Midway district’s NAVWAR land up for bid
S1: The huge Navarre complex in the Midway district is on the market.
S2: They're clearly very old. They're dilapidated. I've been told they have leaky roofs and sewage problems.
S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS midday edition. The outlook for a possible COVID uptick this holiday season.
S3: If things continue as they are right now for COVID , we could be avoiding a significant wave even though we have the holiday gatherings.
S1: The Title 42 ban on immigration will stay in place until just before Christmas. And some tips on bridging divides around the dinner table this Thanksgiving. That's ahead on Midday Edition. The huge Navarre complex in the Midway district is up for sale. In a way , the Navy is putting the 70 acre property out for bids , but it's not necessarily looking for cash. The plan is to have the successful bidder build a new , smaller navy complex on the grounds and develop the rest of the property for new housing and commercial use. The Navy says the offering of the Navarre complex is the largest real estate competition in its history. And joining me is San Diego Union Tribune reporter Jennifer Van Grove. Jennifer , welcome.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S2: But most people are familiar with it , with that really strange looking structure that you view when you're driving south towards downtown. It's right off Interstate five. And what you're looking at there are these 310,000 square feet , World War two era hangars , and they are used currently for the Navy's cyber warfare command. But there's just this inefficiency of space. They're clearly very old. They're dilapidated. I've been told they have leaky roofs and sewage problems. They're being used in a way that they weren't intended to be used. And so the Navy has deemed them obsolete and wants new facilities for 5000 full time contract workers that work at that site.
S2: They use about 1.7 million square feet of space. Now , they're asked in this solicitation is 1.4 , 3 million square feet. But they presume that there's going to be this sort of efficiency of space , meaning towers. So that essentially frees up a large portion of the site for private development.
S1: The developer would have to pay for the new Navy complex and build that first.
S2: It's a relatively blank slate , so to speak. I mean , there will certainly be things that are negotiated. But the Navy's priority is modern replacement facilities for its workforce , the requirement that that replacement facility is valued at the leasehold interest for the rest of the site. So there is this it's called an in-kind consideration and there does have to be an appropriate value exchange.
S2: It's under the federal government , so it's not a secret process as most people in California are familiar with , but it's very similar. And the Navy last year released a draft environmental impact statement. So they looked at various development alternatives for that particular site. And the one that they said that they favored at that time was about 20 million square feet of development towers stretching as high as 350 feet , 10,000 residential units , the whole nine yards. And at the time they were actually studying a transit center. But what they were doing at the time was looking at the broadest umbrella that they could potentially entitled so as to make it possible for a private developer to come in and do what the developer thought made sense. But they did get an extreme pushback on that. And so instead of finishing the environmental work , they've kind of set that work aside. They're going to go through this real estate competition's legislative solicitation process , find the partner that they want to work with , get the projects conceptually planned , have people see that , and then they will take that project and finish the environmental review with with those parameters in mind.
S1: And that transit site that you referenced was supposed to be part of a SANDAG transportation plan at one time. But those plans have been shelved , haven't they ? Yeah.
S2: So the Navy and SANDAG were initially partners , right ? There was absolutely an alignment of let's put the Grand Central that we've been talking about for years on this particular property and then and build around that. But SANDAG has since shifted course and the Navy has as well. But there's no formal arrangement. Sandbags looking at port property and downtown property for for its major transit moves.
S2: But the Navy has said it wants to be a good neighbor. And since the Navy is modeling this relationship , this public private partnership , off of something they did for the Navy Broadway complex downtown. What they've signaled in their solicitation document is it's a very similar structure where the development team that they select would likely enter into a development of. He met with the city of San Diego , which would give the city of San Diego. They would certainly have a say in ensuring that the development is consistent to whatever is baked into that agreement.
S2: I just got off the phone with Dick Honeywell , who runs the community planning group for the Midway District. And we were talking about this and how there's no direct correlation with Measure C , which looks as if it's going to pass because it is federal land , right ? So it falls outside the realm of what measures would cover. But there's hope in that. Doing more development , you know , greater than 30 feet in the Midway district would lessen sort of the enormity of the project that's on the Web site. But the reality is there's going to be a lot of development on this particular property.
