Everywhere you look, the message is the same: that we are hopelessly divided.
That all over the world, our rifts are so entrenched they can never be reconciled.
But that’s only half the story. In fact, there is abundant evidence that we human beings have far greater ability and desire to overcome our divisions than we realize.
This project explores the many ways we bridge our divides.

The Idea That Still Unites Us

By: Theodore R. Johnson

A rowdy, opinionated nation of 330 million requires a special kind of bond.

Their Love Knows No Borders – Not Even a Closed One

By: Sarah Berman

Along a ditch that separates the U.S. from Canada, a very 2020 romance is taking root.

The Right Way to Topple a Statue

By: Emma Renaerts

How one Canadian city took down a monument to an iconic leader in a way that brought its residents closer together.

A Reasons to be Cheerful project

It has become conventional wisdom that we are hopelessly divided. But this narrative masks a larger truth: that we humans are incredibly skilled at overcoming division.

We Are Not Divided is a collaborative multimedia journalism project dedicated to revealing that truth by telling the stories that show our capacity, and our deep desire, to bridge our divides.

In collaboration with:

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The Complicated World of Staten Island

By: David Byrne

What the New York borough that voted for Trump taught me about the messy business of bridging divides.

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    Artistic Wizardry That Illuminates Our Bonds

    By: Jennifer Van Evra

    A child of Mexico City's nightclubs is putting a spotlight on what connects us.

    Botswana’s Radical Experiment in National Unity

    By: Bastian Berbner

    By forcing workers to move far from home and live with unfamiliar people, the government is testing the limits of identity.

    You Cannot Use Force to Change Minds

    By: Christine McLaren

    She fought a brutal ritual with love – and changed a culture.

    The Country Where Diversity Is Enforced by Law

    By: Keshia Naurana Badalge

    In Singapore, the government dictates the ethnic makeup of apartment buildings. Is this what racial harmony looks like?

    The Best Wikipedia Pages Are the Ones We Fight Over

    By: Zaid Jilani

    When people who disagree are forced to work together, something magical happens.

    How Oakland Got Real About Equitable Urban Planning

    By: Rikha Sharma Rani

    When the city closed streets to traffic during Covid, it revealed a fix for designs that cater to white and moneyed interests.

    A Tool for Understanding

    By: David Byrne

    What if, instead of hating each other's beliefs, we learned more about where they come from?

    What a City-Sized Sharing Economy Looks Like

    By: Lauren Kaljur

    How Canadian cities and First Nations territories discovered the catalytic power of collaboration.

    A Public Apology Seven Decades in the Making

    By: Jennifer Van Evra

    How two Canadians, united by an act of oppression, are transforming apology into art.

    In this Connecticut Prison, the Guards Double as Mentors

    By: Maurice Chammah

    What happens when incarcerated people see a correctional officer not as an overlord, but as someone who can help?

    When Racism Strikes, Here’s How to Record It

    By: Francesca Fionda

    Not every racist act fits a police report, but capturing the data on everyday racism is key to creating change.

    The Country Where Diversity Is Enforced by Law

    By: Keshia Naurana Badalge

    In Singapore, the government dictates the ethnic makeup of apartment buildings. Is this what racial harmony looks like?

    Taiwan’s Crowdsourced Democracy Shows Us How to Fix Social Media

    By: Carl Miller

    How hackers taught the government to embrace division-resistant politics.

    I Loathe Your Politics – So Let’s Be Friends

    By: Poppy Noor

    In an era of ideological rancor, a few brave souls are going out of their way to befriend their political opposites.

    Inside the Mind of a Mind-Changer

    By: RTBC Staff

    Swing voters. Covid converts. Some people seem highly persuadable. Why does that bother the rest of us?

    Are You Liberal? Are You Sure?

    By: Will Doig

    A growing body of research suggests our political beliefs are flexible – and that we may be more capable of understanding the other side than we realize.

    How Loggers Helped Environmentalists Save a Spectacular Canadian Rainforest

    By: Andrew MacLeod

    Spanning 16 million acres of wild Pacific coast, the Great Bear Rainforest is a magical place. The partnership that saved it is just as unique.

    Cops and Community Organizers Are Reimagining Atlanta’s Jail

    By: Emily Nonko

    An unlikely collaboration could transform a place of imprisonment into a center for equity.

    The Performance that Eased a Tribal Conflict

    By: Gwynne Watkins

    When Congolese refugees moved to New York, they brought their old rivalries with them. Then they put their strife on stage.

    Tackling Covid-Era Racism Across the U.S.-Canada Border

    By: Jonathan Ore

    An American and a Canadian artist explore what it means to be Black in a pandemic.

    The Unlikely Friendship that Helped Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Ireland

    By: Bastian Berbner

    In Ireland, 100 private citizens advise parliament on policy. Two of them changed each other’s lives — and, perhaps, their country’s constitution.

    Inside the Student-Led Movement to Depolarize College

    By: Gregory Scruggs

    Beyond the ideological brawls and anti-speaker protests is a push to make disagreement on campus cool again.

    The Non-Partisan “Pro-Voice” Abortion Space

    By: Rikha Sharma Rani

    How one organization is taking ideology out of reproductive health.

    My Surprisingly Friendly Post-Prison Life

    By: Alexander Hall

    Yes, I encountered stigma, but also empathy and understanding – in part, because so many Americans know someone who’s been locked up.

    We’re Closer Than We Realize

    By: john a. powell

    The notion that our common bonds are wearing away obscures a simple truth: difference and division are not the same thing.