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Polarization is tearing Americans apart. Can it be fixed? The leaders of these organizations are working in different ways to build bridges of understanding. How is this done? How is this working? Let’s find out!

Joan Blades is a co-founder of an open-source effort to build respectful caring connections across ideological, cultural, and party lines while embracing our core shared values. When we care about each other we work to find ways to meet each other’s core needs. She is also a co-founder of  and   She is a co-author of The Custom-Fit Workplace,  winner of a Nautilus book award in 2011, and The Motherhood Manifesto, which won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize in 2007.  A mediator (attorney) by training and inclination, she is a nature lover, artist, and true believer in the power of citizens.  We can honor the dignity of all individuals and seek understanding even as we hold differing beliefs.

John Gable is co-founder and CEO of and AllSidesForSchools.orgAllSides provides balanced news, media bias ratings, and opportunities for civil conversation across divides to help people better understand the world — and each other. Using technology, patented systems and a diverse team, AllSides curates perspectives across the political spectrum to provide more balanced coverage of today’s news and issues, earning more monthly views than long-established mid-tier national outlets like the Christian Science Monitor, Jacobin, and the American Spectator. AllSides also provides technology and services to companies, schools, researchers, and nonprofit organizations, helping them provide more balanced information and bridge divides. AllSides’ team and its founders span the political spectrum. John started his professional career working in Republican politics in the 1980s for Bush, McConnell, and the Republican National Committee. Over 25 years ago, he switched to the technology sector, where he led the product management team for Netscape Navigator, sold a technology start-up, and held executive and management positions with Check Point Software and Microsoft.

Pearce Godwin is the founder of Listen First Project and the #ListenFirst Coalition of 350+ organizations bringing Americans together across differences. He catalyzes the movement to heal America by building relationships and bridging divides, transforming division and contempt into connection and understanding. Pearce manages large-scale, collective campaigns and strategies such as the annual National Week of Conversation to engage as many Americans as possible in this hopeful mission and fuel the heroic work of Coalition partners. Pearce’s work has been recognized by all the major television and print news outlets, including interviews on Fox News and MSNBC, as he writes regularly for USA TODAY. The #ListenFirst hashtag has reached more than 50 million people.

Mónica Guzmán is a bridge-builder, journalist, and entrepreneur who lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. She’s director of digital and storytelling at Braver Angels, the nation’s largest cross-partisan grassroots organization working to depolarize America; host of live interview series at Crosscut; and cofounder of the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey. She was a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, where she studied social and political division, and a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where she researched how journalists can rethink their roles to better meet the needs of a participatory public. She was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle, served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes, and plays a barbarian named Shadrack in her besties’ Dungeons & Dragons campaign. A Mexican immigrant, Latina, and dual US/Mexico citizen, she lives in Seattle with her husband and two kids and is the proud liberal daughter of conservative parents.

Timothy Noah, the moderator, is a staff writer for the New Republic and maintains the Substack newsletter Backbencher. This is Noah’s third tour of duty at the New Republic. He began his journalism career there in 1980 as a summer intern and later staff writer; came back in 2011 to write the “TRB” column; then returned in 2021. In between, Noah was a Washington-based reporter for the Wall Street Journal, an assistant managing editor for U.S. News & World Report, a congressional correspondent for Newsweek, an editor on the New York Times op-ed page, an editor of the Washington Monthly (to which he’s also returned from time to time), and labor policy editor for Politico. Noah has written for a variety of other national publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Time, and the New York Review of Books, and he’s contributed frequent broadcast commentaries to CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s Day To Day. He received the 2011 Hillman Prize for a 10-part Slate series on income inequality in the U.S. that he subsequently expanded into his 2012 book, The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis And What We Can Do About It. Noah was also, in 2010, a National Magazine Award finalist for his Slate coverage of Obamacare. Noah edited two anthologies of the writings of his late first wife, Marjorie Williams:  the New York Times best-seller The Woman At The Washington Zoo (2005), which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and Reputation (2008). A 1980 graduate of Harvard College, Noah lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Sarah McNamer, a professor of English and Medieval Studies at Georgetown University, and (depending on the time of year) up to four of their mostly-grown children and stepchildren.