All I Need to Know About Political Conflict, I Learned From The Wizard of Oz

Roiled by social media algorithms, provocative news, and clashing politicians, Americans are experiencing increased stress and interpersonal conflict. Appeals to elected officials, demands for media reform, and calls for “the other side” to change their tactics reveal frustration and paralyzing disempowerment. Drawing on a familiar and imaginative narrative, Dr. Israel takes her audience on a journey down the yellow brick road to help them navigate the challenges of living in politically polarized times. Attendees will gain knowledge, skills, and motivation to strengthen their individual capacity and perhaps even to repair our ruptured country.

Cancel or Connect? Campus Culture in a Divided World

These are troubled times on college campuses. DEI is framed as both under attack and on the attack. National and world conflicts play out in classrooms, conference rooms, and public spaces. Free speech, social justice, and mental health hang in the balance. What societal and psychological forces contribute to campus dynamics? How do we hold people accountable while encouraging growth? What advocacy strategies are both effective and authentic? This program will employ evidence, storytelling, and skills to help staff, faculty, students, and administrators navigate current challenges.

Navigating Political Division: A Roadmap for Educators

These are challenging times. Schools are on the frontline of the culture wars with contested ground from history to pronouns. Educators struggle to cultivate welcoming learning environments amid competing pressures from anti-DEI forces and cancel culture. Distress and discord tax the emotional resources of students and staff. Leaders field demands related to policy and public statements. This program will offer perspectives and strategies to help educational professionals navigate the trials of political division. Dr. Israel’s approach will leave you informed, optimistic, and empowered to take action.

How Political Polarization Is Affecting the Workplace and What To Do About It

Political polarization is seeping into the workplace. Conflict, stress, and distraction diminish employee health, productivity, and collaboration. Meanwhile, managers and Human Resource professionals field complaints, and leaders manage demands for public statements on politicized issues. Multi level contributions, from the political landscape to psychological biases, require strategies at the organizational, interpersonal, and individual level. Dr.Israel will provide insights and practical, evidence-based solutions to help people at every level navigate the politically polarized workplace

If You’re Not Listening, You’re Not Paying Attention: Dialogue as a Tool for Social Justice Advocacy

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” is a rallying cry in social justice circles. Indeed, there is plenty to be outraged about, however, outrage has its limitations, and prolonged outrage takes a toll on health. Science points to listening as an effective tool for collaboration, persuasion, and organizing. In this presentation, Dr. Israel harnesses psychological theory and research to offer a blueprint for dialogue-based social justice advocacy.

Leadership in Politically Polarized Times

Political polarization in the U.S. is at a record high. As anger, fear, distortions, and social media drive the wedge ever deeper, organizations and communities suffer the fallout of societal divisions. How can leaders combat polarizing forces, manage interpersonal conflict, and cultivate a public voice in this fraught context? Dr. Israel can offer solutions. Grounded in evidence, experience, and skills, she will share perspectives and strategies that will leave you informed, optimistic, and empowered to take action.

Bridging Political Differences in Our Roles as Mental Health Professionals — Implications for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion

As mental health professionals, we encounter many types of individual differences. Ethical and professional guidance is available regarding racial, cultural, sexual, and other types of diversity, however, we have little direction for navigating differences in political positions and values. How do we work across political difference in ways that are consistent with our ethical obligations, professional principles, and personal values? Drawing on psychological science and skills, Dr. Israel will offer ethical, evidence-based approaches for bridging political differences.

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.

“What Am I Missing?” Broadening Our Understanding of Israel, Palestine, and the Conflict on College Campuses

Interactive Program (90 minutes)

Do you have strong feelings about the Israel-Gaza war and related conflict on college campuses? Or perhaps you feel like you’re not knowledgeable enough to form an opinion. Maybe you can see multiple perspectives but don’t know how to talk with people on either side about it. How can we engage in conversation about this divisive issue in productive ways? What do we do when we feel vulnerable or unsafe? Can we maintain our convictions without demonizing those who disagree with us? This program will offer insights and guidance to help us all recognize limitations in our view and harness empathy and curiosity to broaden our perspective.

Beyond Your Bubble: Skills and Strategies for Dialogue Across Political Differences

Workshop (2 hours)

It can be difficult to bridge the political divide. How do we talk with people who hold political views that are different from our own? Is there a path forward, out of conflict, toward understanding and healing? In this interactive workshop, Dr. Tania Israel will prepare attendees to engage in dialogue by helping them to build skills for listening, managing emotions, developing accurate perceptions of others, and sharing their views. This program uses an active-learning format and can be delivered in person or via Zoom, with demonstrations, mini-lectures, polls, discussion, and role plays. People of all political persuasions can benefit from this program. 

Bridging the Political Divide with Integrity and Grace

Keynote/Sermon (20 minute talk + up to 30 minute discussion)

As country, communities, congregations, families, and friends struggle with political polarization, human connections have become strained or ruptured. How might such divisiveness hinder spiritual aspirations, and how can integrity and grace guide us through political conflict? Dr. Israel draws on psychological and religious perspectives to shed light on righteousness as a path to connection across political difference.