Programming for Faith Communities
The One America Movement is a national nonprofit confronting toxic polarization in our society. We equip faith communities to confront division and work together across political, racial, and religious divides to solve problems that matter.
The One America Movement uses a science-backed model to tackle the toxic polarization that is tearing our communities and our country apart. By better understanding how and why we have become so divided — while holding onto our sacred values — we can build resilience to toxic polarization and be engaged with others across religious, political, and racial divides.
We can help your faith community:
Understand why we're divided, and what we can do about it.
Using neuroscience, social science, and the best academic research available, we support clergy and lay leaders to lead their congregants through these trying times, have more effective conversations about difficult topics and empower their congregants to think differently.
Effectively counter misinformation and division within faith communities.
Congregants are exposed to misinformation, conspiracy theories, and other forms of toxicity. We work with leaders to respond to these challenges effectively, rooted in best practices and research.
Utilize shared identity to overcome internal divides.
We support leaders to evaluate their congregation’s fears around divisions and engagement across divides, elevate shared religious identity and values, and work through internal divides.
Work across divides beyond the congregation.
The One America Movement can support you in connecting with another faith community across religious, racial, and political divides. All participants start with internal work to ensure they embrace the values and vision required to do this challenging yet rewarding work.
Place the identity of people of faith above politics.
Modern politics and the recent elections have led many Americans to place partisan identities above all else. Our programming supports leaders who elevate shared values and faith above politics.
Religious leaders, congregations, and groups can participate in a variety of training opportunities as part of the One America Movement programming. Each option can be easily adapted to fit individual needs.
Reducing Fear in Times of Division
These days, many of us live with a sense of unease about our country’s divides. There are topics we know we can’t discuss within our faith communities or across the Thanksgiving dinner table. We know we fundamentally disagree on key issues and we fear we cannot bridge the gap with those we live alongside. This session provides an opportunity to explore these fears and feelings around division within the safe space of our own communities and learn about how division affects us within our groups as well as across divides.
The Science of Polarization
Our brains are wired for survival. When you first meet a person, your brain almost instantly judges them to determine if they are a threat. Are they a friend or foe — a part of your group — or an outsider? This fast-paced session will help you better understand the subtle inner workings of your brain and behavior that influence how you perceive and interact with others — and how they perceive and interact with you. We’ll cover how your mind works, how groups work, and how understanding the neuroscience and social science behind polarization can help you become more resilient to toxic forms of division.
How to Talk to Your Neighbor
The One America Movement can facilitate group conversations using the interactive “Talk to Your Neighbor” workshop to learn how to have productive, meaningful discussions with people who don’t think, vote, or believe the same way you do. Bring together a small group of congregants to meet regularly to work through controversial issues and better understand diverse viewpoints. Or, host a series with your whole congregation, with facilitated small group discussions. This program can also be used as an intervention, catered to specific congregants who are struggling to be in community together and working through their differences.
Clergy have an opportunity to change hearts and minds by calling their congregants to live the values of their faith. The One America Movement has clergy available who can support leaders to give sermons on a range of political and cultural topics. These sermons can be followed by facilitated conversations where congregants have a chance to be heard.
Work with Others Across Divides
Work with your neighbor—yes, that neighbor. The One America Movement can support you in connecting with another faith community in your area across religious, racial, and political divides. All participants start with an internal evaluation to ensure they embrace the values and vision required to do this challenging yet rewarding work. This cross-divides work focuses on solving real problems in your community that are of interest to both congregations participating to build shared identity and commitment to solutions.
How it works
One America works with academics, neuroscientists, and experts in conflict prevention, identity formation, and psychology to design and evaluate our programs.