S2: I know that they do have very specific dates on the process. So February 7th is when the statement of qualifications are due. So this is a two part process. So the Navy issued what's called a request for qualifications , and then that will lead in to a request for proposals. So the deadline for the first portion is February 7th. They'll whittle down the competition to a shortlist of three teams and they'll notify those teams on April 10th , on August 9th. That's the deadline that they have to submit their proposals. And then the Navy hopes to make a decision before the end of next year , and then they'll enter into a negotiation period , which could take quite a while , as we've seen with a lot of real estate deals.
S1: I've been speaking with San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Jennifer Van Grove. And Jennifer , thanks a lot.
S2: Thanks for having me.
S1: Deaths and hospitalizations from COVID 19 keep falling across the country. Now hospitals are taking precautions to make sure they don't get inundated with flu and RSV patients. Meanwhile , more is being learned about the cause of COVID symptoms and long COVID. Joining me with all things COVID 19 and more is our frequent guest , Dr. Eric Topol. He's director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Hoya. And , Dr. Topol , welcome back.
S3: Thanks , Marie.
S1: So some recent research has shed light on how COVID brain fog symptoms develop in the first place.
S3: It occurs more commonly in people who have lost their sense of smell and taste. And that may well be that the inflammation tracks through the olfactory bulb to get into the brain. But we've seen more evidence that the brain could serve as a reservoir for the virus effect. That is the inflammation effect. And we don't yet have a treatment for long COVID or the brain fog. And at least by understanding the mechanism of this inflammation , hopefully we're going to be testing some things , repurposing some drugs that have already been approved that may help alleviate this problem.
S3: But basically , Maureen , the main issue is that it can continually trigger an immune response , and that's the response , not the virus per se , but it's reaction to it. That is the troubling feature that is more common in people who have this complain of brain fog.
S3: There's been a really big study from the VA , which is , as you know , the largest health care system in the United States. And this study was just published last week. It told us that while second infections of COVID , which of course , are occurring more commonly , they're not necessarily worse than the first infection , but they are cumulative in terms of their potential impact of across the board , whether it's blood clots and cardiovascular impact , our kidney , the neurologic , all the different things and long COVID are more common with second and then third infections. So this study really reinforced the importance of avoiding a reinfection because it's just bad for your health. And we haven't taken these reinfection seriously , of course , and a lot of people have had second or third infections. So it just is another reason not to let down our guard against COVID And the idea that the infections are less problematic with al-Muqrin and these new lineages may not be well founded based on these data.
S1: Now , President Biden is asking Congress for roughly $10 billion in additional COVID funds to , quote , smooth the path to commercialization for vaccines and therapeutics.
S3: The point is that we do nothing aggressively to develop nasal vaccines in this country , which would block infections. And , of course , reinfections that we're just talking about. And so we don't have besides mass. We have really very little to block infections. And our current vaccines only do that for a matter of weeks and not at the level that we were used to in the beginning of the pandemic and right on through the Delta variant. So we need nasal vaccines. We need vaccines that last much longer. As the pandemic has worn on. We we have seen really four months. Five months is as good as we can get out of a booster shot. So we want these vaccines to last for years. Who wants to go get a booster every 4 to 6 months ? That's not something that's at all alluring. And then we also need to be variant proof. That is , we know how to get these vaccines to. They can basically take on any variant in the future of the virus as it continues to evolve and potentially even leads to a whole new family of variants beyond al-Muqrin. So these are the regions to put those funds if we could get those funds for. The government that would then make the likelihood of these new next generation vaccines much higher. And they could really be something we could have available in the next year to get ahead of the virus for the first time.
S1: Now , sadly , California has reported the first child under five to die of flu and RSV this year.
S3: But we do know that both respiratory syncytial virus , RSV and flu have affected in a very significant way many parts of the country. We've done relatively well compared to the East Coast in the south where there is a really raging flu. And also RSV has come early this year. But co-infections can occur. They don't typically result in a fatal outcome as this young child experienced. And we don't know the details or whether there was any immunosuppression that could account for. But right now , what has been called the triple demic , which is the three different viruses acting at one time , you know , COVID is is relatively quiet , as you mentioned at the outset. We're very good position right now with hospitalizations , deaths , that is severe COVID in our region and actually through most of the country right now. And so we're dealing much more with RSV , which may have peaked in the country , which would be great to see that start to come down. And then mainly flu. One other point about flu is the vaccines are working this year better than they have in the past. Near 50% reduction of infection , whereas in the past it might have been as low as 25 or 30%. So there's good reasons to get a flu shot better this year than in some of the past years.
