Domestic Peacebuilding

Today America faces not only a crisis of democracy but the continuation of racial, ethnic and class tensions that threaten peace and stability. Peacebuilding efforts within the United States are necessary now more than ever as we continue to fight against the weakening of institutions and against tensions within our communities.

This page will serve as a hub for resources on understanding conflict dynamics in the United States as well as current domestic peacebuilding efforts.

Mapping U.S. Peacebuilding

Peace Direct and the Alliance for Peacebuilding have launched a new effort to lift up and support local peacebuilding in the United States. Our new U.S. section of Peace Direct’s global online website, Peace Insight, is an interactive map that includes information about groups working for peace across the U.S.

Peace Direct is managing additional organizations for the map, which can be submitted here.

See the Mapping


Interested in the environment and environmental justice? Check out the Environmental Justice Atlas for an interactive map with information on environmental conflicts in the United States and around the world. To learn more about the organizations behind the creation of this map, click here.


Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? by Robert Kuttner

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms

One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported by Thomas Mann, Norman Ornstein, and EJ Dionne

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua

Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild

The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic by Ganesh Sitaraman

The People vs. Democracy by Yascha Mounk

The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker by Katherine Cramer

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Race Divide by Carol Anderson

Academic Research

Challenging Race-Based Environmental Conflicts

DeMond Shondell Miller & John Thomas Mills, Peace Review

November 22, 2016

News Articles & Blogs

America once fought a war against poverty–now it wages a war on the poor

Reverend William Barber and Dr. Liz Theoharis, The Guardian

April 15, 2018
‘We Can’t Make Our Elections About Being Against Trump’

Julia Ioffe, The Atlantic

April 2018
Actually, You Can Fix Stupid

Timothy Egan, New York Times

March 30, 2018
Why America’s 2-party system is on a collision course with our constitutional democracy

Lee Drutman, Vox

March 26, 2018
Authors of “How Democracies Die”: America will never get back “to the norms we had before” Trump

Chauncy Devega, Salon

March 26, 2018
GOP Bill Would Restrict Wisconsin Special Elections

Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio

March 26, 2018
Wisconsin Republicans Are Desperate to Not Hold an Election

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

March 26, 2018
Will Trump break American democracy?

Lee Drutman, Vox

March 20, 2018
How Inequality, Immigration, and Modern Media Are Undermining Democracy

Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

March 16, 2018
The Plot Against America

Franklin Foer, The Atlantic

March 2018
Boycott the Republican Party

Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, The Atlantic

March 2018
America Is Not a Democracy

Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic

March 2018
Worthy Is the Lamb

David Brooks, New York Times

March 15, 2018
Many think our democracy won’t survive Trump. They’re wrong.

Joe Scarborough, Washington Post

March 15, 2018
Is public sentiment shifting toward support of authoritarianism? Not really.

William A. Galston, Brookings 

March 13, 2018
It’s time to start taking the Stormy Daniels scandal seriously

Matthew Yglesias, Vox

March 13, 2018
When Smug Liberals Met Conservative Trolls

Katherine Mangu-Ward, New York Times

March 9, 2018
This is How American Democracy Could End

Harry Cheadle, Vice

March 7, 2018
The Chaos After Trump

David Brooks, New York Times

March 5, 2018
Trump’s White House Is a Black Hole

Peter Wehner, New York Times

March 3, 2018
Ben Carson, Jared Kushner, and the New Rules of Corruption

T. A. Frank, Vanity Fair

March 2, 2018
The Curious Case of A Florida Man Who Called Politicians Corrupt, Got Thrown In Jail

Nina Totenberg, NPR

February 27, 2018
CNN Poll: 6 in 10 concerned Trump isn’t doing enough to protect US elections

Jennifer Agiesta, CNN

February 27, 2018
Richard Wolff Says Capitalism Drives Inequality With ‘Explosive’ Consequences For Society

Laura Paddison, Huffington Post

February 27, 2018
Russian Trolls Are Flooding Social Media With Messages Meant to Increase Tensions in U.S.

Mary Louise Kelly, NPR

February 21, 2018
State of the Resistance 

Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker

February 12 & 19, 2018
‘Resist White Supremacy’: A sign. A farm. And the fury that followed. 

