), Rev. Sandy Strauss (of the PA Council of Churches), and GJC member Rabbi George Stern are creating a new project in congregation-based dialogue. It is based in existing models for discussions that manage to be both passionate and civil, carving out safe spaces for airing opposing viewpoints in a way that potentially provides an opportunity for finding common ground. At GJC’s annual Oscar Bregman Memorial Program, Chris Satullo will introduce the project and provide details about the steps GJC and other local congregations can take in a quest for civic engagement and problem-solving.
Chris Satullo was vice president for news and civic dialogue at WHYY/NewsWorks from 2008 to 2015. He joined the public media service in 2008 after nearly 20 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. While at WHYY, he launched the NewsWorks.org website, the radio programs NewsWorks Tonight and The Pulse, and two award-winning statewide reporting initiatives, StateImpact PA and Keystone Crossroads. At the Inquirer, he served as editorial page editor and a columnist, among various positions, and led the Great Expectations civic dialogue project on the 2007 Philadelphia city elections. A nationally known expert in civic engagement, in 2006, he co-founded the Penn Project for Civic Engagement at the University of Penn. He has won more than 60 awards for columns, editorials, reporting and civic engagement. Before coming to the Inquirer, he worked at the Express newspaper in Easton, PA, where he was assistant managing editor and wrote a syndicated column.
The Rev. Sandra Strauss (Sandy) joined the staff of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches in April 2004. As Director of Advocacy and Ecumenical Outreach for the Council, Sandy’s responsibilities are to inform, educate, and empower people of faith on significant public issues, facilitate the work of common ministry and ecumenical relationships, manage external communications, and organize and manage Council events. Sandy received her Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary and is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She also holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy Studies from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Music from the Lindenwood Colleges (St. Charles, MO). She lives in Harrisburg with her husband, David Arnold, a handyman and clockmaker who does many things, but especially miraculous things with wood. Together they have reclaimed a city property on the block behind them for Dave’s clock and watch repair shop, a woodshop, a prolific garden, and a home for tens of thousands of bees.
Sponsored by an endowment established in memory of Oscar Bregman.