But the Professor of Psychology and Education cautioned that the task facing the country is formidable.
“The odds are good, but the work is hard,” Coleman, Director of Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR), told NewsHour correspondent NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman.
“There are not simple fixes to this. We are going to have to recognize that, like addiction, that this is a long-term problem that has been gaining steam for decades,” Coleman said. “We can do it. And I think the urgency of the violence we see on the streets is certainly something that will motivate us.”
Coleman shared his thoughts with Solman in a segment that explored avenues to bridging the political gap. The pathways include One Small Step, a StoryCorps initiative, that pairs strangers with different beliefs for a 50-minute conversation about their lives, not about their politics.
The piece aired at the conclusion of a week-long NewsHour retrospective on the events of January 6, 2021.
In his authorship of The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization and leadership of MD-ICCCR research on reconciliation and common ground, Coleman has consistently maintained that the differences cleaving America are not irreconcilable.