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Utah citizen summit explores ways to bridge state, nation after divisive election season

By Marjorie Cortez. Reprinted from KSL.

SALT LAKE CITY — In what was part group therapy and part community conversation, participants in the Utah Citizen Summit spent a full day talking and listening Saturday about the best way to move forward after the divisive election season.

While many of the participants were elected officials and community leaders, bridging divides and reaching out to people who feel afraid or marginalized is everyone's job, said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

"We have the responsibility to comfort them and tell them, 'We're in this together. You're a citizen. You're my neighbor. You're my friend. I’m not going to be silent and let something happen to you. We're in this together,'" Gill said.

Catherine M. Stokes, a community leader and a former public health care administrator in Illinois, said Utahns and Americans need to take inventory of who they are as the nation strives to move forward.