Skip to content

Others have recognized how important it is to bridge the differences that divide us

Read what they are saying

Jim Leach

NEH Director

Village Square is unique in the country. So Tallahassee is producing a model for the land.

Kathleen Parker

Syndicated columnist

When asked by Tom Brokaw who a “modern John Wayne” is in reviving civil discourse, Ms. Parker said, “The people out there who are doing important work are not known to us because they’re not celebrities and they’re not famous and they are doing very important work in their communities. And I’ll throw out just one name, ‘To The Village Square.’ American character is a grassroots operation. It starts there. To sign a pledge is great, but to make
anything happen you have to do something and that’s what they’ve done and it’s
a wonderful prototype for what we’re trying to do.”

David Abshire

Former NATO Ambassador, President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency, and author of Challenging Our Next President

The Village Square plays a key role not only at Florida’s capital city, Tallahassee, but also as an example nationally of addressing policy issues with civility and

Dr. Jonathan Haidt

Author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided By Politics and Religion

Minds are very hard things to open, and the best way to open the mind is through the heart. The Village Square takes the right approach: they get people together, often over food, for the kinds of social interactions that foster the mutual recognition of everyone’s decency and sincerity. They open hearts, and then minds.

John Marks

Novelist, former 60 Minutes producer

The Village Square is supporting an ancient and durable principle of civilization: It’s harder to hate the enemy face to face. In reasserting that principle, The Village Square isn’t just promoting better government. It’s helping to lay the foundation for a better America.

Vincent Long

Leon County Administrator

We live in a time when we have more opportunities than ever before to both inundate ourselves with bias and isolate ourselves from others with whom we may differ. This is frightening. But what is more troublesome is the corresponding lack of opportunities for truly meaningful discourse and understanding. Amidst this backdrop, Village Square has provided hope to our community that there is still a safe place for learning from our differences, compromise and progress.”

Andrew Gillum

Tallahassee City Commissioner

The conversation about issues which are otherwise sticky and thorny; ranging from talks on race, to immigration reform to religion are deconstructed at The Village Square. People are encouraged to think freely and critically about the issues that confront our society. Any community that wants to improve the state of public discourse and build a sense of community at the same time should work to create a responsible ‘public square.’ It is civic malpractice not to have a Village Square!”

Clay Jenkinson

Host of The Thomas Jefferson Hour

The Village Square is now one of the most Jeffersonian things in America.

Kristin Dozier

Dozier, County Commissioner

“The Village Square represents what's best about our community - their work has made people on the left and right take a look at their own comments and assumptions about the other side. In 2010 I surprised many of my fellow Democrat's by challenging a three incumbent who I generally agreed with on the issues, but who could not win a vote because of his aggressive and divisive speech. I convinced a majority in our district that it's not just about the issues one advocates for, but it's about how we talk about those issues and make them
relevant to all members of our community that makes a difference. The Village
Square helped to lay the groundwork for this message and, I believe, helped me
succeed in my election. “