Pitch Document

view some of the most frequently asked questions about crossing the divide and learn how to respond to them.Published On:

More About CTD

Crossing The Divide is an organization fighting political polarization through civilized discussions in high schools across America. Founded by two teens from Durham Academy, we aim to create a place where individuals can freely exchange ideas and beliefs through dialogue while overcoming the existing barrier that pervades political discussion today. We reform the political climate at schools by establishing a Crossing the Divide branch; our branch leaders host weekly conversations about controversial political issues and expose students to a vast range of perspectives. We have developed, tested, and refined a practical method for conducting free and honest conversations and have prepared a wide range of materials to facilitate discussions. These materials include topic briefs, a website, relevant documents for starting a branch, and online infrastructure for distribution.


Each meeting we will discuss a different topic which will be voted for through a google form you have been sent. The meetings will encompass a wide variety of topics, and students are encouraged to request a specific topic if it is not on the list. Each meeting will begin with a broad question about the topic, and as we continue speaking, the questions will become more specific based on where the conversation leads. If any student has an issue with how the conversation is being held, they are given the opportunity to reach out to the leaders and propose amendments to the rules or give suggestions on how meetings should go.


There are a few rules that we should try to follow when discussing politics. These rules are intended to make our discussions more about the free exchange of ideas rather than a shouting match that favors the most disrespectful voices. Since our club is centered around discussion, these rules may be contested and edited in the future. If you have any questions or would like to propose an amendment, talk to one of the leaders. (Hashim K.)

  • Keep a courteous tone.
  • Do not insult your interlocutor, and instead address their arguments
  • Follow the instructions of the sitting moderator
  • All opinions should be heard and discussed, and while one is doing so they are entitled to time without interruptions
  • Do not assume bad intent from your interlocutor.
  • If a topic gets too personal then students can raise their hand and request that we move to the next section.
  • Takeaways are a must at the end. “How do you think today’s meeting went” individuals will go around and explain how they felt.

Responses to FAQ

How will meetings run?

We will meet for one hour every two weeks. We will have a civilized discussion about one of the 22 topics covered on the materials page for each meeting. We run through pre-written questions for discussion and allow everyone to explain their thoughts on it. Our sitting moderator does not give any political opinion throughout their moderation period. The moderator watches to ensure the conversation remains calm and focused.

How do we ensure that conversations go smoothly?

Topic Progression as well as clearly stated guidelines. Topic progression is when we start off with controversial topics that tend to be less connected to personal identity. For example, starting off with a topic like Taxation. Individuals may have

What if a student leaves a meeting upset?

First off, in the entire history of Crossing the Divide, there have been no incidents that have taken place due to the precautions we have taken (rules & mission statement). However, we have prepared for such a circumstance by following up with everyone after meetings. We send out an anonymous google form after every meeting where students can suggest changes and propose amendments to the rules and guidelines. We also have extensive support in terms of leadership where any student can talk to me or someone from the CTD Team if they have something on their mind. Additionally, we’ve put in place special rules such as the ability to raise your hand and move the topic or private message a moderator with feedback. At CTD we have trained each of our moderators with the feedback we have received throughout our time to ensure that moderation is handled in a manner where no student leaves a meeting upset.

What’s different between CTD and other clubs like Debate?

Crossing The Divide is different from any other political club for multiple reasons. First, traditionally at schools, there are many political clubs such as young conservatives, young democrats, and young independents. However, all of these clubs just perpetuate the polarization our country is desperately attempting to resolve. Crossing The Divide is the first non-profit organization to bring together High School Students of all political perspectives to have a civilized conversation on a national level. Not only that but Crossing The Divide is completely student-led. All of our branch leaders are students as well as our executive team. While clubs such as debate and speech focus on different relevant topics in the world to prepare case material for in an attempt to defeat your opponent, Crossing The Divide targets a whole different realm, focusing on pressing political issues with the intent to have an open, judgment-free conversation and learn from other individuals perspective.

How do we help CTD be successful at our school?

Our team at CTD has prepared multiple materials for branch leaders to use to promote within the school. However, some of our most effective methods (especially for private schools) come from administrative support. In the past administrators have promoted CTD by sending an email to the entire student body on behalf of CTD. One of the pre-written emails we have to send to the school can be found here.

If you've read this far:

Consider joining CTD! You can start a branch, join our team, or learn more about about Crossing The Divide.