RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Looking for substantial communication that doesn't involve cellphones or social media? North Carolina State University's Institute for Emerging Issues is offering ways to sit down and converse about weighty topics while building positive relationships.

The object of Wednesday's "ReCONNECT NC Day" is to try and build new bridges as the divisive arguments of the 2020 presidential elections approach.

The "Civic Conversations" like those being held in Charlotte, Greenville, Wilson, Elkin and Wilkesboro will emphasize listening first to understand the views of others. A Cary barbershop is hosting a discussion with police officers. The group Teach for America is involved in a Rocky Mount community conversation.

These meetings are part of a three-year institute initiative designed to respond to what it calls the increasing disconnect among North Carolina residents.

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