Veterans and Civilians Meet in Video Calls to Create Stronger America after Covid-19

May 21, 2020

Locals across US join #WeavingCommunity campaign from Memorial Day to July 4

Contact: Michael Skoler
Communications Director
Weave: The Social Fabric Project
c: 573-256-9600

Washington, DC, May 21, 2020 The Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project, led by columnist David Brooks, and the National Conversation Project, powered by 300 community groups, are partnering with veterans’ organizations to create hundreds of small group video conversations on how to weave stronger communities coming out of the pandemic.  

The first conversations will take place on Sunday and Monday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend and conversations will be held coast to coast through July 4th. People can sign up to be matched with others in their area for a conversation using this form. Each hour-long video call will include 4-6 people, with military-affiliated and civilian co-hosts. Veterans, active duty and military family members are included in these conversations.

Memorial Day and Independence Day are powerful reminders of who we are when we are at our best. The coronavirus pandemic has touched every American, separating us, bringing loss and uncertainty, preventing us from celebrating or even grieving together. Yet it has also brought us closer through shared sacrifice and acts of service. Veterans often speak of “post-traumatic growth” from living through shared challenges. At the same time, a widening military-civilian gap means there are often fewer opportunities for civilians to connect with people who have served. 

The conversations will follow a suggested guide, prompting people to share how they have handled earlier times of trauma and challenge, how the pandemic is affecting them now, and how they can work with neighbors to strengthen their communities as the nation reopens. Journalists are welcome to participate in and report on a discussion, if other participants agree. 

The Month of Brave Connection is part of #WeavingCommunity, an initiative involving hundreds of groups working to ensure the pandemic helps Americans to connect, care for each other and create the life we want beyond coronavirus. 

David Brooks will participate in a conversation and can do brief interviews on the project. 

Initial partners for the Month of Brave Connection include AllSides, Interactivity Foundation, Living Room Conversations, The Mission Continues (TMC), and Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP).

About Weave: The Social Fabric Project

Weave: The Social Fabric Project was started by columnist David Brooks and the Aspen Institute in May of 2018 to counter a culture of hyper-individualism in the US that has left Americans divided, isolated and unhappy. This crisis of connection has led to rising deaths of despair persistent inequality and discrimination, and gridlocked politics. Weave sees cultural change starting within neighborhoods and led by people who are weaving a strong social fabric by investing in relationships, making commitments to others and creating connection. 

The Weave project learns from these Weavers, connects and supports them, shares their stories and works with many partners to inspire Americans to join their ranks and adopt a more connected, relational way of living. 

About Listen First Project | National Conversation Project

Listen First Project, founded in 2013, aims to mend our frayed social fabric by building relationships and bridging divides. LFP leads a collaborative social movement powered by 300 partner organizations in the #ListenFirst Coalition and thousands of individuals, businesses, schools and cultural influencers around the world. The Coalition offers inspiration, opportunities, and skills for courageous conversations that invite people to “listen first” to understand. 

LFP created the National Conversation Project with its partners in 2018 to promote an annual National Week of Conversation, #ListenFirst Fridays and Rapid Response conversations on major issues.

About #WeavingCommunity

Listen First Project | National Conversation Project and Aspen’s Weave Project launched #WeavingCommunity as a social and community campaign to ensure Americans learn the lessons from this pandemic, use this time to heal our divisions and create the firm footing of connection that will allow our nation and democracy to thrive after the crisis. The initiative involves many partners, with significant funding from Civic Health Project, Facebook, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust and Well-Being Trust.

The #WeavingCommunity tag has reached more than 7.5 million people on social platforms. Weaving.Us is home for the campaign, inviting people to connect, care for themselves and others, and create the life we want after the pandemic.

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