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 multi-year research agenda with mixed-method approaches incorporating in-depth interview reports, representative surveys, and a quantitative events dataset (THD). These projects together provide an empirical foundation to understand and respond to the threat and harassment landscape in US cities and towns. 

BDI Updates

Princeton's Bridging Divides Initiative Releases New Study on How Local Officials Describe Ongoing Threats and Harassment

PRINCETON, NJ –– Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) released a new report featuring the experiences of local elected leaders with threats and harassment. BDI’s report offers preliminary insights and reflections on the experiences of local officials experiencing threats and harassment, in their own words, through…

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…