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20 post-election projects that are out to bridge political divides

Who’s working to bring people together after a divisive election? Quite a few people, it turns out.

We’ve been keeping a lookout for projects that are out to build understanding among different ideologies after that shocking election. Here are the ones we’ve come across so far:

  • Ask A. Seattle’s own KUOW is putting together a series of events in which people pair off for one-on-one conversations across divides. Ask A Trump Supporter is coming up on April 20 (and is already full). Coming up later on, says KUOW’s Ross Reynolds: A toolkit for others to follow the model.
  • Between Americans. This project by Seattle’s Bo Zhang, who’s speaking at our April 17 Town Hall event, has brought together 12 Trump supporters and 12 Hillary voters for a yearlong online conversation. (Here’s our story.)
  • Challenging what it means to be a Republican. Tacoma’s Nate Bowling, the 2016 Washington Teacher of the Year, invited a Republican politician to talk to his mostly Democratic-leaning high schoolers about the view from the right.
  • Civic Saturday. Seattle’s Eric Liu of Citizen University started delivering periodic sermons after the election on what he calls Civic Saturday, a “civic analogue to church” where people reckon with what it means to be American in a politically anxious time.
  • Compassionate Listening Project. Seattleite Andrea Cohen is putting on workshops to give tools to people who want to have tough cross-political conversations.
  • Everyone at the Table. Seattle’s James Davidon tells us he’s working on a way to bring people together in conversation. Want more info? Reach him at [email protected]
  • The Heart Perception Project. This project was founded by Kellie Newton, a liberal non-theist from Seattle, and Heidi Petak, a conservative Christian from Nashville. Through workshops and video blogs, the project creates space for connection in the midst of deep ideological differences.
  • Hello From the Other Side. The Daily Pnut started a pen-pal program to match up people who voted for Trump with people who didn’t.
  • Hi From the Other Side. Because a good idea is rarely alone. This project also matches people up who want to communicate across ideological divides. There’s a waitlist, but you can join it.
  • The Hello Project. This project by former Seattleite Yvonne Leow matches people who want to talk across the political divide and invites them to have conversations via Google Hangout.
  • Institute for Sustainable Inclusion. Barbara Deane tells us this group focuses on issues around diversity.
  • KPCC Dinner. KPCC in California brought together five southern Californians with differing political opinions and backgrounds to talk through what divides them. The video is worth a watch.
  • Love and Radio. In one episode of this podcast, Daryl Davis — a black man who became friends with white supremacists — shares what he learned about how best to convince someone to change long-held beliefs.
  • Make America Dinner Again. Founders Justine Lee and Tria Chang have put together a guide to help people host thoughtful, intimate dinners to have the kinds of politically themed dinner conversations so many Americans have made it a policy to avoid.
  • Nate Bowling’s teaching. Nate Bowling, 2016 Washington Teacher of the Year, hosted the GOP gubernatorial candidate in his Tacoma high school class to invite his mostly Democratic students of color into conversation with someone who holds different views.
  • The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. This is a network of thousands of facilitators and communications nationwide who are bringing people together across divides.
  • Reunite U.S. This locally based project is out to encourage politicians on either side of the aisle to come together, and to rally voters behind the push.
  • Seattle Transpartisan Alliance. Organizer Marlon Keating tells us that the meetup group, which puts on transpartisan dialogues locally, is working on organizing potlucks and shared meals to ground the conversation.
  • What I Heard From Trump Supporters. San Francisco’s Sam Altman talked to 100 people who voted for Trump and wrote up his reflections.
  • What’s Next. This small local group believes in “the power of practical optimism” and is working on a way to dialogue with Republicans.

By Mónica Guzmán
Mónica is the cofounder and editor of The Evergrey. She's been a Seattle journalist for a decade and adores this city.