Let’s show the nation how we solve problems, Nebraska

Join the Challenge! That's The Unify Challenge – a live, one-to-one, online video conversation connecting pairs of Nebraskans across political, ideological, and geographic divides. The Challenge begins March 1.

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Housing. Health care. Public safety. Taxes. The role of government. Like residents of other U.S. states, we Nebraskans don’t agree on everything. But we also don’t judge ourselves by how neatly we all agree – we judge ourselves by how we can disagreesometimes passionately, and still move forward together.
Here’s a chance to show the rest of the country how we Huskers do things.
On March 1, 3, and 5, Nebraskans will set aside political fighting and focus on solving problems. Civic Nebraska and Unify America invite Nebraskans to join The Unify Challenge – a live, one-to-one, online video conversation program that connects pairs of Nebraskans across political, ideological, geographic, and other divides.
Nebraska will be the first state to conduct a border-to-border Unify Challenge, and we’re aiming to set a high bar for the rest of the country. If you’re over 18 and live in Nebraska, you can help make the Challenge a success. From Sioux County in the Panhandle to Omaha in the east; Cherry County in the Sandhills and Franklin County in the south, we’re expecting proud Nebraskans to join in. Registration begins this week.
The Unify Challenge is designed to be more than a surface-level conversation, though. It’ll be a serious discussion that emphasizes listening, dialogue, and collective problem-solving. Participants may be paired with someone who votes differently, who has a different background, or who lives in a different part of our state.
This may sound intimidating or uncomfortable. But Unify Challenge participants share a love of country and want to keep it strong, not divided. So it’s unsurprising to see how often participants agree with their partner, find common ground, and enjoy the virtual screen-to-screen conversation.
Harry Nathan Gottlieb, Unify America’s founder, puts it this way: “Talking with your political – or even geographic – opposite sounds impossible if you’ve spent time on Twitter, but the Unify Challenge for Nebraska isn’t that at all. It’s about identifying goals Nebraskans share and effective problem-solving for the communities we love – and we’ve seen a lot of love for the communities of Nebraska.”
So let’s talk, Nebraska. Starting on Feb. 1, you can sign up for one of three dates and times to be paired with another Nebraskan. To register, go to UnifyNebraska.com and select your preferred time:
›› 12 noon CST (11 am MST) on Tuesday, March 1;
›› 7 pm CST (6 pm MST) on Thursday, March 3; or
›› 10 am CST (9 am MST) on Saturday, March 5.
Democracy begins in discussion, as the saying goes. So, let’s get the conversation going!
Nancy Petitto is director of civic health programs for Civic Nebraska.

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