Bridging Divides Initiative

The Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) is a non-partisan research initiative that tracks and mitigates political violence in the United States.

We support efforts to grow and build local community resilience throughout elections and other periods of heightened risk, laying a foundation for longer-term work to bridge the divides we face as a nation.


We produce action oriented, responsive research where it can fill existing gaps or empower local leaders.

We enable cross sector collaboration, so individuals and organizations will be better prepared to mitigate risk and respond to crisis when it does arise.

We help drive the policy and community response, helping leaders at all levels advance a whole of society response, both to short-term mitigation and long-term root causes.

De-escalation Training Directory and Guides

A state-by-state directory of organizations providing de-escalation, bystander intervention, and community safety trainings in each state. Paired with guidelines to help local elected officials, community members, poll workers, and law enforcement de-escalate tensions, our resources help protect civic space during heightened tensions and the election process.

Bridging Divides Map

The Bridging Divides Map is a resource for community building organizations and individual leaders to increase their network, coordinate, collaborate and focus resources to areas of highest impact. It includes over 3,000 organizations and local chapters working tirelessly to build community from the local to national level.

Threats and Harassment Against Local Officials

A new report offering insight into a longitudinal dataset of instances of targeted threats and harassment against local officials.

BDI In The News

Throughout the 2020 election, BDI engaged national, state, and local level leaders. We worked with media and groups across the political spectrum to track and mitigate political violence. Our work has been noted in a wide variety of publications, including:

BDI Updates

New Guides Offer Strategies for De-escalating Destructive Conflict at School Board Meetings

Resources highlight concrete steps for volunteers, elected leaders, and law enforcement working to protect space for civic discourse

Princeton, NJ -- A new collection of resource guides offers elected officials, law enforcement agencies, and members of the public concrete strategies to prepare for potentially contentious public school board meetings and to recognize and de-escalate conflicts. 

ADL and Princeton's Bridging Divides Initiative Release New Report Tracking Threats and Harassment Against Local Officials

New York, NY, October 19, 2022 ... Today, ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) and Princeton
University’s Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) launched a new data collection initiative that tracks threats
and harassment of local elected officials. This first-of-its-kind project is an ongoing study to
systematically evaluate…

Issue Brief: Understanding Emerging Trends in Protests and Political Violence Around Abortion and Reproductive Rights in the United States

This Issue Brief examines emerging trends since the May 2nd Dobbs v. Jackson draft decision leaked, mainly focusing on offline mobilization. The brief contextualizes this activity within historical violence related to abortion and reproductive rights. It concludes with observations on potential activity moving forward into the 2022 election cycle.