“Brave Conversations,” an energetic gathering where Alaskans sharpen their thinking through sincere conversations, is set to resume on April 9 with a robust discussion on whether Alaska should increase school choice options across the state.

The upcoming event is intended to bring opposing views into sharper focus as two main interlocutors forsake “safe spaces” and embark on a “brave conversation.”

“It has been too long since we’ve had one of our Brave Conversations! Now is the time to re-engage and reignite our minds for learning and our hearts for connecting,” noted local founder Leigh Slone in an email about the upcoming event. “It’s time to get out of our echo chambers and see things differently.”

Sloan notes that the Brave Conversations program, which launched several years ago, is now armed with new team members who are hoping to improve and expand the events.

The upcoming conversation will occur April 9 at Umoja Co-Working (3001 Porcupine Dr, Anchorage) from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The topic will be School Choice.

The event will include two moderators, Sloan and Jasmin Smith.

Sloan is a social and political conservative, while Smith is an innovative entrepreneur who engages in left-of-center political and social justice activism.

During the conversation, Sloan and Smith will help guide the discussion along with demonstrators who disagree on the topic at hand.

“You’ll be able to observe the interaction and learn more about school choice from both sides,” Sloan explained. “This month’s brave conversationalists are Rozyln Wyche and Bethany Marcum.”

Marcum is a conservative-minded advocate for greater school choice options across Alaska, including charter schools, home education and private schooling. She currently serves as state director at Americans for Prosperity – Alaska.

Wyche is president of Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators, a left-leaning organization that advocates for greater public funding of governments schools, while opposing attempts to limit Critical Race Theory in classrooms.

Attendees are encouraged to stick around after the featured conversation between Marcum and Wyche to engage in their own brave conversation with someone else from the room who may hold a different opinion.

“This conversation could be around the topic of the day or a different topic,” Sloan explained. “We will use the same format as demonstrated to learn how to have more productive conversations.”

“We believe that by intentionally leaning in and practicing brave conversational skills, we will help improve our culture at a local level and beyond,” she added. “We look forward to a great conversation with you!”

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Alaska’s ‘Brave Conversations’ reignites with school choice discussion between conservative leader and BIPOC activist

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Steve Peterson says:

    Wyche…. Hmmm.

  • John J Otness says:

    The left demands and the right bows low….. nothing new under the sun … Now we either follow GODs rules or we all perish submission
    is compliance… Now do you serve GOD or Man? There is no conversation left.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Respectful dialogue and debate can shed light on truth. I’m sure there will be many in attendance or participating that might finally see and hear.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      I agree Elizabeth. We have strayed away from having meaningful conversations to work out issues. Learning these skills is difficult and people get out of practice. I remember taking courses as part of my job to be a more effective communicator. Effective communication is a must in this day and age. Moreover, learning when to respectfully cut the ties and walk away from an ineffective conversation is just as important.

  • micah says:

    BIPOC? Sounds like a made up communist word.

    • C says:

      You should learn to open your mind , learn empathy , put yourself in the shoes of someone who is different than you, with different life experiences and perspectives. It’s easy to be cynical when you wear an ideological straight jacket, it’s not hard, be brave, have courage , open your heart and mind , you might actually learn something.

      I’ve always been critical of the hard right position that Mr Davidson takes, I believe that it has helped to poison the discourse in our community. I welcome this discussion and others like it, and would encourage Mr Davidson to hold more events like this in the future.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        I am amazed at the increasing attacks on Mr. Davidson. He is doing good in this community and helping to wake people up. The evil is loosing and it is trying its hardest to take everyone down the drain with it. Not going to happen because many of us can see the evil swirling and swirling going down the hole while we stay in the calm waters above. We are holding steadfast in our faith that there is only one true God – the creator of all creation and doing his will.