The Weekly Update

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The Work and Rewards of Civility

It is incredibly easy to get angry when talking politics. In fact, we’re hardwired to be less understanding with members of the “other team.” So how do we overcome these strong, natural tendencies to get angry and/or dehumanize political “opponents”? With practice. That is why CEO Ken White of Junior State of America invited Brooke Deterline to teach members “how to cultivate compassion for others even when they don’t agree with them” as part of its Courageous Democracy program. Meanwhile, the Village Square and NICD are showing just how rewarding that work can be. The Village Square’s Respect + Rebellion series features friendships that have blossomed despite political differences. A recent Ted Talk put a spotlight on one of these friendships -- a pair of mothers named Caitlin and Lauran who are political opposites, but absolutely love each other. And candidates who took NICD’s “Positive Campaign Workshop” over the summer won 9 out of 11 elections this past November.

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Educators Gain a Powerful Tool for Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders

Featured Blog: Inspire U.S. - Inspired Stories: Bridging the Divide We are excited to announce that three members of the Bridge Alliance -- Living Room Conversations, AllSides, and the Mediators Foundation -- have joined forces to create AllSides for Schools. This joint project embodies the spirit of the Bridge Alliance, which encourages members to collaborate in order to reach heights that no single organization could achieve on its own.

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Support Healthy Self-governance on #GivingTuesday

Have you heard? November 27 is #GivingTuesday.   #GivingTuesday is a project of Bridge Alliance member 92Y. It kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. We invite you to support those working to protect and improve our democratic republic.

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Talking Politics With Your Family -- An Emergency Guide

Need Help Talking Politics with your Relatives?

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“What’s Next U.S.?” Join An Eye-Opening Conversation THIS Weekend

Election Season is over! That means an end to the myriad of campaign ads that reduce candidates for public office to good/evil caricatures, as well as a few that are...something else. Unfortunately, the stereotypes and misunderstandings promoted by these ads are more persistent. Everybody is stuffed into a box marked “Republican,” “Democrat,” or “Independent,” each of which is clearly defined and designed to foster loyalty and discourage friendly discussion with “the other side.” As you know, this kind of hyper-partisanship is toxic and polarizing. But there’s another (better) way!

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Anti-Corruption Forces Enjoy Banner Election Day

As the Republican and Democratic parties traded victories on election day, anti-corruption forces showed that the American people -- when given the chance -- overwhelmingly support accountability and fairness in the electoral system. Bridge Alliance member Represent.Us tracked 16 anti-corruption measures that were on various states’ ballots on Tuesday; 14(!) of these measures were voted into law, with 1 more ahead as of Wednesday. The successful measures touched on a variety of issues, including:

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A Report on the Members’ Summit….from our newest intern Shakira

Last week we told you about the Civvy awards -- where organizations were honored and celebrated for their collaborative work that elevates democratic practices and civic engagement in America. If you missed it, you can read that update here and read the winners’ stories here (<-- highly recommended!). The day before the Civvys, a number of Bridge Alliance members, journalists, academics, and foundation leaders gathered in the same space for the Bridge Alliance Members Summit (presented by the BAEF).

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And The Civvy Goes To……

This past Thursday, six organizations / initiatives were honored as winners of the 2018 American Civic Collaboration Awards, presented by the NCoC, Big Tent Nation, and the Bridge Alliance Education Fund at the Annual Conference on Citizenship. The six winners (listed below) exemplify collaborative work that elevates democratic practices and civic engagement, thereby helping to revitalize our nation:

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The B1G Challenge is Underway. Also, the Bridge Alliance Welcomes a New Intern!

As a Michigan alum, there are few things I like more than beating Ohio State and Michigan State. It doesn’t matter whether it’s football or donating blood, I want my school to win. I know many Big Ten students and alumni feel the same way, which is why it gives me great pleasure to announce the First Ever Big Ten Voting Challenge (check out their awesome announcement video here). The challenge is a competition between all 14 Big Ten schools to see who can register and turn out the most student voters. Titles will be given to the schools with the “Greatest Overall Turnout” and the “Greatest Increase in Voting Rates.

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It’s Time For The National Week Of Conversation! Also A Follow Up Call For Volunteers

We are excited to let you know that the Bridge Alliance’s newest member, the National Conversation Project, is hosting the National Week of Conversation (NWOC) this week! Before we get to the details, though, we wanted to let you know that the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is still looking for volunteers for the Annual Conference on Citizenship (October 17th and 18th). This is an incredible opportunity to hear from leaders of the democracy revitalization movement for free. For more information contact Angela Holden at aholden@ncoc.org (Note: we gave the wrong email address last time, so if your email bounced back before, try again with this address).

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