Blog Posts


September 20, 2023

I grew up in a small town called Lacrosse. The town still has about 300 people living there. Our high school mascot was a tiger, and it was painted on the gym wall. I remember going to basketball games and cheering loud for the Tigers. During the games, we kinda disliked the visiting teams. And…

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Will Christians Step Up?

September 12, 2023

Surveys conducted by IPSOS and Gallup corroborate a sentiment that is palpable: there is significant concern about the division among Americans. So, what is the solution? What steps can we take to remedy this situation? At Paths to Understanding, we are committed to uniting individuals from diverse cultures, traditions, and identities. Our aim is for…

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LGT Coordinator Joins PTU Team

September 6, 2023

We have some big news! As you all know, we launched our new Let’s Go Together program this year. We teamed up with almost 20 local groups in Skagit County to bring together neighbors across lines of faith, culture, ethnicity, and socio-economic situation. Now our local leadership team is ready to invite their community members…

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GDL Resources

August 9, 2023

We invite you to download these Discussion Questions, Action Steps, & Resources. Please sign up for our weekly email newsletter below.

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Social Contract

August 8, 2023

I grew up in Eastern Washington State. The town was so small that the high school had 64 students and my class had 14 students. The teachers had to teach multiple subjects but they did a great job. One teacher especially has shaped me. Dorothy Smith. Dorothy taught English, history, and German. Mostly she challenged…

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Will We Mend the Tears?

July 23, 2023

According to the latest FBI report on hate crimes, such crimes have reached the highest level since the government began tracking them in the early 1990s. This is the insidious effect of dehumanization. It propagates the notion that certain groups are dangerous, justifying harassment, oppression, and violence against them. Although most people exposed to dehumanizing…

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Finding Calm When Engaging Difference

July 11, 2023

In today’s increasingly polarized society, it can be challenging to maintain calm and composed when engaging with people across political or ideological divides. Yet, these exchanges are essential for nurturing mutual understanding, empathetic connections, and social cohesion. How do we approach these often sensitive conversations without losing our cool? Understanding the Root of the Differences:…

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Hope Springs Eternal

July 2, 2023

Viveka Hall-Holt is the 2022/23 Treacy & Levine Fellow at PTU Hope springs eternal. This has not always been my experience.   Growing up, I knew that the world had problems, but I was also confident that the grown-ups knew what they were doing and had a plan. Climate change was maiming our earth and wars…

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A New Phase

June 25, 2023

My first experience with Paths to Understanding was in November of 2017. I was invited to a board meeting. Our co-founder, Father Treacy, was present and the group was trying hard to keep the organization together after the sale of their retreat center, Camp Brotherhood, the year before. They were working through understandable grief and…

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