What we do at Crossing Party Lines — the secret sauce, if you will — grew out of a a collaboration between the two founders, Kareem Abdelsadek and Lisa Swallow, and the members who walk through our doors.

  • Kareem, with a business background and years of experience helping diverse teams work together smoothly and efficiently, brought expertise in community building, negotiation, and building rapport.
  • Lisa, who made a career out of finding order in chaos and distilling the essence of complex technical systems into easy to understand documentation and training, brought a passion for understanding what makes us tick and an armchair quarterback’s excitement for neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and sociology.
  • Members from all perspectives and walks of life brought a litmus test for our efforts and a willingness to follow our suggestions and report back honestly about how well they worked for them.

Our job as an organization was to winnow through all the information available to us and identify the essential skills and processes that would help us connect with one another across the differences.  We have succeeded in getting our members to connect as equals with civility and respect.

Here are some of the subject areas we explored as we developed our program:

Moral Foundations Theory

How we humans decide what is right action.

Communication

Communication skills and practices.

Couples Counselling

Negotiation

Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

How our brains work, specifically with respect to politics.

Cognition

How we think and make sense of the world.

Biases

Civics

Founding Fathers, Constitution, philosophy and political science.