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Crossing Party Lines is proud to invite you to our 7-day  Build Back Better Challenge challenging YOU to take 7 steps toward stronger communities and a healthier you.  This challenge is one of the hundreds of events offered during the National Week of Conversation 2024  (NWOC) with the goal of helping all Americans Disagree Better.  Why? Because this is OUR country and we can’t rely on anyone else to heal the divides that are causing our..

 To jump start your participation in this event, we are offering a free guide to listening politics, an excerpt from Co-Founder Lisa Swallow’s new book: Yes, You CAN Talk Politics.  Click the button below to get your free copy.

Build Back Better Challenge

The BBB Challenge involves completing up to 12 activities we encourage participants to take part in  prior to the final day of the National Week of Conversation. None of the activities will require more than 8 minutes to complete.

What’s involved:

Each day you’ll be asked to spend 8 minutes or less visiting a website, watching a short video, taking a brief poll.  You’ll log your accomplishment on our Challenge Page, and answer one or two questions about your experience.  On April 22,  we will award prizes to the top 50 participants.

Sample activities:



Register Here

Registration Form Goes Here

The theme for the seventh annual National Week of Conversation 2024 (April 15-21)  is Disagree Better <verbiage about NGA, etc.> 

This’ years NWOC will showcase opportunities for Americans to have conversations despite differences in bold and energizing ways. Powered by the 500+ organizations in the #ListenFirst Coalition, National Week of Conversation invites Americans of all stripes to listen, extend grace, and discover common interests. Take a courageous step on this hopeful mission to defeat toxic polarization and heal America by transforming division and contempt into connection and understanding. #ListenFirst

Crossing Party Lines will be hosing the following events during NWOC:

  • April x — A Virtual Conversation
  • April x — A Workshop
  • April x — A panel event co-sponsored by Living Room Conversations and…
  • April x — A panel event co-sponsored with and MIT’s ….


Our colleagues in the #ListenFirst Coalition will be hosting many as well. We encourage all CPL members to join our conversations and support those organized by colleagues participating in NWOC!

Sign Up for National Week of Conversation Events Here
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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.