S1: You know , just anecdotally , there are a lot of people coughing and sneezing in San Diego right now. Kids are picking up lots of bugs at school.
S3: So , you know , that's why it's not such a bad idea to wear a mask when you're indoors with crowded circumstances and people who you don't know what their status is. Obviously , we've had a huge drop down in people who are willing to use masks. But right now there is a lot of virus going around. Fortunately , most of it is not the three chief concerns. But in children and in older adults , we have to worry about RSV and influenza. And those are the ones that we want to protect against. We don't really have a way to do that with RSV. In terms of vaccine , although we're we're maybe at the brink of having something in the next year. But certainly for influenza , that's the one that we want to get people to get protected against. And we're not we have very low uptake of that shot , just like we do for COVID vaccines , which is unfortunate.
S3: The interesting and really great news is that these new variants like BQ one and 1.1 that are taking over in the United States and here in California , even though they in the lab , they look horrible with all this immune escape. They haven't played out that way in patients. And France is ahead of us. They got dominant with these variants weeks before us and they didn't see any increase in hospitalizations. I would point out the caveat that our booster rate of 40% overall is less is far less than in France , where it's 60%. But if we just try to override that concern about boosters , which I wish we could alleviate , it may not be a bad holiday season , certainly should not be anything like what we've been through the last couple of years. So on the COVID front , things look relatively favorable. And unless we get a whole new family of variants beyond American , the ones that we have been challenge with today , particularly BQ 1.1 , if that doesn't cause major trouble , then we're in very good shape for hopefully an extended period of time.
S1: That's very good news. I've been speaking with Dr. Eric Topol , director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Hoya. Dr. Topol , as always , thank you so much.
S3: Thank you , Maureen. Always a joy to talk. With you.
S1: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. On Tuesday , a federal judge struck down Title 42 , the pandemic era public health order used to expel migrants. Today , the same judge granted a stay at the Biden administration's request , which will keep the policy in place until December 21st. KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis spoke with Aaron Raichlen Melnyk policy director of the American Immigration Council , about the controversial policy and the ongoing legal battles surrounding it.
S2: Well , let's just start with a recap , right ? When the Trump administration enacted Title 42 at the start of the pandemic , it was kind of framed that this public health order to to stop the spread of COVID 19. Now , more recently , supporters of it describe it as a border enforcement tool to stop illegal immigration. Has Title 42 accomplished either of those stated goals ? Title 42 has been a failure , both in migration management and public health terms. As Judge Sullivan's decision yesterday made clear , Title 42 wasn't even necessary from a public health standpoint when it was rolled out. According to statistics revealed as part of the trial , just one person with COVID 19 a day was taken into Border Patrol custody for the first seven months of Title 42. This is at a time when there were still hundreds of thousands of people crossing the border legally every single day. For Mexico and other countries. How do we get to where we are now ? Because I remember President Joe Biden on the campaign trail back in 2020 , promised to end Title 42 , but his administration actually expanded it to include nationalities like Haitians and more recently , Venezuelans , which were previously exempt from it. So , like , how does that happen ? Well , the Biden administration has found that the politics of the border are enormously challenging. And for many people , Title 42 offered a fig leaf of some attempts to control the border. The problem is , is that Title 42 has always been more flashy than it is effective. It offers a lot of great videos of people taking migrants and sending them across the border to Mexico after arriving here , and it has allowed them to use it in a very targeted way against one or two nationalities , like , for example , Venezuelans , who as of October 12th , can be expelled back to Mexico under Title 42. But as a broader policy , title 42 has been proven ineffective. So those groups that can be applied to the most it has largely driven up border crossings , allowing people to cross the border over and over and over again. And for those who can be used the least , it is basically useless. For example , Cubans , Nicaraguans and until October 12th , Venezuelans who crossed the border could not be expelled under Title 42. That's because since the very beginning , Title 42 effectiveness has relied almost entirely on the