John Woodrow Cox, Washington Post

February 14, 2018
The toppling of the pillars of American democracy

Leonard Pitts, Jr., The Seattle Times

February 11, 2018
The Taming of a Demagogue

Ross Douthat, New York Times

February 7, 2018
I’m a law professor and I teach my students how to destroy American democracy

Ozan Varol, Quartz

February 7, 2018
Nunes’ real revelation: Trump is changing the GOP, not the other way around

Ronald Brownstein, CNN

February 6, 2018
Conservatives and the Cult of Trump

Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

February 6, 2018
Trump’s hilarious joke about treason wasn’t funny

Jill Filipovic, CNN

February 6, 2018
America falls short of being a full democracy for second year running, report finds

Harriet Agerholm, The Independent

February 5, 2018
New report shows democracy is in decline everywhere–including the United States

Scotty Hendricks, Big Think

February 5, 2018
How democracies die, explained

Ezra Klein, Vox

February 2, 2018
How the Nunes memo is a danger to American democracy 

Shawna Thomas, Vice News

February 2, 2018
U.S. democracy is in grave danger, a new Economist report warns

Amanda Erickson, Washington Post

February 1, 2018
Americans Are Rising to This Historic Moment

Eliot A. Cohen, The Atlantic 

January 29, 2018
Judicial Advocates Raise Red Flags on Eve of U.S. Senate Hearing on Nomination of Michael Brennan to 7th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals

One Wisconsin Institute 

January 23, 2018
Trust Is Collapsing in America

Uri Friedman, The Atlantic 

January 21, 2018
Here’s Just How Little Confidence Americans Have in Political Institutions

Domenico Montanaro, NPR 

January 17, 2018
Mr. President, stop attacking the press

John McCain, Washington Post

January 16, 2018
The State of American Democracy

Isaac Chotiner, Slate

January 16, 2018
Trump’s Threat to Democracy

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

January 10, 2018
Trump is not the only threat to America’s democracy

Christian Caryl, Washington Post

January 10, 2018
American Democracy: “Productive Conflict,” or A Dumpster Fire?

Maggie Penman, Tara Boyle, and Shankar Vedantam, NPR

January 8, 2018
Facing the Four Structural Threats to US Democracy

Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca, Project Syndicate

November 10, 2017
American democracy has gone through dark times before

Robert Dallek, The Guardian

November 1, 2017
Seeing Trump Through a Glass, Darkly

Peter Wehner, New York Times

October 7, 2017
America’s Democracy Is Not in Danger, but This is No Cause for Complacency

William A. Galston, The Catalyst

Fall 2017
Zakaria: Why Trump won

Fareed Zakaria, CNN

August 25, 2017
Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War?

Robin Wright, The New Yorker

August 14, 2017
Declaration of Disruption

Peter Wehner, New York Times

July 4, 2017
The biggest threat to America’s democracy isn’t Trump’s uncivil speech

Lawrence Douglas, The Guardian

July 4, 2017
Don’t Be Complicit, Republicans

Peter Wehner, New York Times

May 10, 2017
The Terrifying Truth Behind the Trump-Russia Mess

T. A. Frank, Vanity Fair

March 8, 2017
Drawing the Line

Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker

June 27, 2016
Trump prompts Dem women to run for Congress in PA, but they face ‘old boys network’

Eliza Collins, USA Today

April 18, 2018
At Bill Cosby retrial, #MeToo is also on trial

Renée Graham, Boston Globe

April 10, 2018
Fear of a Female President

Peter Beinart, The Atlantic

April 2018
The Nancy Pelosi Problem

Peter Beinart, The Atlantic

April 2018
White Supremacist Men See White Manhood Under Siege

Randy Blazak, Huffington Post

March 28, 2018
Women and American Politics: Another Great Awakening?

Sonia Michel, The American Prospect

March 23, 2018
#MeToo Has Done What the Law Could Not

Catherine A. MacKinnon, New York Times

February 4, 2018
A year after the first Women’s March, millions are still actively protesting Trump

German Lopez, Vox

January 23, 2018
What Happens When Women Fight Back

Joan Walsh, The Nation

January 19, 2018
A Year Ago, They Marched. Now a Record Number of Women are Running for Office

Charlotte Alter, Time

January 18, 2018
Resisting Trump, Surge in Democratic Women Ask: How do I Run for Office

Danielle Kurtzleben, NPR

January 7, 2018
Philadelphia Starbucks incident is a painful wake-up call to confront racial bias

Seattle Times editorial board, The Seattle Times

April 17, 2018
Inside the Memorial to Victims of Lynching

Oprah Winfrey, 60 Minutes

April 8, 2018
Why Are White Men Stockpiling Guns?

