1. Divisions between urban and rural communities are significant and growing larger. 2. Urban/rural polarization is a proxy for other divisions, such as “reds" vs. "blues” and levels of racial, religious, and ethnic diversity. These divisions are undermining social cohesion in the U.S. and increasing the risks of organized violence from triggers such as police brutality, pandemics that expose and exacerbate inequalities, and contested electoral results.
3. Urban and rural areas sit near each other across America, presenting opportunities to build relationships through collaboration on issues such as mass incarceration, gun violence, and hunger while laying the groundwork for systemic change on issues that fuel violent conflict.
OUR THREE-STEP APPROACH
1. We equip community members across the urban/rural divide with critical collaboration skills.
2. Participants apply those constructive conversation and problem-solving skills to discuss and analyze complex challenges such as systemic racism, economic hardship, and education disparities that cut across the urban/rural divide. 3. Participants form urban/rural teams to implement community projects with measurable impact, thereby strengthening relationships and trust that reduce the risks of violent conflict across divides and contribute to a peaceful America.
The shift from competition to collaboration
ABCs for Constructive Conversation Across Difference