country of Mexico. Only those nationalities which can be expelled to Mexico are expelled in large numbers for everyone else. ICE simply does not have the planes nor the logistical capacity to expel hundreds of thousands of people by air. Tell me more about just this like revolving door that Title 42 has created. I know you've been pretty outspoken about it before , and I've seen it myself when I interview migrants in Tijuana. It's common now that I'll talk to people that crossed five , ten , 15 times like that week. I imagine those five , ten , 15 times are registered as five , ten , 15 apprehensions , even though it's only one person. I talk about how Title 42 is actually driving up the numbers that's causing this kind of rhetoric about invasion and overwhelming the border. In the two and a half years since , Title 42 has been in effect. Roughly one in 3 to 1 in four people caught crossing the border were on their second or higher attempt to cross. Out of the last 4 million border encounters. Nearly 1 million of them have been people who had previously been encountered in the last 12 months , meaning that they were repeat crossers. And this is because for the groups , the Title 42 can be applied to the most. A trip back to Mexico is often what they would prefer after being caught trying to cross the border. These are primarily people who are not trying to seek asylum. The more classic migrants from 1520 years ago who were primarily coming to the United States in search of a better life and a job in the United States. For those migrants under normal immigration law , being caught , risked getting an order of deportation and then risking felony criminal prosecution if they crossed the border a second time after having previously been deported. But none of those consequences attach to somebody who is expelled under Title 42 because Title 40. You is not an immigration law. That means a person can cross the border ten , 20 , 30 different times without ever risking felony prosecution for illegal reentry after removal that has basically restored the border to the state. It was 20 to 25 years ago when Border Patrol agents used to take single adult Mexican men and return them back to Mexico without a formal deportation order , creating essentially a revolving door. Now , let's talk about just sort of like the legal present and future of Title 42 are , right. I've been reporting on this for a year and it feels like it's become a constant cycle of announcements saying it's gone and then an update saying , well , no , not yet. What's the latest like ? Can we definitively say that Title 42 is gone or is there like a dot , dot , dot ? So Judge Sullivan's decision to strike down Title 42 is the first time in the last two and a half years that a judge has overturned the policy in its entirety. However , Judge Sullivan granted a stay this morning , allowing the government until December 21st to wind down the policy and return to normal immigration laws. Whether there's going to be a movement in the interim to stop Judge Sullivan's order from going into effect is a different story. The Department of Justice hasn't yet said whether it's going to appeal , but it's likely that the conservative attorneys general who sued to block the Biden administration from ending Title 42 may attempt to intervene in some way to stop this outcome from happening. So at this moment , we don't know whether Title 42 will , in fact , end on title up on December 21st. But this is the closest it's ever been.
S1: That was Aaron Raichlen Melnick , policy director of the American Immigration Council , speaking with KPBS , border reporter Gustavo Solis. The leaders of a high profile San Diego nonprofit sparked a major controversy over $70,000 worth of historical antiques. Investigative reporter Jill Castellano breaks this down for us in part one of her two part series.
S4: For two decades , Bruce and Elena Koons have led San Diego's premier nonprofit committed to historic preservation called Save Our Heritage Organization , or Soho. The controversy at Soho is a long and complicated story. It started around 2017 when the Koons , who are married , were looking for a home to live in when they retire. Here's Lori Peoples , a former board member at Soho. I had actually traveled with them when we were friends and stuff , and we had done tours of the South and that was one of their goals , was to have a home in the South. The Koons eventually purchased a two story mansion in Natchez , Mississippi. Then in 2019 , they agreed to participate in a historic home tour , an event where residents could walk through their property to learn about history and architecture. And here's the part that some people at Soho found concerning the Koons ship. Dozens of Soho's antiques from the San Diego nonprofit's storage room all the way to their private Mississippi home to display on the tour. And the couple received a cut of the proceeds from the tour. Christopher Pro , who worked with Soho for 20 years , said he didn't understand why the Koons were using Soho's delicate antiques for an event that had no connection to the organization.
S2: There's no reason to loan out.
