Forum for discussing national security issues.
POSTPONED – SPECIAL EVENT: Depolarizing National Security

POSTPONED – SPECIAL EVENT: Depolarizing National Security

Depolarizing National Security

This event has been postponed. A new date and time to be announced.

NSF Special Event

In-Person at Scheels
(Yes, this is really at the Scheels, the sporting goods store)
200 Scheels Drive, Sparks, NV 89434
2nd Floor Training Room

As the United States prepares for a contentious presidential election year in 2024, many of us find ourselves struggling to know how to talk, constructively and civily, to our friends, family, and community members about national security issues that underpin our perspectives on the candidates and issues on the ballot. Although not a new challenge, ongoing divisions among and within political parties has made civil discourse seem an insurmountable challenge. NSF and our partners at Braver Angels are here to help!

As a follow-up to our NSF Forum last March, “Civil Discourse is Essential for National Security,” we are again partnering with Braver Angels to host a vibrant, interactive, and very timely workshop that will teach skills for recognizing and depolarizing our mindsets and provide opportunities to discuss timely national security topics with people who may, or even more important, may not share our perspective.

The workshop will be in two parts. Part 1 (about 75 min) will be an interactive session adopted for NSF and by an extraordinary Braver Angels moderator, Sue Lani Madsen, that will teach basic Depolarizing Within skills and encourage you to practice these skills in discussions with fellow NSFers. Part 2 (about 90 min) will be Braver Angels Debate, chaired by Sue Lani that will allow participants to express their positions (pro and con) in a healthy, constructive, and structured format about a Resolution Statement and to listen carefully to the views of others. The object of the debate is not to “win the argument,” but rather to encourage everyone to keep an open-mind and open-heart as we form our arguments, listen to our colleagues, and adjust our positions, accordingly. Sue Lani promises the debate will be fun and interesting. It will also allow for plenty of time for NSFers to talk to each other (not our usual NSF forum format).

I will send additional details and more prep materials before the event, including the Resolution Statement to everyone who registers. If you cannot attend in person and wish to observe some (or all) of this workshop on Zoom, please email me ([email protected]). I will open a Zoom link for virtual participants to watch and interact through the chat box, and possibly through speaking if we can resolve audio feedback issues in advance. Virtual attendance will be through a standard Zoom meeting format (not our usual Zoom webinar format that limits interactions from participants).

Please join us for this exciting event! Come try out your civil discourse skills now so you can be national security ambassadors in your communities, helping to overcome the divisions that are making our country and the world less secure.


Sue Lani Madsen grew up as bookworm with aspirations to be a writer. After over 30 years in architecture primarily writing technical documents and managing project teams, she began to move out into other fields. Her keen interest in the world around her and how things work led her into politics and a run for the state legislature. What began as campaign blogging turned into a new vocation as a weekly columnist for the Spokesman-Review on public policy. She also publishes and podcasts on Substack. Her writing reflects a unique mix of experience – in grazing policy and the politics of meat packing as a rancher, in rural healthcare and urban disaster response as an EMT, in wildland fire and forest policy as a firefighter, and in mental health and homelessness by providing transitional housing occasionally on the ranch. Sue Lani is the Red half of the Washington State Coordinator team for Braver Angels.

The National Security Forum is a non-partisan, educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering civil discourse and informed discussion about timely and important national security topics. We bring expert speakers from around the U.S. to talk about national and international security, domestic and foreign terrorism, economic and financial threats, the safety of our food and water supply, energy policy, electrical grid stability, and a variety of other topics that affect all Americans. The National Security Forum partners with the Washoe County School District to host an annual Youth Security Forum to encourage future generations national security leaders.

To support NSF continuing to bring national security programs to our community and our local students please join NSF as a member or Friend of the Forum at: