Resources

Want more ways to help combat polarization in your day-to-day life?
Here are some resources you can turn to.

Bridging Divides Playbook – A playbook from More in Common highlighting the key skills and strategies for overcoming divides.

Beyond Your Bubble – Written by Tania Israel, this book is an accessible, politically-neutral, resource for people who are interested in dialogue across political lines. It is relatable across demographics and timely for current concerns. The book introduces evidence-based strategies and focuses on skill-development. Readers can learn at their own pace and can practice – on their own, with others, with family, with community. It’s great for groups: faith communities, political organizations and conferences, corporations, self-improvement workshops, nonprofit advocacy associations, book clubs, student groups, and classrooms.

America’s Divided Mind – New insights from brain and behavioral science explain how polarization is fueled by Americans’ misperceptions about each other. Learn more about the psychology that drives us apart, and how we can start to reverse it.

How Business Bridges Divides  This report from Business for America explores how to engage the business community to overcome social and political divisions in America through workforce culture and employee development.

The Fulcrum – The Fulcrum is a news platform where insiders and outsiders to politics are informed, meet, talk, and act to repair our democracy and make it live and work in our everyday lives. 

All Sides – AllSides strengthens our democratic society with balanced news, media bias ratings, diverse perspectives, and real conversation, exposing people to information and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum so they can better understand the world — and each other.

Divided We Fall – Divided We Fall is a non-profit news publication working to provide bipartisan dialogue for the politically engaged, publishing written debates between individuals who disagree in order to expose readers to different viewpoints and demonstrate productive civil discourse.

MWEG’S Media Literacy Guide – This document helps teach tools for recognizing bias, inaccuracies, and falsehoods in the news media landscape.

Fact Checking Sites – A list of websites dedicated to fact-checking and preventing the spread of inaccurate or falsified information.

The Way Out: Overcoming Toxic Polarization – In this episode of The Village Square’s podcast, The Way Out, Columbia University’s Peter T. Coleman and BridgeUSA’s Manu Meel discuss overcoming toxic polarization.

The Democracy Group Podcasts – The Democracy Group is a network of podcasts and organizations that create educational content about democracy, civic engagement, and civil discourse. They aim to provide informative, educational content that can increase curiosity and empathy among listeners and use their platform to share the good work of organizations that are taking action to strengthen democracy.

Interfaith America with Eboo Patel podcast – Host Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith America, speaks with a rotating guest list of civic leaders and bridgebuilders working in diverse sections of American civic life.

A Braver Way – Host Mónica Guzmán is joined by guests from across the political spectrum to unearth tools, insights, and messy real life stories that can guide you over the divide in your everyday life. So whether you’re Red, Blue, or something entirely different, “A Braver Way” will help you hear and be heard by people who confound you.

The Hopeful Majority – Every Monday, Manu Meel invites you into a conversation about how we overcome our toxic politics to write the next chapter in our American story.

How to lead a conversation between people who disagree – A Ted Talk by journalist Eve Pearlman who introduces “dialogue journalism”: a project where journalists go to the heart of social and political divides to support discussions between people who disagree.

3 Ways to Practice Civility – Journalist Steven Petrow looks for answers in the original meaning of the word, showing why civility shouldn’t be dismissed as conversation-stifling political correctness or censorship. Learn three ways we can each work to be more civil — and start talking about our differences with respect.

Do politics make us irrational? – Can someone’s political identity actually affect their ability to process information? The answer lies in a cognitive phenomenon known as partisanship. While identifying with social groups is an essential and healthy part of life, it can become a problem when the group’s beliefs are at odds with reality. So how can we recognize and combat partisanship? Jay Van Bavel shares helpful strategies.

CALM Method  – Resolutionaries founder and CEO, Dennis Cohen, talks through seven easy steps to help you have constructive conversations with someone you’re at odds with. 

Interfaith Leadership Series –  In this eight-part series, you get a chance to explore the foundational concepts of interfaith cooperation, learn about inspiring interfaith leaders, and examine the history of American religious diversity. 