Jeremy Adam Smith, Scientific American

March 14, 2018
As America Changes, Some Anxious Whites Feel Left Behind

Michele Norris, National Geographic

March 2018
The Civil-Rights Movement’s Generation Gap

Bree Newsome, The Atlantic

February 2018
Even When Black Unemployment Is At Record Lows, It’s Dangerously High

Gene Demby, NPR

February 3, 2018
A Former Neo-Nazi Explains Why Hate Drew Him In–And How He Got Out

Dave Davies, NPR

January 18, 2017
Why reconciliation and redemption are central to countering white supremacy

Sarah Freeman-Woolpert, Waging Nonviolence

January 17, 2017
To Kneel or Not to Kneel…That is the Paradox

A’Jamal-Rashad Byndon, Nebraskans for Peace

January 2017
‘Black Votes Matter’: African-Americans Propel Jones to Alabama Win

Brian Naylor, NPR

December 13, 2017
A civil rights ’emergency’: justice, clean air, and water in the age of Trump

Oliver Milman, The Guardian

November 20, 2017
Confronting Race and Racial Conflict in America: Silence is not an option

Imani Michelle Scott, Huffington Post

November 7, 2017
Why are so many white men so angry?

Steven M. Gillon, Washington Post

August 24, 2017
These are the Defiant “Water Protectors” of Standing Rock

Saul Elbein, National Geographic

January 26, 2017
Minority White

Jeffrey A. Winters, Huffington Post

November 10, 2016
Why I Fear America Could Enslave Black People Again

Tavis Smiley, Time

October 18, 2016
The Racist Roots of Flint’s Water Crisis

Julia Craven and Tyler Tynes, Huffington Post

February 3, 2016
Neil Gorsuch sides with liberals to tip decision to immigrant in Supreme Court deportation case

Richard Wolf, USA Today

April 17, 2018
Flurry of lawsuits filed over citizenship question on census

Lydia Wheeler, The Hill

April 17, 2018
Thousands of Indian Women Find Their American Dreams in Jeopardy

Miriam Jordan, New York Times

April 6, 2018
California sues Trump administration over Census citizenship question

Alan Gomez, USA Today

March 27, 2018
 Citizenship question to be put back on 2020 Census for first time in 70 years

Carolyn McAtee Cerbin, USA Today

 March 27, 2018
Kiss Off, You’re Irish: In Experiment, Detroit Pub Bans St. Patrick’s Day Revelers

Kristen Hartke, NPR

March 20, 2018
Mosque Bombing Plot Rattles Immigrants In Kansas’ ‘Meat Triangle’

Frank Morris, NPR

March 20, 2018
Spokesman for ICE Decides Lying About Immigrants Is Bad Now

Prachi Gupta, The Slot

March 13, 2018
‘I Am a Pawn’: Trump’s Immigration Fight With California Squeezes Those Caught in the Middle

Miriam Jordan and Jennifer Medina, New York Times

March 8, 2018
Leverett group to visit Kentucky counterparts

Richie Davis, Greenfield Reporter

April 15, 2018
Two bridges: how to forgive the unforgivable

Brian Naylor, NPR

January 26, 2018
Two Men Spreading Peace One State at a Time

Rebecca David, KDLT News

December 23, 2017
Conservative Kentuckians, Leverett counterparts reach across the political gap

Richie Davis, Greenfield Recorder

October 29, 2017
Leverett’s Bridging Divides group to host Kentucky counterpart to find what unites us

Richie Davis, Greenfield Recorder

October 2, 2017
How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era

Daniel May, The Nation

March 16, 2017
Under Louisiana Bill, Peaceful Protesters Could Face 20 Years in Prison

Christine Baniewicz, Truthout

April 18, 2018
Here’s who actually attended the March for Our Lives. (No, it wasn’t mostly young people.)

