Skip to main content

Finding positive responses during divisive times

Mariann Mankowski, feature

Mariann Mankowski, assistant professor of social work at WVU.

Download full-size

What’s the news?
Talking about the news and politics with someone whose views are the opposite of your own can be anywhere from difficult to dangerous. But there are “teachable moments,” as some West Virginia University School of Social Work have discovered through teach-ins that included presentations, films and role-playing activities.

Quotes and Comments
“Differing opinions happen in the world around us every day. In these situations, it’s best to know how to handle the differing opinions without it turning into an argument.” —Samantha Buford, agraduate social work student and president of the Graduate Social Work organization.

“In order to respond effectively with others, students needed to be aware of where they came from and how those values, ideas and opinions got formulated in the first place. Once they can understand themselves, they can understand where the other person is coming from. We wanted to use this opportunity to prepare them on how they can confidently respond and advocate for those threatened during these divisive times.” —Mariann Mankowski, assistant professor of social work

Photo available for download

Link to original story:
Finding positive responses during divisive times

WVU School of Social Work

Target Audiences
Families whose members have diverse opinions

People who are interested in civil discourse

People who want to share their opinions with others, but don’t want to cause arguments

People in work situations where news and politics are discussed




CONTACT: Devon Copeland
Director of Marketing and Communications
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences