Better Arguments Ambassador Program

Do you want to lead your community to engage more constructively across differences of opinion? Apply to our free Better Arguments Ambassador Program.

Program

Program

The Better Arguments Project Ambassador Program is an immersive, fellowship-style program designed to equip participants to bring Better Arguments to their communities. We are seeking leaders throughout the United States who are committed to improving civil discourse and who would like to apply the Better Arguments framework. This is a perfect opportunity for leaders who wish to hone their skills with regard to engaging diverse audiences and stimulating dialogue for the common good. You will engage in peer-to-peer learning with a diverse cohort of Ambassadors, all of whom are taking this step to improve our civil discourse. This program will unfold through a series of nine modules, taking place virtually for two-hours each week. At the end of the experience, each Ambassador will be tasked with designing a capstone project to bring Better Arguments concepts to their community. This program is completely free, and each participant will receive a stipend to assist with implementation costs. If this program sounds right for you, start by asking yourself: “Why does my community need a Better Argument?” Share your thoughts with us by applying to the Ambassador Program today!

Program Modules

April 21
Orientation
11:00-1:00pm ET
The opening session will introduce and explore the Better Arguments framework through the lens of leadership and team building with inspiring and experienced leaders interested in bridging divides.
April 29
Take Winning Off the Table
12:00-2:00pm ET
This session will be an opportunity for Ambassadors to learn and practice applying the first Principle of a Better Argument: Take Winning off the Table. You will learn how to lead with a desire to understand and learn, rather than to win.
May 6
Prioritize Relationships & Listen Passionately
12:00-2:00pm ET
This session will be an opportunity for Ambassadors to learn and practice applying the second Principle of a Better Argument: Prioritize Relationships and Listen Passionately. You will learn how to cultivate honest connections across differences.
May 13
Embrace Vulnerability
12:00-2:00pm ET
This session will be an opportunity for Ambassadors to learn and practice applying the fourth Principle of a Better Argument: Embrace Vulnerability. You will learn the benefits of opening up in an argument.
May 20
Pay Attention to Context
12:00-2:00pm ET
This session will be an opportunity for Ambassadors to learn and practice applying the third Principle of a Better Argument: Pay Attention to Context. You will learn how to design a conversation that acknowledges the many factors that may influence beliefs in an argument.
May 27
Make Room to Transform
12:00-2:00pm ET
This session will be an opportunity for Ambassadors to learn and practice applying the fifth Principle of a Better Argument: Make Room to Transform. Without the goal of winning, a Better Argument can instead change how we engage with a difficult issue.
June 3
Better Arguments Workshop
12:00-2:00pm ET
In this session, each Ambassador will apply what they’ve learned throughout the program to their own capstone project. They will collaborate with other Ambassadors to share practical ideas for design, delivery, and community engagement.
June 10
Better Arguments Presentation
12:00-2:00pm ET
This session will be an opportunity for each Ambassador to facilitate a pilot of their capstone project. Fellow Ambassadors and the Better Arguments Project team will provide input and support.
June 17
Reflections & Conclusion
12:00-2:00pm ET
This final session of this program will be a closing experience – an opportunity for the participants to bring all aspects of their learning together and set out to implement their capstone project.
Aparna Mukherjee
Aparna Mukherjee is a Digimentor, working to empower nonprofits and media organizations to better elevate and share their communities’ stories. As lead of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Catalyst program, she helps entrepreneurs of color build media startups. A 2021 John S. Knight Community Impact Fellow at Stanford University, she also works on boosting democratic voice in public meetings through AI, sentiment analysis, and deliberative democracy methodologies. Through Sense LA, a systems thinking creative assembly series Aparna co-created and launched out of LA’s City Hall as an Executive Adviser, she elevates the role of emotion and lived experience in shaping public opinion and policy. A former journalist, she’s worked in newsrooms at the AP, Bloomberg News, CNBC, and written for WSJ and The New Yorker. At The New York Times, she ran the paper’s online education ventures group and civic engagement initiatives. Aparna’s other innovation-focused roles include launching McKinsey on Twitter and LinkedIn as the firm’s first social media editor and running industry programs for the Paley Center for Media. An alumna of Bryn Mawr College, she holds a Master’s in Journalism/MBA from Columbia, where she was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow and taught digital strategy master classes for EMBAs.
Aparna  Mukherjee
Aparna Mukherjee
Catalyst Lead at Asian American Journalists Association
Blaine Volpe
As a Senior State Caucus Manager at the Millennial Action Project, which activates Millennial policymakers to create post-partisan political cooperation, Blaine works with over 1,600 young state legislators across the country to share innovative policy solutions and bridge the partisan divide. Blaine holds B.A.s in Political Science, Global Studies, and Geography from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
Blaine Volpe
Blaine Volpe
Senior State Caucus Manager at the Millennial Action Project
Courtney Wright
Courtney is an Assistant Professor of Management & Corporate Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School where she teaches leadership, business writing & presentations, interpersonal communication, and diversity & inclusion courses to full-time and working professional MBA students. She also directs the Business Communication Center, where she and her team provide career and communication coaching to all levels of business students. Passionate about the importance of civil discourse, Courtney helped start a faculty working group dedicated to fostering a culture of constructive dialogue and disagreement on UNC-CH’s campus. Courtney earned a BA in Psychology and an MBA from UNC; she also holds a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from Duke University.
