Democracy in Crisis: The Courage to Re-Humanize One Another

This session will dive into Bridging for Democracy (B4D), a project that is developing strategies through which grassroots power-building organizations meaningfully bridge across racial, ideological, and urban-rural divides to strengthen democratic norms at a time of deep social fragmentation and dehumanization. Over the past decade, movement groups in the U.S. have invested heavily in voter outreach and significantly increased civic engagement. However, our democracy has still weakened and fragmentation is hardening. B4D partners have been conducting pilot projects in Illinois, Georgia, Tennessee, and Nevada focused on deep canvassing to connect with communities they do not usually engage. Dehumanization is key in anti-democracy strategies in our country, and we are working to counter this through bridging. B4D canvasses use deep listening strategies to cultivate mutual recognition and empathy as a way to transform our work, inoculate against othering narratives, and renew the social fabric of our democracy. This session will feature an overview of the project, a panel with organizations leading the pilots, and participatory components for attendees to practice deep listening and think about bridging in their own communities.


Friday, April 26, 2024