Suzette Brooks Masters

Senior Strategist at the Center for Inclusion and Belonging

Suzette Brooks Masters is Senior Strategist at the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council. She advises foundations, non-profit organizations, policy-makers and corporations on how to respond to the significant demographic shifts that have transformed America after decades of immigration in order to promote social cohesion, pluralism and a healthy democracy. Previously, she was Migration Program Director at the J.M. Kaplan Fund from 2007-2016. She has served on numerous non-profit boards and advisory commissions and currently is a board member of the New York Immigration Coalition, Define American and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Ms. Masters has degrees from Amherst College, Cambridge University and Harvard Law School.

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Non-Judgmental Listening and Story Sharing Can Durably Change Attitudes Around Contentious Issues

Ushering in a more just and inclusive America can seem like a daunting prospect in a time of heightened conflict and division. Polarization creates incentives for each camp to hunker down, look inward, and activate its in-group or base. The self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing nature of this oppositional cycle makes it hard to transcend and see another path forward. So too does the in-group policing that creates the pressure to stay in a silo of the like-minded rather than connecting with skeptics or those who hold conflicted or even opposing views.

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