We are recruiting board members who are passionate about our work

2024 promises to be one of American politics’ most contentious years ever. We at Crossing Party Lines (CPL) are doing everything we can to expand our reach so we can help more Americans learn to talk across differences, become informed voters, and form communities where all voices can be heard and appreciated. And…We need your help. We are looking to expand our Board of Directors, filling open and new positions with individuals who are passionate about our work and excited to lend a helping hand and help guide our efforts.

Why CPL?

By addressing both affective and cognitive polarization, CPL occupies a unique space in the Bridging world.

  • We host regular, moderated gatherings where people meet, exchange ideas, and get to know one another as individuals, not stereotypical members of a group they happen to belong to. 
  • We teach the skills it takes to #DisagreeBetter — to remain civil, respectful, and curious when hearing ideas that are different from our own.
  • We equip people to think critically, helping them spot and reduce the negative effects of labels, assumptions, cognitive biases, and logical fallacies in themselves, others, and the media.
  • We offer our work to libraries, schools, and workplaces, helping them tailor our best practices and processes to meet their unique challenges.
  • We nurture personal growth,  planting the seeds and then tending them through repeated exposure and regular opportunities to escape echo chambers and practice a more authentic way of connecting.

Over the past  7 years we’ve grown a dream shared by our two co-founders into one of the most influential nonprofits in the Bridging community.  We are experts at what we do.  Unfortunately, our all-volunteer staff are not experts in operational efficiency, marketing, and fundraising.  By joining our board, you will be helping us fill those gaps and become more sustainable.

Two Ways YOU Can be Involved

Join Our Working Board
  • Attend at least 4 of 6 of our 90-minute virtual board meetings per year.
  • Guide our efforts, helping to oversee finances, hire leadership,  ensure legal compliance, and make strategic decisions to advance our impact.
  • Serve in at least one of the following capacities:
    • Board position: Chair, Secretary, Treasurer
    • Board Committee member
  • Be an ambassador for our work, and through your connections, facilitate introductions, encourage giving, and expand the organization’s reach.
Join Our Advisory Circle
  • Stay abreast of our work through our quarterly Board Updates newsletter.
  • Offer expertise and advice as you see fit.
  • Expand the credibility to our work.
  • Be an ambassador for our work.
  • Participate in board or ad hoc committees as fits your interest and schedule.
  • NO governance responsibility
  • NO set time commitment

And because we can’t expect funders to invest in us if our leadership team is not investing as well, we ask members of both our Working Board and Advisory Circle to make a philanthropic commitment of $1000 per year unless otherwise agreed upon.

Who We’re Seeking

We are seeking applicants with a passion for reducing toxic polarization and an interest in board service.

Familiarity with CPL’s approach to difficult conversations and/or past nonprofit experience is preferred, but not required. If you feel that your unique skills or perspective would be valuable to our Board of Directors, we look forward to hearing from you!

We particularly encourage those with interest or expertise in these specific areas to apply:

  1. Professional or lived experience advancing diversity of thought locally and beyond.
  2. Interest in bringing our insights and training  into the corporate space.
  3. Experience in fundraising, marketing, or  finance and/or accounting.

Crossing Party Lines is proud of the fact that “we walk our talk.”  Having diverse perspectives and life experiences represented on our board is critical to understanding and effectively meeting the needs of our nation, members, staff, and the communities our local chapters call home. We encourage and embrace differing perspectives in our board members: perspectives that are formed through lived experiences, by where we live, how we were raised, the groups we identify with or belong to, and more.

We look forward to hearing from applicants bringing a mix of world views; people living in rural and urban areas; people who identify as BIPOC or LGBTQ+; recent immigrants; people with disabilities; and individuals from diverse generational, economic, religious, and educational backgrounds.

Learn More

Next Steps

If you’d like to take the next step, please let us know more about you by completing the form below.

If you have questions, please email our Executive Directory Lisa Swallow at Lisa@CrossingPartyLines.com.

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    The Two Types of Depolarization

    Depolarization — the work of reducing toxic polarization — is best understood in terms of the two types of polarization that shape our interactions and perceptions in today’s politically charged climate:

    1. Affective Polarization

    Affective polarization revolves around emotions and feelings. It refers to the emotional divide between individuals or groups with differing political views. It’s about how people feel about others who hold opposing ideologies.

    • Us vs. Them: In affective polarization, people tend to see those on the other side of the political spectrum as part of an “us vs. them” mentality. Emotions like anger, fear, and distrust often come into play.
    • Emotional Reactions: When encountering someone with opposing views, affectively polarized individuals may experience heightened emotions. They might feel threatened, defensive, or even hostile.
    • Echo Chambers: Social media and personalized news feeds can exacerbate affective polarization by reinforcing existing beliefs and isolating individuals from diverse perspectives.

    2. Cognitive Polarization

    Cognitive polarization focuses on thought processes and cognitive biases. It pertains to how people think about the views of others.

    • Discounting Opposing Views: Cognitive polarization leads to a tendency to discount opposing viewpoints without critically evaluating them. People may jump to conclusions, assuming that differing opinions lack validity or logical soundness.
    • Us vs. Them (Again): Just as in affective polarization, cognitive polarization reinforces the “us vs. them” mindset. It hinders open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity.
    • Intellectual Echo Chambers: Cognitive polarization occurs when people surround themselves with like-minded sources, reinforcing their preconceptions and avoiding exposure to alternative perspectives.

    The Interplay Between Affective and Cognitive Polarization

    Affective and cognitive polarization often feed into each other. Emotional reactions (affective) influence how we process information (cognitive), and vice versa.

    Breaking the Cycle: CPL recognizes that depolarization  requires us to address both affective and cognitive aspects. Encouraging empathy and  active listening is not enough.  We must also teach critical thinking and intellectual humility if we are to truly bridge the gap.

    About Bridging

    Bridging refers to the intentional effort to reduce toxic polarization by fostering understanding, empathy, and communication between individuals or groups with differing political views. It aims to build connections and discover our shared humanity, ultimately bridging the gaps that divides people along ideological lines.