Senator Todd Young (IN) and Senator Chris Coons (DE) speak at Notre Dame: Civility and Bartisanship in a Time of Polarization and Gridlock – As part of the 2023-24 Notre Dame Forum on the “Future of Democracy,” join University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., for a fireside chat with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN), as they discuss cultivating civility and bipartisanship in a time of polarization and gridlock. 

The Perception Gap Quiz  Do you have a yawning Perception Gap, or are you in sync with the American public? This quiz helps you to gauge your own understanding of people on the other side of the political aisle.

Polarization Detox Challenge – Daily short online exercises to help overcome the toxic polarization harming your health, your relationships, and our country’s ability to thrive.

ListenFirst Academy – The Listen First Project has put together a quick step-by-step guide on how to practice the art of listening as an action.

Strengthening Democracy Challenge: Interventions – Stanford University’s Strengthening Democracy Challenge brought academics, practitioners, and industry experts together in a collective effort to identify short effective interventions to improve Americans’ commitment to democratic principles of political engagement. 

Living Room Conversations Topic Library – Living Room Conversations has created Conversation Guides with the goal of making them welcoming to people across the political and cultural spectrum, with over 100 different topics.

Common Ground Conversation Guide – Common Ground Conversations invites you to learn about both sides of an issue by exploring multimedia content from high-profile guests of diverse political backgrounds. Get informed on today’s most pressing issues, then use what you’ve learned to help bring light and not heat to our nation’s civil discourse.

Interactivity Foundation Discussion Library – Check out these discussion guides across various topics from the Interactivity Foundation, which emphasize the importance and power of civic discussion.

Dialogue Flow Chart – A visual guide to help people make intentional decisions about whether they want to engage in dialogue and, if so, how to do so effectively.

Citizen Connect Platform – Citizen Connect is a non-partisan platform dedicated to helping Americans right, left and center find events and workshops focused on bridging divides. 

Bridging Divides Initiative – Princeton University has created a state-by-state directory that provides information on organizations regularly providing de-escalation bystander intervention, and conflict resolution trainings, in addition to organizations providing virtual or nation-wide trainings.

More Perfect Union – Brickyard Chapters – Across cities and towns just like yours nationwide, More Perfect Union serves our communities by starting with frank and honest conversations where everyone’s voice matters. These Chapters – also known as our Brickyards – are mobile places for neighbors to connect and solve local problems. We do this through respectful and open conversations, and to find common ground as we work together to promote trust and understanding.

Crossing Party Lines  – Crossing Party Lines makes it possible for you to talk and connect with Americans who see the world differently.  Their goals are to increase tolerance, build community, and encourage civic cooperation. Every week, they discuss important and controversial topics. Participation is open to all, with or without membership. You decide which topics interest you, then sign up on Meetup to attend.

Defusing the History Wars – Report by More In Common which explores polarization in the national conversation over how U.S. history should be taught to future generations.

Skills for Bridging the Gap: Interfaith America’s curriculum for educators and facilitators focused on the bridgebuilding practices and skills that help people engage across deep divides. 

Free Speech and Inclusion: How College Students Are Navigating Shifting Speech Norms – Co-authored by the Constructive Dialogue Institute and More in Common, this report brings data to inform the public conversation about the current state of free expression and inclusion on college campuses.

BRIDGE Curriculum: Interfaith America’s Building Regular Interfaith Dialogue through Generous Engagement (BRIDGE) curriculum is designed for campus professional staff to be offered within professional development activities (training days, retreats, etc.) Some campus professionals have also found the materials useful for student leadership trainings, depending on the nature of the group and their readiness to talk about worldview. Modules focus on self-reflection, interrogation of biases around worldview, and activities to practice discussing religious and worldview identity from our own perspectives. 

Democracy for President – Democracy for President provides cutting-edge data and unbiased information on the electoral process to foster civic engagement. 

Faith in Elections Playbook – Interfaith America’s Faith in Elections Playbook supports faith-based, civic and campus communities with accessible, actionable resources to support the 2024 election.   

Common Ground Scorecard – The Common Ground Scorecard is a tool for helping voters learn which elected officials and candidates seek common ground on important issues to move the country forward.

The Commons’ Democracy Resource Hub – The Commons’ Social Change Library has created a fantastic resource specifically geared towards defending democracy and bridge building.

