Nonfiction Book Award Status: GOLD
Every four years in America, presidential candidates make grand promises to heal the divisions that threaten to tear our country apart. Yet the divisions persist-and deepen. How can this be? The answer is clear. Our government is a reflection of ourselves; it would not be divided if we-the-people were not so polarized.
In response to this toxic culture of division, J. Christopher Collins founded the Different Together project at the legendary Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, California. Collins has created opportunities for courageous conversations among people who don’t share the same views about politics, religion, or race. And it’s making a difference. Participants say, “Different Together calms me.” “I’m less dismissive of others’ opinions.” “This restores my faith in humanity.”
Based on real-world experience from the frontlines of the domestic peacebuilding movement, Collins equips readers of his book Mending Our Union: Healing Our Communities Through Courageous Conversations with tools to face our differences head-on, persevere through discomfort, and embrace the peace and joy that results from doing this critical work.
Together, Collins argues, we can mend our union and heal our divisions before they irrevocably tear us apart.
J. Christopher Collins, a native Texan, is the founder of Different Together. Upon graduating from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Chris was recognized with the Presidential Award–the highest honor given to students who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, academics, and service to the community. After 27 years in Texas, Chris moved to New York to earn a Master’s of Public Administration and Public Policy Analysis at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Chris lives in Oakland with his wife and daughter.