• Who We Are: WeListen is a grassroots, campus-based organization bridging the American political divide.


    Our Mission: To build empathy across the American political spectrum through conversation.


    Our Goal: Change the American political climate by building a movement of listeners on campuses across the country.

  • What We Do

    WeListen convenes small-group discussion to humanize the other side

    The Problem

    America is divided.

    Red states and blue states, echo chambers on social media, and a divisive presidential election. Americans can't seem to get along.

    Our Solution

    WeListen gets people talking. Face to face.

    We're fostering small-group discussion between unlikely conversants to change the American political climate—campus by campus.

    Our Method

    Small-group conversation on campus.

    At WeListen, students from across the political spectrum—Democrats, Republicans, or neither—engage in facilitated discussion (not debate!) on topics like gun control, free speech, abortion, and immigration.


    They come together to learn why someone might not agree with them, and leave with an enhanced understanding of how individuals’ backgrounds and value systems affect how they see the world.

    Our Story

    Students fighting for change.

    After the 2016 election, liberal and conservative students at the University of Michigan saw partisanship and lack of discourse dividing their campus and American society.


    In response, they started WeListen. WeListen is taking actionable steps to bridge the American political divide by helping students understand the views and values of the other side, humanizing political adversaries.

  • WeListen in the News

    Read about our work!

    Want to feature WeListen in your publication? Contact welistenusa@gmail.com.

  • Our Team

    Meet WeListen!

    Gabriel Lerner

    Gabriel Lerner graduated from the University of Michigan in 2018 with a degree in public policy with a focus on economic inequality. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area and has interned at the White House, in the Parliament of Canada, and at Bain & Company. Gabriel is the co-founder of WeListen, an organization that facilitates small-group discussion between liberals and conservatives. After graduation, he will be studying at Peking University in Beijing, China as a Yenching Scholar before returning to Bain & Company in Chicago.

    Sonia Thosar

    Sonia Thosar graduated from the University of Michigan in 2018 with a degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering and a minor from the Stephen M Ross School of Business. She is originally from the suburbs of Chicago, IL and has interned at Amazon in Seattle, WA and the Boston Consulting Group in New York, NY. She co-founded WeListen, an organization that facilitates productive political dialogue between liberals and conservatives. Upon graduation, she will be studying Film Studies in Europe as a University of Michigan Roger M. Jones Fellow before returning to the Boston Consulting Group. In her free time, she enjoys watching documentaries, re-reading Harry Potter, and talking all things film and politics.

    Sarah Wagner

    Sarah Wagner graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a degree in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience and Linguistics. She is originally from Milford, MI and currently lives in the Ann Arbor area. She joined WeListen in 2018, creating the first discussions dedicated to UM staff members and the Ann Arbor community. As the Program Director of WeListen, Sarah leads the effort to expand WeListen to campuses and communities across the country. In her free time, she enjoys promoting diversity initiatives and political activism, watching the Office, and spending time at the park with her dog, Bo.

    2019 Executive Board

    University of Michigan

  • Contact Us

    Submit your questions, comments, and suggestions below!

    Media inquiries can be directed to welistenusa@gmail.com.