The Pluralism Challenge – The George W. Bush Presidential Center has compiled a series-style database on the nature of pluralism and how it’s vital to strengthening our democracy.

Tell Everyone You Know

Spread the word about BCBA and how to get involved! Below is some more information you can share along with our website:

 

The Building Civic Bridges Act (BCBA)

One-pager here.

Official Bill from the 117th Congress here.

Official statement from Rep. Derek Kilmer’s office here.

Loren is a spiritual psychologist and a practitioner of Non-Violent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg’s game-changing work on interpersonal dialogue and conflict resolution.

Josie is a psychotherapist in private practice with over 40 years of experience. With a focus on the whole person, Josie helps families, couples, and individuals improve communication, connection, and increase mindfulness through self-awareness.

A pioneer in the field of complementary medicine, Kathleen co-founded the first acupuncture clinic in the United States, at UCLA. With her co-founder, Dr. Steven Rosenblatt, she founded the first five acupuncture schools in the US, known today as the New England School of Acupuncture and the California Acupuncture College. She is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an Integrative Medicine Consultant, a PTSD and Depression Specialist, holds a Ph.D. in metaphysical French and Spanish Literature from the University of Connecticut, and is a sought-after global lecturer on wellness and alternative therapies. In addition to her private practice, Kathleen is Director of Community Outreach for the Earth Harmony Foundation, author of Rene Daumal: The Life & Work of a Mystic Guide, and creator of the ground-breaking Cellular Meditation CD-series for Veterans and other PTSD survivors, funded by Graham Nash.

Julie co-facilitates the MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, the Topanga Peace Alliance, and has served as the Executive Director for both the Citizens Advice Bureau in NYC, and the Coalition for Community Health in Los Angeles. Julie is a social worker devoted to improving the lives of low-income families and children, having worked with city and county governments to better integrate services and improve outcomes for abused children, high-risk families, homeless persons, and other vulnerable populations.

Kathleen has served as environmental consultant to the U.S. Defense Department on their Defense and Environment Initiative. In partnership with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Kathleen coordinated the “What’s Working in the World” program for the First Earth Run, an initiative that engaged twenty-five million people and 45 heads of state in 62 countries. Kathleen went on to work with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), creating the first-ever Personal Action Guide, which was translated into seven languages. She is the founding director of the Southern California Council on Environment and Development (SCCED), and founder of Topanga Canyon’s most iconic bookstore, Bridge Building Books

Angela is founder of IMBUE Symposium, a philanthropic program designed to inspire, educate, and motivate students as they matriculate from school to a professional career. She is a seasoned expert in broadcast media, public relations, branding, sports, and entertainment, having worked both with entertainers and athletes as a representative/strategist; and with professional sports organizations in broadcasting, marketing, and print journalism. Angela has authored research on the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Susan is co-founder of SettlementWorks, a mediation practice in Marina del Rey, CA. As a family lawyer and mediator, she supports couples, families, partnerships, and groups in resolving disagreements amicably, restoring harmony to their relationships. Susan is the creator of Dynamic Family Resolution, a process that allows families to make decisions for themselves during mediation, rather than resorting to litigation. Susan has served as court-appointed attorney for the Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center in South Central Los Angeles. There, she represented minors in court proceedings while also working with families and liaison officers to create the best situation for each child. Susan holds a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Kara Revel Jarzynski is the Executive Director of Resolutionaries, an organization dedicated to bringing Americans together through safe, facilitated conversation. Formerly a facilitator for Fortune 500 companies, Kara turned to bridgebuilding after the birth of her twins. Never had talking less and listening more felt more important.

In 2022, Dennis Cohen approached Kara with the idea of championing bridgebuilding on a national scale – through a bipartisan bill in Congress called The Building Civic Bridges Act. Inspired by the possibility of fostering civility and respect in the national dialogue, Kara began, with the advent of the 118th Congress, to spearhead Resolutionaries.

Also a published writer, Kara has won awards from the National Society of Arts and Letters; and, with writing partner Sherry Bokser, was named a US delegate to the Women Playwrights International Conference (WPIC) in Mumbai, India. She holds a certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, a BA from Queens University of Charlotte, and a Master's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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