Dana R. Fisher, Washington Post

March 28, 2018
Today’s Rebels Are Model Children

Ann Hulbert, The Atlantic

March 28, 2018
“Tomorrow Is the Beginning of Democracy”

Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

March 25, 2018
Empathize with your political foe

Arthur C. Brooks, AEI

January 22, 2018
Florida Prisoners Prepare to Strike, Demanding an End to Unpaid Labor and Brutal Conditions

Alice Speri, The Intercept

January 14, 2018
In a Surprising Move, the Anti-Pipeline Movement Is Taking a Page from Hobby Lobby

Ben Walker, In These Times

January 11, 2018
San Fransisco Magazine: a Refugee No Longer in Flight

Joanne Furio, San Fransisco Magazine & Dream Corps

December 6, 2017

News & Talk Shows

Millennial trust in military higher than trust in presidency: poll

MSNBC: Morning Joe, April 18, 2018

Madeline Albright: I’m warning the American public

MSNBC: Morning Joe, April 11, 2018

Sinclair tells stations to air media-bashing promos–and the criticism goes viral

CNN Media, April 2, 2018

How political opponents became enemies in the U.S.

PBS NewsHour, April 1, 2018

Melber: New scandal shows Zuckerberg still puts Kremlin over U.S.

MSNBC: The Beat, March 21, 2018

Congressman calls for action if Robert Mueller is fired

MSNBC: Morning Joe, March 19, 2018

‘Can It Happen Here?’ tackles authoritarianism

MSNBC: Morning Joe, March 16, 2018

What our current political climate says about us

MSNBC: Morning Joe, March 15, 2018

How real news can stand up to disinformation on Facebook

CNN, March 15, 2018

‘People vs. Democracy’ looks at our populist movement

MSNBC: Morning Joe, March 6, 2018



While not dedicated to domestic peacebuilding, these podcasts have some episodes that discuss a range of peacebuilding-related topics such as deciding when and how to protest, the recent increase in women political candidates in the U.S., and community and business peacebuilding initiatives.

Thinking CAP   The Peacebuilding Podcast  Code Switch

       The 1A


Film & Other Media

Representation of peace and peacebuilding in the media is crucial for promoting peace at home and abroad. These films and videos showcase American citizens and their efforts both to build peace within their communities and to peacefully address important social issues.


Compelled to Action: The Story of Citizens Alert (2017)

A film series produced by Peace Productions documenting Citizen Alert’s efforts to hold the police accountable and promote peace.

Flint (2017)

A dramatized portrayal of the Flint Water Crisis which began in 2014 when the city switched water providers. It begs the question of race, poverty and environmental justice.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

A major motion picture depicting the story of Desmond Dodd, a conscientious objector during World War 2, who saved many wounded soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa without ever wielding a weapon.

The Armor of Light (2015)

This documentary follows the journey of Evangelical minister Rob Schenck as he preaches about gun violence in America. He investigates whether it is possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life.

In the Game (2015)

Recipient of a 2017 Christopher Award, In the Game is a documentary film that follows a girls’ soccer team in a low-income neighborhood while examining the impacts of race, discrimination, inequality, and poverty.

American Arab (2013)

A documentary film of the post-9/11 realities of Arab Americans in the United States. The film specifically follows the life of Usama Alshaibi, an Iraqi-American filmmaker.

99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (2013)

A documentary film of the Occupy Wall Street Movement that swept across the nation in 2011.

The Interrupters (2011)

A documentary film following members of the Chicago-based organization CeaseFire in their efforts to end the cycle of violence in their communities.


TED Talks

I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left.

Megan Phelps-Roper explains how love and tolerance from others drew her away from the Westboro Baptist Church.

What comes after tragedy? Forgiveness

Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix explain how tragedy brought them together and how they use that tragedy to help others turn away from violence through their organization, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation.

A black man goes undercover in the alt-right

Theo E.J. Wilson discusses how he “went undercover” online to learn more about the alt-right, and how he became more understanding as a result.

How our friendship survives our opposing politics

Caitlin Quattromani and Lauran Arledge discuss how they use meaningful dialogue to address their opposing political views in order to learn about the other’s perspectives and motivations rather than avoid political discussion altogether.

Can a divided America heal?

Jonathan Haidt discusses the basis for the political divisions plaguing America and whether or not we can come back together.

The unstoppable walk to political reform

Lawrence Lessig fights against corruption and encourages Americans to call for political reform.

Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide

Yuval Harari discusses how and why politics in America have become so divisive.


Other Resources

Building Trust Partnership Handbook

Authored by Daniel Orth from the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, and in collaboration with the San Diego Organizing Project and the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, this handbook was created to help religious leaders build trust and bridge divides between police officers and the communities they work in. To learn more about the Building Trust Partnership, click here.



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