AAU joined ACE and 29 other organizations in sending a letter to leaders of the House and Senate education and labor committees urging them to pass the bipartisan Building Civic Bridges Act (H.R. 6843 / S. 4530) before the end of the 117th Congress. The letter notes the vital role colleges and universities play in “bring[ing] together people from diverse backgrounds and are often flashpoints for deep and partisan disagreements. We know the importance of bridging divides and seek to foster the kinds of civic engagement and participation that are essential to sustaining our country’s democratic traditions”
The Building Civic Bridges Act would create an Office of Civic Bridgebuilding within AmeriCorps to support programs that would help Americans bridge political and ideological divisions. The office would provide competitive grants to nonprofits, universities, and other community groups to initiate programs that would help facilitate conversations between people from diverse backgrounds and varying political perspectives. The act would also fund research on political and social polarization and on approaches to strengthen social cohesion and improve intergroup relations.