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Hands Across the Hills

Hands Across the Hills participants held their third meeting in October 2019. Members are from Leverett, Mass., which heavily backed Hillary Clinton, and Letcher County, Ky., which was equally strong for Donald Trump.

Building a bridge across the countryside for talking in polarized times

Clayton, a novelist and short story writer, is a member of Hands Across the Hills, a group created to improve civic discourse between progressive and conservative parts of rural America.

Sometimes it seems the only thing blue and red voters share is mutual contempt. Organizations like Better Angels or Bridge the Divide try to promote civility by establishing rules for speaking together respectfully in a "safe" space. Their workshops, led by trained facilitators, resist ugly divisiveness. These organizations support an America in which people can talk to one another, and even debate, without demeaning one another.

Our project is doing something different and deeper. Here's our story.

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Bridge the Divide

Bridge the Divide is a political initiative that seeks to improve political and cultural polarization in America, exposing teens and young adults to new ways of thinking from people in the US and around the world. We are a platform that fosters growth and political socialization, showing that new ideas from young people throughout the world offer critical insight into who we are, where we're from, and where we're going.

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