Bridging the Divide: Strategies for Reducing Polarization at the Neighborhood Level

This reflection draws from the collective insights of approximately 60 members of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute, who come from all walks of life and hail from diverse backgrounds. Their focus on local level initiatives and activities have provided them with a unique insight into the threat of polarization to local democracy. This reflection seeks to summarize the remedies they identified, based on the transcript of their discussions, to overcome local polarization. Through this reflection, it is hoped that these remedies can be used to effectively bridge the divides of local polarization.

About the Practitioner Series

The “ABCD Practitioner Series” consists of occasional publications by Stewards of the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at DePaul University’s Steans Center. The purpose of this series is to share experiences and insights about the application of ABCD principles in a wide variety of different settings. These publications are made available to stimulate further creativity among an emerging community of practitioners around the world.

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Image by Roland Steinman on Pixabay.


Going Further:

About the Lead Author

Ivis Garcia
Ivis Garcia
Ivis Garcia is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University, where she teaches courses in urban planning. Ivis has an extensive background in community development, having worked for the past 15 years in the field. Ivis has a wealth of experience in housing, disaster recovery, and public participation, having worked with community organizations, local governments, and educational institutions on development projects. Dr. Garcia is also a board member at the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. She has served as an ABCD consultant to various local, state and federal agencies, as well as to non-profit and private organizations. Ivis is passionate about using her ABCD knowledge and experience to strengthen the social, economic, and educational capacity of communities in Puerto Rico and beyond. She is committed to the vision of the ABCD Institute and its mission of building resilient communities through asset-based community development. Institutional website: Personal website:​ Pronouns: she/her/hers

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