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Bridging Divides in Polarized Societies

There’s no shortage of conflict and divison in today’s society. The political polarization in the United States. The protracted war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza igniting a wider regional conflict. The violence, economic hardship, and climate change—deepening historic divisions, fueling inequality, and displacing millions.

Philanthropy and community activism—with the active participation of those most affected by a conflict—can play a powerful role in bridging divides and supporting peace and reconciliation. Below, we’ve curated resources that share lessons and effective approaches from Atlantic’s and our grantees’ experiences in:

  • Northern Ireland leading up to and several decades after the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement of 1998 that formerly ended decades of conflict known as the Troubles.
  • South Africa as it emerged from the apartheid and sustained efforts to build, strengthen, and advance democratic institutions and organizations that promote equity, opportunity, dignity, and democracy.

We encourage you to connect with the Social Change Initiative (SCI) which Atlantic funded as one of its final big bets. SCI collaborates with activists, policymakers, and funders to secure social change and offers a wealth of resources and research, sharing lessons, best practices, case studies, and challenges from around the world.

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