On April 9, in partnership with the Pepperdine School of Public Policy we are excited to host author and scholar Ryan Streeter and psychiatrist Francie Broghammer on America’s epidemic of loneliness and the path towards meaningful connection.
Loneliness in America has been sharply increasing, even before the onset of the pandemic — despite our virtually unprecedented national prosperity, technological advance, and immediate virtual access to information and each other, there is, in the words of our guest Francie Broghammer, a growing “toll of despair.” The thinning of many family and community ties has sharpened our felt sense of isolation, and led some to seek a sense of solidarity in political involvement. But Streeter’s research has found that “normally, when people get involved in their communities, social capital grows and loneliness declines…But we have found that political engagement is a lone exception to this rule.”
How then should we think about reinvigorating the relational and community ties that encourage the flourishing of both the individual and the body politic? What are the antidotes to isolation in a time of pandemic — and beyond? Is there hope for connecting lonely people in a divided nation at a polarized time?
We hope you’ll join us as we wrestle with these questions and more.