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How Can Our Communities Escape Polarizing Conflict?


Growing homelessness has fueled bitter conflicts in hundreds of neighborhoods across California. The drought is renewing generations-old local wars over water. Schools have become political and cultural battlegrounds, with parents and teachers at odds. And fights over pandemic response, from Shasta to Orange Counties, have escalated into violent threats between citizens and local officials. Why are so many Californians falling into fights with their neighbors? How much do social media and our polarized national politics contribute to local divides? And what are the best strategies to extract ourselves, and our neighbors, from intense conflicts so that we might work together to solve problems?

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out author Amanda Ripley, UCLA sociocultural anthropologist Kyeyoung Parkand mediator and former California Superior Court judge B. Scott Silverman visit Zócalo to discuss how we can stop contentious disputes from escalating and taking over our communities.

The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum will extend its hours to 6 PM and will offer free admission. A hosted reception with complimentary drinks will follow the discussion.

Illustration by Hännah Foote. La Brea Tar Pits and Museum photo courtesy of Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.