The Horizons Project is growing! We are pleased to formally welcome both Nilanka Seneviratne as the Director for Systems and Operations, and Jonathan Pinckney as the Director for Applied Research. September is always a busy month.
We have new resources available on our website, including a compilation of “mapping” initiatives within the ecosystem of social change working on democracy, social justice, and bridgebuilding in the US. Please share others that we might have missed! Horizons also just released the first in a series of resources on the intersection of bridge-building and power-building.
We continue to be so inspired by all the amazing work and thought leadership happening throughout the country. Here’s a sampling of what we’re reading, watching, and listening to these days:
by Connie Razza and Angela Peoples
You don’t want to miss the Reframing the Prevailing American Narrative for 2052 Report, a narrative “destination” project that “takes a different approach from much of the narrative work that aims to win an election, to pass a policy, to make progress in the near term. The Bridge Project attempts to craft a story that aligns with who we are working to be in 30 years, and to strategize for transformation by building backward from that future narrative to inform the stories that shape our work today and in the coming years.”
by Margaret Sullivan
Editorialist, Sullivan, extolled fellow journalists to tread carefully in covering the upcoming elections. “One thing is certain. News outlets can’t continue to do speech, rally and debate coverage — the heart of campaign reporting — in the same old way. They will need to lean less on knee-jerk live coverage and more on reporting that relentlessly provides meaningful context.”
by Adrian Rutt
This is a meaty overview of several different takes on polarization, but one insight that was particularly powerful: “…we are all bundles of contradictions, whatever else we like to think about our expressed beliefs and their consistency and cogency…It is not the case that we possess rigorously formulated ‘belief systems’, which stamp out our thoughts and reactions in a fully determinable way. People alter their reactions and expressions to cope with the particularities of the situation they find themselves in.”
by Kitana Ananda
This Non-Profit Quarterly article provides an excellent summary of a rich webinar discussion, that left the audience with three key takeaways: (1) build networks that plug people into ongoing efforts to combat disinformation through narrative analysis and solution building; (2) hold Big Tech accountable through advocacy and legislation to advance a racially equitable digital society; and, (3) diversify media, tech, and academic institutions that are working on these issues to center the analyses and needs of impacted communities.
Watch this great short video describing the work of Urban Rural Action, highlighting the experience of folks in Maryland coming together from different ideological perspectives to tackle issues of immigration, economic development, and inclusion with practical local solutions for their state.
Stanford University’s Robb Willer is interviewed on MSNBC to discuss their new study on reducing toxic polarization and reducing Americans’ anti-democratic attitudes. An overview of the study was also summarized by Fast Company or you can read the full report: Strengthening Democracy Challenge.
Vice President for Programs at One America Movement, Chandra DeNap Whetstine gave an inspiring talk at Stand Together’s Catalyst Summit describing their approach to combatting toxic polarization, working with faith communities across the US.
Finding Our Way Podcast
In this episode, author, political strategist, and organizer Alicia Garza, breaks down what power is, how we build it, and why we need it in order to build a more equitable society.
Future Hindsight Podcast
This interview discusses The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats – and Our Response – Will Change The World, a new book by Ian Bremmer which posits that the climate crisis, disruptive technologies, and pandemics are existential threats to humanity, but also offer an opportunity for real cooperation across the world.
“Going down the road of reconciliation is a daunting path that not many people can take. This road may test you in ways you couldn’t imagine but when the end result leads to tangible and sustainable change, you realize that the journey is worth it.” Director of the Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation, Antti Pentikainen discusses his journey into reconciliation, his experiences working in different contexts, and what have been the most effective methods in working towards reconciliation.
At The Horizons Project we love all genres of music, but we have a special place in our hearts for all those who can rock the mic. We were recently introduced to Harry Mack who brought us so much joy. Please enjoy his most recent freestyle and try really hard stop at one (or don’t because they are all great)!