Leaders Including Lonnie Ali, Jonathan Haidt, Daniel Lubetzky, Liev Schreiber, and Andrew Yang Launch Builders, A Global Platform to Combat Extremist Thinking Hijacking Our World

In the biggest global election year, new non-profit will equip citizens to overcome extremist thinking and toxic polarization in media, civics, and education

NEW YORK, May 14, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today is the launch of Builders, a global initiative spearheaded by a coalition of leaders, including Lonnie Ali, Erskine Bowles, Katie Couric, Jonathan Haidt, Daniel Lubetzky, Jesus Mantas, Liev Schreiber, Andrew Yang, and others, aimed at addressing the pervasive “us vs. them” mentality that has led to dangerous levels of polarization worldwide. The organization is dedicated to equipping individuals with the skills, tools, and network necessary to overcome extremist ideologies and work together on pragmatic solutions.

Expanding upon the foundational work of the non-profit Starts With Us, Builders arrives in the biggest election year in history, when over 4 billion people will cast votes across at least 64 countries. It is also a time marked by heightened concern about tensions among citizens in many nations. Recognizing that regional divides resonate on a global scale, Builders is addressing extremist ideologies that fuel polarization in the United States, as well as in conflict zones like the Middle East and amidst international crises such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Daniel Lubetzky emphasized the urgency of the initiative, stating, “At a time marked by increasing division propagated by authoritarian figures, hyper-partisan politics, and social media echo chambers, Builders is committed to empowering individuals to prioritize flexible thinking and constructive problem-solving over blind allegiance to extremist narratives.”

Builders is advancing its mission by equipping citizens to actively engage in key areas that shape culture and thought, such as media, civics, and education.

Citizen Solutions, one of Builders’ flagship programs, is being piloted to address hyper-partisan gridlock at the state level in the US. By engaging citizens in deliberative dialogue sessions and incorporating feedback from diverse stakeholders, Citizen Solutions has produced consensus-backed policy proposals in states like Tennessee and Wisconsin, reflecting the collective will of the people.

Builders Media, another arm of the organization, is dedicated to producing digital content that challenges divisive narratives and stereotypes. By encouraging viewers to consider different perspectives, Builders Media aims to break down social media silos and help viewers expand their hearts and minds.

Builders Toolkit focuses on equipping educational institutions with resources to promote critical thinking and deliberative dialogue among students K through University. By empowering young people to question rigid ideologies and engage in constructive discourse, the Builders Toolkit aims to cultivate a generation of thoughtful problem-solvers. The Toolkit will include over 140 online activities aimed at fostering empathy and understanding among school-aged children, contributed by Empatico, an initiative of The KIND Foundation whose work will continue as part of Builders.

To amplify influential voices offering constructive pathways forward, Builders is tapping the broad spectrum of perspectives across its extensive Builders Network of leaders. Notable figures like Liev Schreiber and Lonnie Ali are taking part.

Said Liev Schreiber, “We are living in a world in which algorithms designed to divide and categorize for the purpose of marketing have separated us so completely from any true sense of ourselves, that we have forgotten who we are, where we come from, and perhaps most importantly, the shared values and moral imperatives that should bind us together.”

Said Lonnie Ali, “Extremists get up each morning with the intention to further their cause — only they are driven to divide and destroy. We need to channel that same energy, but with the motivation to unite and build.”

People ready to unite, build, and bring light, can access practical tools through the growing Builders Resource Hub at http://www.buildersmovement.org/.

About Builders

Builders Network (Builders)  is a nonprofit organization committed to equipping people with the skills, tools, and network to overcome extremist thinking and toxic polarization to solve our toughest problems together. As societies become increasingly divided, Builders is tackling extremist thinking leading to toxic polarization in the United States, the conflict in the Middle East, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Builders initiatives seek to equip citizens to take action in spheres that shape culture and thought, including media, civics, and education. People can join the movement to unite, build, and bring light to the world at www.buildersmovement.org.

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SOURCE Builders Network


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