Courtney  Wright
Courtney Wright
Assistant Professor of Management & Corporate Communication at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
George Zavala
George Zavala is the Western Regional Manager at Welcoming America. In this role, he supports and expands the Welcoming Network membership of local government and nonprofits in the western U.S., assisting them in local policy, programming, and systems change that advances inclusion for immigrants and refugees. A second-generation Mexican American, George received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from California State University, Northridge. George was born and raised in southern California and credits his large Mexican family as his inspiration for creating inclusive communities where newcomers can thrive.
George Zavala
George Zavala
Western Regional Director at Welcoming America
Jamil Brown
Jamil Brown is a space operations officer in the United States Space Force. He currently serves as a Political Science Instructor at the US Air Force Academy and as a Fellow in the newly established Institute for Future Conflict. His research focuses on the impact technology and organizational policies have on national security decision-making. His military experience spans executing satellite operations, planning space effects support and coordinating on space policy. Additionally, he teaches space policy classes in the local community, volunteers with economic development non-profits, and consulted on tactical and operational military war games.
Jamil Brown
Jamil Brown
Political Science Instructor at United States Airforce Academy
Layla Saatchi
Layla Saatchi has a PhD in philosophy and Masters in Near East Languages and is an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University. Her combined background in Islamic studies and history motivates her philosophical interests in understanding the epistemic significance of disagreement and group epistemology. She is currently working on a research project called Epistemic Fragility that tries to explain the epistemic foundations of Robin DiAngelo’s observations in White Fragility. 
Layla  Saatchi
Layla Saatchi
Assistant Professor of Teaching at Wayne State University
Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez
Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez is the CEO and Founder of AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute (AGUILA). Founded in 2004 in Phoenix, Arizona, AGUILA empowers and prepares youth for college admission and graduation through a unique approach based upon a greater cultural understanding as a guide to personal, academic, and professional excellence as future leaders. Throughout her life she has been recognized for her personal, and academic accomplishments and as a champion for those in need through award-winning programs in government, education, and non-profit organizations. Her work with AGUILA has been her dream in developing youth to become the educated, articulate, compassionate, ethical, and thoughtful leaders needed to create a better world.
Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez
Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez
CEO and Founder of AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute
Sean Kavanagh
Sean Kavanagh is a communication skills expert, storyteller, facilitator, and leadership coach. For twenty years, Sean ran The Ariel Group, an international training firm that teaches individuals to develop their authentic leadership presence. Sean works with leaders in business, non-profits, the military, and education. These days, he applies the lessons learned during a year-long recovery from a near-fatal bicycle accident to help individuals move through challenges to greater achievement and more authentic lives.
Sean Kavanagh
Sean Kavanagh
Learning Industry Entrepreneur
Skylar Camarena
Skylar works for Allstate Insurance Company, where she helps deploy initiatives to sales call center employees. She is heavily involved with her company’s Employee Resource Groups, where she contributes to advancing Allstate’s core value of Inclusive Diversity & Equity. Skylar is currently serving as Executive Administrator for Professional Latino Allstate Network (PLAN), Culture Committee Co-Lead for Allstate Women’s “I” Network (AWIN), and Data & Survey Team Member for Young Professionals Organization (YPO). Skylar works out of San Antonio, TX, where she shares her home office space with foster cats and kittens that she cares for in her spare time.
Skylar Camarena
Skylar Camarena
Deployment Project Manager at Allstate
Zachary C. Queen
Zachary Queen graduated from Dartmouth College in 2015 and began active-duty service in the United States Marine Corps. While serving as a Marine Corps officer, he deployed to seven countries in the European and Pacific theaters, fostering bilateral and multi-national relationships with foreign militaries. He is currently stationed in Quantico, Virginia where he is the Director of the Instructor Development Group at The Basic School, a training academy for student officers. His responsibilities include training, coaching, and mentoring Marine Corps student officers and other members of the instructor cadre by facilitating discussion groups, case studies, and various training exercises.
Zachary C. Queen
Zachary C. Queen
Director of the Instructor Development Group at The Basic School, United States Marine Corps

Who Should Apply?

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have experience facilitating conversations or a demonstrated interest in improving civil discourse in the United States.
  • Have a desire to engage with diverse viewpoints and bring the Better Arguments framework back to your community.
  • Be willing to uphold the 3 Dimensions and 5 Principles of a Better Argument throughout the program.
  • Understand and respect the time commitment. Participants must be willing to attend each weekly session.

*Applications will be reviewed based on many factors to create a diverse cohort of thoughtful leaders based on geographical location, political views, professional sector, and race and ethnicity to name a few examples*

Applications are now closed for the Spring 2022 Cohort

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