Resources to Better Understand Toxic Polarization

Written by: One America Movement

The One America Movement is celebrating its fifth birthday this month! Our nation’s divisions are an ongoing challenge. While we appreciate the job security in knowing that the fight against toxic polarization continues, we are full of hope as humanity’s best and brightest work alongside us every day to make a difference.

We find encouragement from the knowledge that many Americans join us in our efforts, both within the One America Movement network and across the nation. We have been fortunate to work with many incredible partners and organizations over the last five years. Check out these resources below to help you fight toxic polarization in your congregation and community. 

Project Over Zero 

Project Over Zero was founded in response to the global need to counteract and prevent identity-based violence and other forms of group-targeted harm. They offer insightful resources on the core concepts of social identity, negative emotions, and group norms. Over Zero’s team is one of our most involved partners in teaching the public about the science of polarization.

More in Common 

More in Common works on short- and longer-term initiatives to address the underlying drivers of fracturing and polarization and build more united, resilient, and inclusive societies. One of their most powerful resources is The Hidden Tribes of America which highlights seven distinct groups of Americans distinguished not by who they are or what they look like but by what they believe.

Beyond Conflict 

Beyond Conflict combines nearly 30 years of experience in conflict prevention, resolution, and reconciliation with the latest cognitive and behavioral science. Beyond Conflict addresses the urgent need to understand better how humans think by applying rigorous science to the needs and input of real-world communities and by identifying the psychological processes and brain mechanisms that underlie and shape dehumanization. Check out their incredible resource, America’s Divided Mind, to learn more about the psychology of division.

The Theology of Peacemaking

Members of the Matthew 5:9 Fellowship believe theology directly impacts our understanding of God’s mission in this world and our role in it. The Matthew 5:9 Fellowship helps pastors and Christian leaders by guiding them to see how peacemaking is central to the Christian gospel. The Theology of Peacemaking is a printable resource exploring biblical peacemaking and why it should matter to all who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. A free download of the Theology of Peacemaking is available here

High Conflict by Amanda Ripley

Amanda Ripley is a New York Times bestselling author, an investigative journalist, and a podcast host. She has spent her career trying to make sense of complicated human mysteries, from how people get out of dysfunctional conflicts to how countries educate their kids to think for themselves. Her resources include books, blog posts, and articles on conflict resolution, which are valuable tools for anyone in the business of peacemaking. 

Center for Humane Technology

The Center for Humane Technology, the organization behind the popular Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, dedicates its work to reframing the insidious effects of persuasive technology, exposing the runaway systems beneath, and deepening the capacity of global decision-makers and everyday leaders to take wise action. Their incredible resources include podcasts, Foundations of Humane Technology online course, tips for controlling our time spent on devices, and a Youth Toolkit designed to help young people navigate the sometimes dangerous online world.

Center for the Science of Moral Understanding at the University of North Carolina

The Center for the Science of Moral Understanding is developing an interdisciplinary science that provides empirically-backed ways of reducing intolerance and fostering dialogue. Their focus is on curing political divisions and overcoming moral conflicts in our nation. They provide research, events, undergraduate courses, and summer programs developed with a solid scientific basis for the issues surrounding intolerance and the latest research in solving them.

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