An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Visiting author Monica Guzman defuses divisiveness with curiosity

Editor's Note: “Curious Conversations” with Mónica Guzmán is postponed until May 31 due to illness.

Polarization is both a national issue, and personal for Seattle-based author Mónica Guzmán.

Guzmán, who is liberal, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, who voted from Donald Trump twice. She said her career as a journalist, and work in the organization Braver Angels – which aims to decrease polarization through empathy, has kept her family close despite their political differences.

In her book “I Never Thought of it That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times,” Guzmán guides readers through strategies she’s used in her own life to understand others with different political perspectives.

Guzmán cofounded award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey. She was a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, where she studied social and political division, and a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

She spoke to Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White about how curiosity can make conversations about difficult topics empathetic, and civil.

Guzmán will join Erin Jones, author of the second book in the Curious Conversations Book Club "Bridges to Heal US: Stories and Strategies for Racial Healing" for a panel discussion on May 31 at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane. Tickets purchased for the May 2 date will be honored on May 31 with both authors. There will be satellite book clubs where streams of the event will be available in Colville, Sandpoint and Lewiston.

Erin Jones is an award-winning educator and consultant who previously ran for Washington State Superintendent.

Spokane Public Radio receives support from the Innovia Foundation. Spokane Public Radio’s editorial team is independent, and our supporters do not influence our coverage.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.