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Presented by The Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

Bridge Alliance members can email blog posts to Jeremy@BridgeAllianceFund.us


How to give MORE money to the causes you love

Posted by Kirsten Elliott on November 12, 2019

Reposted from ElectionScience.org.

Like many people, the end-of-year holiday season is one of my favorites times of the year. I relish spending quality time with my loved ones, decorating my house, and feasting on fun foods I only make at this time of year. 

But as a professional fundraiser, this time of year is extra special for me. That’s because this is when so many of you choose to make gifts to improve the communities you live in. And not just to The Center for Election Science, but to a whole host of worthy causes.

It makes my heart swell to see your generosity. It’s why I got into this profession in the first place, and it’s what drives me to provide the best experience I can for you all year long.

And this year, that got me thinking. As a fundraiser, I know a lot about donations and how you can donate in the most effective way possible. So, to kick off the year-end giving season, I wanted to give a little something to you: some easy advice on how to give most effectively this holiday season.

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Five myths about online content moderation, from a former content moderator

Posted by R Street Institute on November 05, 2019

By Daisy Soderberg-Rivkin. Reposted from RStreet.org.

The internet has altered every aspect of our lives. It has helped us launch political campaigns, begin romantic relationships, discover faraway places, document human rights abuses, and ensure that those subject to disasters are safe and have access to the resources they need. Much like any other great innovation, however, it also has its dark side.

Indeed, the internet has become a breeding ground for terrorists, a marketplace for human trafficking, a platform for child sexual exploitation, and a stage for hate speech and violence. To combat the presence of such terrible things, the job of content moderator was born.

Content moderators review and analyze user reports of abusive content found on platforms and decide, based on a predetermined set of rules and guidelines as well as the law, whether the content should stay up or come down.

The debates stirring in Congress and society relating to the role of content moderators have fueled many a baseless claim. Here are five of the most repeated myths.

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Voters and Vice Presidents: How the University of Delaware Made It Count with TurboVote

Posted by Bridge Alliance Education Fund on October 29, 2019

By Democracy Works. Reposted from Democracy.Works

Disclaimer: The Bridge Alliance Education Fund DOES NOT endorse former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign or any other politician's campaign. The purpose of this article is to highlight the work of Bridge Alliance member Democracy Works and its partnership with the University of Delaware.

On a Tuesday in late September of 2018, hundreds of students crowded into the University of Delaware’s (UD) student union. Some of them may have just been there to grab a quick bite, but others had heard through social media about a special event in honor of National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Either way, they were in for a treat, and not just from the student union’s snack counter.

Around 11 a.m., the guest of honor arrived: UD alumnus and former Vice President, Joe Biden. After being greeted with enthusiastic applause and a quick round of selfies, he addressed the crowd about the importance of democratic participation, regardless of political orientation.

“I don’t give a damn how you vote,” he said. “Just vote.”

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Young people aren’t the problem with civic participation. We’re the solution.

Posted by Cities of Service on October 15, 2019

By Brooke Wells (a former Cities of Service AmeriCorps VISTA member). Reposted from The Fulcrum.

Wells is an Ohio State University graduate who recently completed her time as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Hamilton, Ohio. She is now a city employee.

Recent research paints a bleak picture of young people's participation in civil service.

Just 7 percent of federal government employees are younger than 30 — even though, according to some estimates, millennials will soon make up three-quarters of the country's workforce. The statistics go on: The median age of government employees is three years higher than that of the United States as a whole. More federal tech workers are over 60 than under 35. A growing number of universities report that their public administration students are choosing private-sector jobs.

And beneath all the data is a pervasive sense that trust in public officials is at an all-time low. According to the Pew Research Center, less than 20 percent of millennials trust the government "always or most of the time." Millennials also feel less connected to any one political party: 44 percent of millennials say they are independents, compared to 39 percent of Generation X and 32 percent of baby boomers.

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Here’s Your Reminder That Immigrants Really Do Improve Our Lives

Posted by Free the People on October 08, 2019

By Trace Mitchell. Reposted from FreeThePeople.org.

Immigration is looking to play a crucial role in the 2020 election. Donald Trump ran and won the presidency on a platform of increased border security, tighter restrictions on immigration, and the building of a physical wall along the southern border. On the other side of the aisle, repealing section 1325 of the U.S. Code—the portion that makes it a criminal offense to enter the country through improper channels—was a primary issue during the first Democratic debate.

No matter your views on American immigration policy, we should all take time to appreciate the many ways in which immigrants make our lives better on a daily basis.

No, this isn’t an exhaustive list. But these are just below are a few examples of how immigrants drastically improve our great American experiment.

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Spaces For Chicago's Black Youth

Posted by Elliot Heilman on October 01, 2019

By Jenna Przybysz. Reposted from Illinois Humanities.

Where did spaces for Chicago’s Black youth go and why have they disappeared? Moreover, what defines these spaces and how have the current Black youth responded to this decline?

These were the guiding questions that fueled the capstone scholars’ research during their three week program. Working closely with members of Honey Pot Performance, guest instructors, librarians, musicians, and archivists, the Capstone scholars unraveled these questions by understanding the long lasting effects of the Great Migration, listening to and learning from different styles and genres of music, and using different methodological approaches, especially archival research.

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Diverse people must be in every room where decisions are made

Posted by Debilyn Molineaux on September 24, 2019

By Debilyn Molineaux and David Nevins. Reposted from TheFulcrum.Us.

As we look to history, it has always been the mystics and scientists, innovators and outliers who saw the future most clearly and acted to push — or call — society forward, to awaken from our slumber of the way things are and envision a better future. The stories of their personal transformation inspire us to be better individually and collectively. With this inspiration, we can and must transform our nation into a more perfect union.

As co-founders of the Bridge Alliance, we are inspired and challenged by the problems facing our country. Our 100 member organizations work daily to protect the ideals of our American Dream so we can create healthy self-governance that has never fully existed before. Our members work to harness the tension of our differences as we enact our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, balancing individual and community needs.

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The War on Empathy

Posted by John Wood, Jr. on September 17, 2019

Reposted from Better-Angels.org

Take a look at the meaning of the word empathy. Ruminate on its definition—“the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” It is the light by which we may call forth the best qualities of our fellow Americans, and in so doing, call forth the best in ourselves. One would not think this could be controversial. But it is.

There is something subversive in empathy that makes it threatening to certain social status-quos. Most political coalitions are based, to some degree, on the dehumanization of their opponents. Some find empathy to be antithetical to the pursuit of justice. To others, empathy is the virtue of the morally irresolute. In a time when some politicians relentlessly insult their opponents on Twitter while others encourage their supporters to harass opponents in public places, empathy may not always strike everyone as a self-evident good.

It is good to understand why empathy seems to frustrate, disappoint, or even offend its critics, precisely because it is a virtue worth defending.

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The poverty of partisan identity

Posted by Daniel Pritchard on September 10, 2019

Reposted from TheFulcrum.us (Disclosure: The Bridge Alliance Education Fund is a funder of The Fulcrum.)

Pritchard is the director of strategic communications for Essential Partners, which fosters constructive dialogue where differences are driven by values, views and identities.

"Unless democratic habits of thought and action are part of the fiber of a people," the American philosopher John Dewey wrote on the eve of World War II, "political democracy is insecure. It can not stand in isolation. It must be buttressed by the presence of democratic methods in all social relationships."

Today, many of our social relationships have been stripped of those methods. Democratic habits are imperiled, if not lost. And many advocates, pundits and politicians point to "identity politics" as the cause.

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