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. Through joint action across divides on criminal justice, climate, education, health, media, food, and the economy, we lay the groundwork for systemic change and contribute to a more peaceful society.
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 economic hardship, educational disparities, and mental health challenges 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