The Divided Community Project aims to support communities seeking to transform community division into forward-looking action. Grounded in alternative dispute resolution theory and practice, the Project previously published three reports for communities to consider as they work to address community division and tension. Divided Communities & Social Media (2017) offers strategies for community leaders dealing with community division against the backdrop of the challenges and opportunities of social media. Key Considerations for Community Leaders Facing Civil Unrest (2016) presents a checklist to consider when a community faces civil unrest and when that community begins to build consensus about dealing with the underlying problem. Planning in Advance of Civil Unrest (2016) offers points to consider for a community that seeks to develop a strategy to deal with division before it escalates into civil unrest.
The Project developed a series of initiatives to talk with community leaders about the ideas presented in these three reports. Through the JAMS Foundation-funded Bridge Initiative, the Project has the ability to send mediators well-versed in community conflict—and aided by the tools identified in Planning in Advance of Civil Unrest and Divided Communities & Social Media—to provide on-the-ground assistance for communities facing social crisis and civil unrest. The Project’s Academy Initiative, offered with funding from the AAA-IDCR Foundation and in partnership with the American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution, focuses on training groups of local leaders.