Where is our common ground?

Police and community distrust. Racial tension and violence.

Fear of other religions. Urban-rural division.

Journalism that inflames rather than enlightens.

Political logjams. Lack of government transparency.

Search has been solving these problems in countries around the world for 35 years.

Now it’s time to deal with them in the United States. We can’t wait any longer. Help us bring home the solutions that have worked in some of the most divided places on earth.

Take the rebuilding of trust between communities and the police forces dedicated to serve them.

Search has done this work successfully with the police in Nepal, the police and military in the Eastern Congo, and private security forces in Tanzania.

We’ve made a difference:

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You can see the difference in officer Ahia from Tanzania, who bemoaned the inadequate training he was given on the use of force and alternative responses. For him, Search’s training was an “eye-opener” that he believes will save lives. He carries his Search handbook wherever he goes.

We’ve explored how best to do this in the U.S. for the last 2 years, with limited support.

Give now to help us build the necessary relationships and establish the foundation to bridge Americans’ deepest divides.

The problems the U.S. is facing today can be solved. We know how to facilitate breakthroughs that transform devastating conflicts into powerful cooperation.

Imagine Congress putting the good of all people ahead of their careers, bridging the chasms to address climate change, jobs, social security, healthcare, our crumbling infrastructure and other critical problems we’re all facing.

In countries where we’ve tackled political divisions, you can see the impact:

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Rukhmina, a local female politician accomplished just such a breakthrough in Pakistan. With her Search training in constructive problem solving and inclusive leadership, Rukhmina won the respect of her male peers when she single-handedly healed a rancorous split in her party. Politicians once fighting bitterly over power and resources transformed into partners, working for their people.

Accountability rebuilds trust that government is working for all the people.

You can help us start rebuilding that trust here in the U.S. Give now.

Imagine high school graduates preparing to start college. Before they even step onto campus, they meet future classmates across the very lines that split American society — racially and ethnically diverse; politically liberal and conservative; devoutly religious and atheist; urban and rural. In skillfully facilitated, online video discussions, they talk about TV shows, food, music, but — soon — some of the most divisive issues they face: immigration, gun control, race, abortion.

They don’t agree, but in the end, they deeply respect each other. They don’t have easy conversations, but they learn to have difficult conversations well.  They see each other’s humanity.

That’s the power of our “virtual exchange” program. Young people separated by life and distance meet in safe but deep discussions, forming lifelong friendships.

We’ve offered this program to students in Western and Muslim-majority countries for years and can measure the impact. Our students show a clear increase in empathy and respect for other religions and cultures. And it sticks!

The difference is still there many months later, even for American students who lived through the Boston Marathon bombing.

Search’s specialty is enabling people with huge differences to feel safe. To be creative in solving their common problems together. To unlock justice, peace, and prosperity for all.

With your help, we can move the U.S. through this time of deep division toward a future that works for everyone.

The Presidential election woke the U.S. up to our desperate need to listen and understand each other. With our self-sorting on social media, at church, and in schools, we don’t build the relationships across differences that are vital for a functioning society.

We need to work together even when we vehemently disagree.

We can redefine “hero” to include politicians who bravely work across party lines to fix what needs fixing. To include the young Latina who asks a policeman for help, even though she’s afraid to. To include the Christian who intervenes to stop bigotry against a Muslim neighbor.

Over the past two years, we’ve brought together experts from engineering, marketing, and academia with young peacebuilders from around the world. We’ve envisioned a new way to reach young people with a vision of global leadership: “Battle for Humanity” – a global, online platform where social media meets real-life video game.

Battle for Humanity attracts kids who wouldn’t be caught dead at a peace camp and starts building their empathy and leadership through our proven methods. It makes listening to your “enemy” with respect normal. It makes solving problems for everyone’s benefit the goal. All the while, you’re making friends around the world, gaining points, and moving up the ranks of this online community.

We urgently need your help to get Battle for Humanity up and running. Give now.

In years past, Search has worked in the U.S. on issues as thorny and difficult as gun violence, abortion, healthcare, and racial tensions. We’ve made tangible gains between political opponents and adversarial activists.

But we need a much bigger investment if we want to truly shift the tide in this country.

Here are three ways you can help:

  • Join now. Are you 13-30 years old? Do you have a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, cousin, or friend in this age range? We’re testing the real-life activities for the Battle for Humanity app right now on Facebook. Go to battle4humanity.org to enroll as a beta tester. You can help us recruit the young people who will design this platform from the ground up.
  • Connect us. Do you know a major foundation, police department, or university that would like to partner with us to bring some of our best solutions home to the U.S.? Tell us!
  • Give now. You can start building relationships of trust across Americans’ deepest fears. You can create the next generation of social technology that bridges divides instead of erecting echo chambers. Help us continue testing and developing new solutions to today’s most difficult conflicts – and bring our tested and proven solutions home to the U.S. where they’re desperately needed.
We need a serious commitment from our friends and partners to make our dream in the U.S. a reality – while we continue to address some of the most violent conflicts around the world.

Will you help us?

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Shamil Idriss

President and CEO