S5: Sterling silver teaspoons or the decanter set that's so fragile to be shipping it 1300 miles away. There's no there's no reason for that.
S4: The antiques , including a $12,000 pair of candlesticks and a $5,000 set of rosewood chairs , stayed in Mississippi for more than two years. Then in December last year , the Koons posted their mansion for sale online with photos that included Soho's antiques and a description that said original antiques came with the purchase. That prompted complaints to soho's board of directors. People said when she told some of the board members about her concerns , they didn't even know the antiques existed. That made her even more concerned. They've set themselves up for failure and for questioning. In an interview , the Koons acknowledged that they had loaned the items to themselves for their personal use without getting approval from anyone else. That Soho experts said that's not how loans should be made.
S2: There's a conflict of interest there , obviously.
S4: That's Jim Vogt , a certified fraud investigator and lecturer at San Diego State University.
S2: You can't just unilaterally say , oh , I'm going to borrow these things from the organization regardless of your position in the organization.
S4: Here's some audio from an interview with Soho Leadership , which is a little hard to hear because so many people were in the room.
S2: We're we're making this up.
S3: As we go on. And we've been entrepreneurial.
S2: And in fashion. And yeah , we're learning.
S4: That's Bruce Koons. He and his wife said they realized they should have gotten permission to use the antiques and they're glad new policies are now in place to spell out how Soho property can be used. But they completely deny any wrongdoing and said they did not personally benefit from the antiques in any way. The couple said they spent more than $20,000 preparing for the home tour , way more than what they earned from it. They also provided a list of items that they were offering for sale with their house , which did not include any of the nonprofit's antiques. Here's Alina Koons. Our entire.
S1: Life , everything we do.
S2: Is dedicated to.
S1: Helping and growing. And building.
S2: Doing , you know , so this is just.
S1: Goes completely. Against.
S4: Anything and everything that anyone.
S1: Knows about us or who we are. So we. Wanted.
S6: Wanted. Scrutiny.
S4: The Koons said they quickly ships the items back to Soho once concerns were raised. In July , an audit found that all the antiques were returned. But that audit caused its own controversy. One board member even resigned because of it. More on that coming in part two for KPBS. I'm a new source , investigative reporter Jill Castellano.
S1: To learn more , go to I news Source dot org. I News Source is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS. A high wind warning is in effect for San Diego until ten tonight. And when this Santa Ana event passes , forecasters say another is expected this weekend. Even with winds and very low humidity. No red flag warning has been issued because of the county's recent rains. But the weather service says that may change with more windy , dry conditions on the way. Joining me is Alex Tardy , warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in San Diego County. Alex , welcome back.
S6: Thanks for having me on.
S1: Now , 30 to 40 mile an hour winds are forecast with gusts up to six. 80 miles an hour inland.
S6: Whenever we hear winds in the forecast , especially Santa Ana , we perk up because we know that means dry air , warm temperatures often and sometimes even wildfires. So the winds we're seeing already that are 40 miles per hour are in areas like Escondido , Rancho Santa Fe , Poway , Ramona Valley Center , that area. And then closer to San Diego , it's areas east of the downtown area. So Elkhorn and up towards Alpine and down to Taihu Lake. Now , the really big winds , 60 miles per hour , like usual , those are up more in the elevations , 4 to 5000 feet. So up in our mountain slopes.
S6: We're seeing less wind than areas like Riverside and Ontario. There are numerous semis that have been overturned early this morning along Interstate 15 and the 210 across the Inland Empire. Our area where we usually keep an eye on and is being impacted as Interstate eight. So there's a lot of wind sensors along there , and all of them are gusting 50 to 65 miles per hour. So high profile vehicles certainly a problem when you encounter those type of winds.
S6: Humidity suffers. And in other words , it the air dries out. We've got air coming from the dry desert. It comes down the mountain slopes. It warms a little more. It's kind of like having , you know , the blow dryer going and drying your hair. So we're looking at humidity already around 10% across the entire valley region I 15 corridor of San Diego County. Even in our mountains , humidity is between 15 and 20%. That's that's dry.
S1: It sure is. But temperatures , they're only creeping up a little bit , right ? Yeah.
