Be the change in your community.

Fact: Without volunteers, there would be no Crossing Party Lines.

Our volunteers do it all! Really!

  • Develop new topics.
  • Build the infrastructure to grow.
  • Tell our story through social media and our website.
  • Manage projects and personnel.
  • Find funds to keep us operating.
  • Moderate our meetings.


We’ve got a place for you in our community!

We’d like to contribute to your career, too!

  • Give you a chance to practice new skills.
  • Provide the guidance and support you need to grow.
  • Offer valuable work experience.
  • Work with faculty to get you credit for your hours.
  • Serve as work experience on your resume and portfolio.
  • Write recommendations for schools or job applications.
  • Accommodate your crazy busy schedule.


We’ll support your success!

"It's great to work with other people who care as much as I do about fixing how Americans talk about politics."
Tyler
CPL Volunteer
"I wanted to help but didn't want to moderate or run a meeting. I love that there are so many behind-the-scenes ways I can make a difference at Crossing Party Lines."
Mara
CPL Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities

Be the change in your community. Join one of our teams.

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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.