In the Media

Our mission is to elevate young people and give a voice to those who value constructive engagement and unified progress. A critical component of elevating the narrative is to highlight student voices in the national political landscape.

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Press Releases

Braver Angels, BridgeUSA, and Starts With Us Partner to Host “Hold America Together”

Nov. 14, 2022

TAP Is Merging With BridgeUSA

April 26, 2022

BridgeUSA Is Creating High School Chapters

Aug. 16, 2021

Statement on the Anti-Democratic Events of Jan. 6

Jan. 7, 2021

Four Elected Officials to Join A Starting Point and BridgeUSA in Post-Election Forum

Nov. 7, 2020

A Starting Point, BridgeUSA to Co-Host a National,
Bipartisan Student Discussion

Oct. 20, 2020


Manu Meel

Perspective: Why young people are down on democracy — and how we can change that

Deseret News

As we approach the midterm elections, the role of Generation Z and the importance of engaging young people is front and center for many candidates. And the question I get asked most often is “Why are young people so down on democracy?” 

Amanda Shafer

‘Fake governance’ has plagued my generation. Here’s how we rise above it.

USA Today

Tomorrow’s leaders see the need to rise above partisan rhetoric. We have the potential to reach consensus on the problems corrupting our country. We just have to be willing to engage with one another to find it.

Manu Meel

Why I Still Believe in America

RealClear Public Affairs

We have the opportunity to listen and to understand the pain and struggles of our fellow Americans, to move past our political affiliations in search of common purpose. We have an opportunity to embrace the story of America.

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In the News

What College Students Really Think About Cancel Culture

“In recent years, Americans have started hundreds of groups and organizations dedicated to building trust and friendship across the political divide, including BridgeUSA, Braver Angels and many others.”

NBC News Tonight with Joshua Johnson: Fighting Political Division With Dialogue

We see divisions in politics all around us. Come take an inside look with BridgeUSA to see how the group is trying to heal our political divides and get America talking again.

How Colleges Can Take Us To The Better Angels Of Our Nature

Our campuses should not be viewed as a lost cause. The throngs of students who have attended and participated in Better Angels and BridgeUSA programs are testimony to students’ thirst for discourse.

ASP x BridgeUSA Gen Z Roundtable

During the 2020 election, young Americans voted at an historic rate, supporting their belief in a safer and more progressive America with a rousing turnout.

If you think campus speech is all angry confrontation, you’re looking in the wrong places

Although still in the minority, a growing contingent of students from the left, right and center is ditching tactics that lead to internecine hostility in favor of talking with one another to build empathy.

BridgeUSA and Sustained Dialogue are two prime examples of campus organizations committed to confronting political polarization.

NBC News Tonight with Joshua Johnson: Gen Z Sounds Off On Jan. 6

“Generations ask to be born during times that are crucial in defining history. You’re living through a time that is history. That is something to aspire for.”

More News Features

How American Institutions Can Win The Trust Of Gen Z

To win the trust of young people, and all Americans, institutions must become trustworthy by living out their values even when things get hot. Then, they must make the case for trust, explaining why their actions manifest their values.

When College Students Self-Censor, Society Loses

Academic stakeholders must create campuses eager to welcome professors, students and speakers who approach problems and questions from different points of view, explicitly valuing the role such diversity plays in advancing the pursuit of knowledge, discovery and innovation.

Do You Value Freedom Of Expression?’

The ideal college campus welcomes students from a range of ideological perspectives and offers opportunities for those students to come together to productively explore topics, problems, and questions.

BridgeUSA …is one leading student organization dedicated to facilitating constructive political discussion.” 

BridgeUSA Takes Students Out of ‘Ideological Echo Chambers,’ Fosters Friendly Political Discourse

Today, BridgeUSA is a national organization with a presence on campuses nationwide. Student leaders aim to foster discourse, empathy and intellectual growth.

New Group Helps Students Fix The Mess Made By Politics As Usual

“As partisan divides continue to rock Congress – and add to a contentious and bitter presidential race – more and more students have said “enough.”

But at least two student groups, one at the University of Colorado-Boulder the other at Notre Dame University are trying to bridge the divide through an emerging field of political thought called transpartisanship.”

Standing up for the heterodox academy

Another method is to expose students to different perspectives – which can be a challenge in orthodox environments. … Other organizations like BridgeUSA are seeking to create communities and spaces where conversations can happen that help people identify with those with whom they disagree politically.

Unveiling UT #1 – BridgeTexas

I would think most people have a very centrist mindset. Not so much as in just policy but just in terms of being willing to meet somebody else at their level and discuss with them their ideas.

Online Media

Panel: Talking About Democracy with Millennials and Gen Z

From climate change to immigration, young Americans lead efforts on some of the most pressing issues facing the nation and the world. How do their life experiences and cultural context shape the language they use in their work?

FOMO Sapiens with Patrick J. McGinnis: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

What do a 22-year-old former venture capital intern and an 11-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker have in common? Political entrepreneurship.

Our Voices Matter: Let’s F*#!ing Talk To Each Other

Leave it to Gen Z to cut to the chase. “Let’s f*cking talk to each other!” Manu Meel and his fellow Gen Z colleagues at BridgeUSA are painfully aware that they will inherit today’s problems tomorrow.  And they’re on a mission to give themselves a fighting chance.

More Online Media

Choose Inclusion Podcast: Our Future is Just Across a Bridge of Empathy

BridgeUSA represents around 30 college and university chapters whose mission is to invest in the future of democracy by developing the next generation of engaged and constructive citizens.

American Game Changers: We Have To Be The Middle Ground

We live in an extremely polarizing time. Trying to find middle ground with any one with a different point of view doesn’t seem to happen enough. My next guest graduated from the university of Berkley and saw this polarization first hand. But he also saw that things might not be as divided as they may seem.

Higher Ed Now: Manu Meel – Students Bridging the Political Divide

Manu Meel, a rising senior at the University of California Berkeley who serves as the CEO for Bridges USA, discusses how students can reform our political culture by bringing constructive discourse back to our college campuses. 

Common Ground Committee: DEPOLARIZING AMERICA: Bridging Divides on Campus

WITH AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN CRISIS, CAN COLLEGE STUDENTS SAVE THE DAY? There is concern that American democracy is in crisis. For college students it can be frightening to consider the prospects for a better tomorrow. But addressing the problems in our political system will require the next generation to be more engaged and less polarized.

All Things Reconsidered with Eric Kirk

Colleges are a great place to address polarization and the decline of discourse in our politics. Jessica Carpenter answers what needs to happen to mitigate it and what young people are doing now to help.

Democracy Talks: Building Civic Muscle Among Young Americans

Young Americans can help strengthen our democracy and promote civics education. We just have to get them involved.