S6: So this won't be what we so called the hot Santa Ana wind. It'll be warm , warmer than normal. But temperatures , most areas won't go over 80 degrees , but that'll feel nice , especially when the winds die off this afternoon. But along the coast , you know , we're going to be 75 to 80 in the mountains , though , because this is a cool Santa Ana. Temperatures will only make it into the forties and fifties.
S6: We had some really nice rain last week. Now we're drying out , evaporating all that rain with this 10% humidity and wind blowing across it like a like a hairdryer. So another Santa Ana looks likely for Friday night and especially Saturday. We don't like to get into these patterns because the more you have offshore Santa Ana winds , the drier the vegetation gets. So even though we had beneficial rain , we're evaporating , losing a lot of that wetness. So another Santa Ana means that when we go into this weekend , the fire danger will increase rather than decrease , just because the cumulative impact of all this dry air going across the region. And we got to remember it's fall. So we don't have a lot of green grass and a lot of the vegetation still dormant.
S1: Now , we've seen , as you mentioned , some very early rainfall in recent weeks. I'm wondering why that is and if it indicates that it's going to be a wet winter.
S6: Yeah , it was definitely beneficial to fire weather. So we saw rain in September with tropical cyclone. We saw rain in early October and a lot of lightning in almost affected the baseball games. But then we had that soaking rain last week , Election Day. And we're always , you know , wondering , does that indicate a trend or mean anything for the upcoming winter ? Unfortunately , when we talk to all the researchers , all the long range predictions , all the studies that have been done , it doesn't indicate that it will be much impact on our winter. So , in other words , our winter is still expected to be drier than an average winter and less opportunities to see significant rainfall.
S6: And so the forecast looks quite nice. So we get through the Santa Ana winds on Saturday and then we'll slowly warm up next week going into the into the holiday week. And I don't see any impact really , to to travel on the on the West. Host. So that's going to be great news. And the main the main chance for anything , you know , like rain will be in December. What we probably will have to deal with , unfortunately , during Thanksgiving is another Santa Ana. So we're dealing with one today , Saturday and then mid-next week. Looks like the same type of storm track with us on the dry side. Everything go by story. So that's probably going to be your main impact is , you know , fire weather and Santa Ana wind during the Thanksgiving holiday.
S1: All right. I've been speaking with Alex Tardy with the National Weather Service in San Diego County. Alex , thank you.
S6: Thank you very much.
S1: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH. With Thanksgiving just over a week away. Many of us are thinking about our connections to each other in a deeply divided America. Dinner table Conversations with loved ones can be minefields for avoiding sensitive subjects. Despite that , the holidays highlight the human need to feel belonging with our loved ones. Jeff Cohen , professor of psychology at Stanford University , explores the science behind that need for connection. His new book is called Belonging The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides. He spoke with Midday Edition co-host Jade Heineman. And here's that conversation. Jeff.
S2: In the book you.
S4: Write about how many people are undergoing a crisis.
S1: Of belonging.
S4: What does that.
S2: Mean exactly and why do you want to focus on that in this book ? Well , belonging is a core human need that we've evolved to be exquisitely attuned to. One of the most important things for our survival as a species was working together to solve common problems. And we've evolved such that when that sense of belonging comes under threat or comes under siege , it has ripple effects , both biologically and psychologically. And to take just one example of the crisis of belonging , roughly 20% of Americans suffer from prolonged or chronic loneliness , which research suggests is as bad for our health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Meanwhile , as you said in your intro , people are increasingly disconnected because of the pandemic. There is increasing disconnection due to economic deprivation and inequality and the feeling that many Americans have of being left behind. And so all that together creates what people judge has called a crisis of belonging. And I co-opted that term to describe. One of the things I think that defines the era we're in. Well , and a.
S4: Lot of the.
