Interfaith America Joins National Effort To Develop Digital Disinformation Policy
January 21, 2022
As President Biden and Congress weigh solutions, citizens revive tradition of deliberative problem-solving.
As Washington struggles to develop a national approach to digital disinformation, an innovative partnership is bringing together citizens, experts, leaders, faith-based voices, and policymakers to develop policy recommendations that incorporate an exciting range of knowledge, perspectives, and values.
The effort is led jointly by Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, Interfaith America, More in Common, and Civic Genius, four nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that work to move past political polarization.
Leveraging each organization’s unique expertise in bringing diverse stakeholders to the table, Civic Genius, Convergence, and Interfaith America will lead participants in deliberative processes designed to identify and build common ground on this complex issue, and then mobilize them to take action. Civic Genius will engage diverse grassroots audiences in select communities across the country; Convergence will convene experts and stakeholders at the national level; and Interfaith America will bring to both the perspective of interfaith voices.
While each of these deliberations would be potent on its own, the partnership among Civic Genius, Convergence, and Interfaith America will create a unique opportunity for grassroots and grasstops organizations to share perspectives, knowledge, learnings – creating a powerful feedback loop that furthers understanding on all sides and strengthens the final recommendations from all cohorts.
“Digital disinformation has a disastrous effect on diversity issues, particularly relations between different faith communities,” said Dr. Eboo Patel, Founder and President of Interfaith America. “Addressing this challenge head on is critical to building an America that welcomes people of all faith backgrounds and spiritual traditions. IFYC [now Interfaith America] is honored to partner with Convergence, Civic Genius and More in Common to bring the perspective of faith leaders to the table, and help find solutions that will benefit all Americans.”
More in Common will apply its research expertise to evaluate the extent to which the partnership fosters stronger civic outcomes among participants of all backgrounds. These learnings will inform a broad universe of policymakers, corporate leaders, and civil society organizations that are pursuing consensus solutions to key national issues.
While Americans broadly believe that digital disinformation is sowing confusion, they are at odds on how to address it. Dialogue participants will wrestle with opportunities to lower the incidence and impact of digital disinformation without compromising free speech or human rights protections. They will discuss legislative, corporate and community-based policy and programmatic options.
“At a time of declining trust in institutions like government and media, too many Americans feel disengaged from the political process,” said Jillian Youngblood, executive director of Civic Genius. “This is a provocative, solutions-focused approach to civic engagement, where we can build trust in each other, find common ground across ideologies, and take real action to affect our lives.”
“We couldn’t be more delighted to partner our deep national solution-driving dialogue with Civic Genius’ remarkable formula for grassroots and local bridging conversations, with More in Common to explore how the local and national dialogues support each other, and with IFYC bringing into this important discussion the voices of faith-based leaders,” said David Eisner, CEO of Convergence.
“America has a long tradition of citizens coming together to solve problems without having to rely on lawmakers,” said Dan Vallone of More in Common. “This initiative will deepen our understanding of how we can more fully harness the enormous potential for positive change Americans possess when united for action.”
About the Partners
Civic Genius is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to overcome political
polarization and rebuild American civic culture through everyday opportunities to learn and
engage. Through programs designed to meet people wherever they are in their civic
engagement, then build on the common ground that already exists across personal
backgrounds and political affiliations, Civic Genius is working to get our democratic experiment
back on track.
Convergence is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that convenes individuals and
organizations with divergent views to build trust, identify solutions and form alliances for action
on issues of critical public concern.
Interfaith America is a national non-profit working to build an Interfaith America where
people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions can respect one another, bridge differences
and find common values to build a shared life together.
More in Common is a research and civic nonprofit that works to build more united and inclusive
democratic societies, where people believe and feel that what they have in common is stronger
than what divides them. More in Common conducts unique public opinion and behavioral
research into underlying drivers of social fracture and then works with a broad range of partners
on efforts to bring people together across lines of difference to solve problems and make
progress. More in Common works as part of an international initiative with partner groups in the
UK, France, and Germany.
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