Strange as it may seem, the story begins with two groups named “Crossing Party Lines” starting independently of one another, only a few months apart in 2016, in two cities on opposite ends of the country.
Lisa Swallow, a retired training developer and technical communicator living in Portland Oregon, wanted to see if her knowledge of communication styles and Nonviolent Communication could help others create civil, respectful discourse around the politics of the day.
Kareem Abdelsadek, a Federal Management Consultant in DC and New York with experience supporting the government in building diverse teams to rally around shared missions, was driven by civic duty to apply his experience with the goal of rebuilding a shared American vision of community through political conversation conversation.
With a shared passion, Kareem and Lisa came together to create a national grassroots, salt-of-the-earth American conversation with people of varying political perspectives and from all walks of life. They stand together now, alongside their energetic team and over 2,000 Crossing Party Lines members, more certain in their belief that open, civil, respectful political discussions across America has the potential to heal the divides in our nation.
A country that cultivates the power in diversity of thought for public betterment.
Create open dialogue between Americans with dissimilar ideologies in order to increase tolerance, build communities and encourage civic engagement.
We are curious individuals who look at issues from all angles and perspectives.
We are a community growing together, not apart, in your city and neighborhood.
We are an open door offering a forum open to the general public and free to all.
We foster unlikely connections between people who wouldn’t ordinarily meet.
We engage with tolerance to increase the individual and community’s exposure to different views and engage differences as strengths.
We see differences as opportunities to learn and understand.
Civil Dialogue In Action
Civility & Politics
It is possible for strangers with different values and political perspectives (conservative, liberal, etc.) to meet and discuss emotionally charged issues with civility and respect.
Perspectives & Democracy
Differences in perspectives and opinions are a part of the structure and the practice of democracy.
Belief In Action
The best way to share their beliefs was to set up Meetup groups in their respective cities, creating the space for others would want to take a chance on joining them in this belief.