S2: Science and research you highlight in your book is not necessarily new science , but something you call situation crafting. Can you explain what that is ? One of the things that social psychology my field has shown time and again is that one of the most powerful predictors of people's behavior is the situation that they're in right here , right now in the classroom , the office , the boardroom , the cafe. What is happening around us , including the blink of an eye from someone or a smile or being treated politely , has much more impact on us than we appreciate. And so much most of us go about our day to day lives feeling as though what really matters is personality. What's inside of people. But what social psychology underscores is the power of the situation , the situation right here , right now. And what that implies as a corollary , is that each of us has some of that power. We share some of that power of the situation because each of us is by definition , part of the situation in which we find ourselves. And by acting , we're talking or interacting in the different ways. We can sometimes have huge consequences on the trajectory of our encounters , on the possibility of growth in them. And so I wrote this book out of my hope and belief that by shaping the way in which we interact in our day to day encounters , we can mitigate this crisis of belonging , sometimes in surprisingly powerful ways. The research suggests your book title includes the aspirational words Bridging Divides. But that seems like a tall order in 2022 , doesn't it ? It really does. And I'm not saying it will be easy. However , there are small steps we can all take to really bridge that divides. One of my favorite examples in this realm is research by Dave Brookman and Josh Kollar. And just to make a long story short , in their amazing research , which draws a lot on some of the research in social psychology that many have been conducting , they have ten minute conversations across political lines. And within that 10 minutes , they create more intergroup understanding and change in political attitudes. They go to some of the most conservative areas in Florida. And in effect , through these conversations , open up conservatives to support transgender rights. And they find effects that are enduring even months to months later. These individuals , as a result of this ten minute conversation , are more supportive of transgender rights and more likely to take a stand against hate propaganda against transgender people. What happens in those ten minute conversations ? The interaction is such that people feel treated respectfully. Listen to. They are not judge. What's often notable about these conversations is what's missing. The canvassers are not bombarding the residents with information and facts to kind of coerce change. Instead , they're having a conversation in which they're turning this issue over together and looking at it from multiple points of view. And the residents feel affirmed and seen as a result , which opens them up to change. And time and again , we see this little things that we do in our day to day encounters can sometimes have a big effect. I'm not saying it's going to be easy , but if we each do this in small ways throughout our day , a little thing can add up to a big change. You write about how belonging and exclusion often go hand in hand. Why is that ? Well , belonging is that sense of being part of a larger group and being accepted and mattering to it. And it is possible in a lot of cases , an easy path to belonging is to exclude. They are different from us. I am not like them. And one of the ways in which this happens is , of course , through discrimination and stereotyping. At least I'm better than them. Research suggests , for instance , when people feel bad about themselves , when they feel threatened , like their self-worth is under attack. They purchase self-esteem by putting down outgroups. In effect , restoring their self-worth by comparing themselves downwardly with a denigrated outgroup. So that's one example of how putting down others , excluding others , can help us to psychologically restore our selves. And that's not a good thing. That is one of the things that divides us. The need to belong can have positive effects or negative effects depending on how it's channeled. And what I really believe is that one of the things that's leading people down extremists paths and join hate organizations is a lack of authentic belonging in their day to day lives. Of course , is not the only thing , but research suggests that when people feel disconnected , when they don't have support in the shore , they become vulnerable to extremist propaganda and hate. So what are some simple things we can do to improve our.
S1: Sense of belonging in our.
S2: Daily lives ? There are so many things. One , I think not every idea has to be novel , but there is an obvious one. One is simply to be polite in our encounters , especially across lines of difference. Studies suggest , for instance , that when we're interacting across racial or gender lines , we often forget to say please or thank you or to treat people courteously or to make eye contact. And these little things actually are noticed and affect the belonging of the people with whom we interact. So one simple strategy is to be polite. And I was really moved by Isabel Wilkerson book in which she says that one of the things they did in the antebellum South was to have very strict protocols about being polite towards black people. Withholding politeness was a way to put down the outgroup. So politeness is a really powerful way in which we honor the self of another human being. Another tip is to reflect on our core values. We are forgetful creatures , so we sometimes forget what really holds us together and gives us anchorage our core values , the things that we would stand up for and even die for. Research suggests that simply taking some time throughout the day to reconnect with what's important to us , our family , our friends , what we are grateful for can help us to achieve that sense of belonging , especially under times of stress when we feel slacking. Jeff Cohen is a professor of psychology at Stanford University. His new book is. Called.
S2: Belonging The Science.
S4: Of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides.
S2: And Jeff , thank you very much for joining us. Thank you. It.