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.

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 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. 

Case Study: Mecklenburg, North Carolina (December 2022)

The Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) team conducted interviews in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, to better understand the local realities of political violence in the United States and highlight community responses. To understand what this looks like in practice, BDI structured our text around drivers of conflict and community mitigation…

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…