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  • TIME Magazine Staff

Meet 27 People Bridging Divides Across America

Time Magazine has just published a feature "Meet 27 People Bridging Divides Across America". Among those 27 are Paula Green of Leverett, MA and Ben Fink of Letcher County, KY, key figures in the Hands Across the Hills bridging initiative that in 2017 partnered 22 Leverett residents with counterparts in coal country in Kentucky.

Personal Politics

The 2016 election prompted mutterings that Americans should escape their echo chambers, but few did so as purposefully as a group called Hands Across the Hills. In 2017, rural voters from Letcher County, Kentucky, in Trump territory, traveled to meet with rural voters from Leverett, Mass., part of Clinton country—not to change each other’s minds but to better understand one another’s thinking. “People are really curious,” says Ben Fink of the Letcher County Culture Hub, who helped organize the meeting. “We humanized each other,” says Paula Green, a conflict-resolution expert who was on the Massachusetts side. The summit became an annual tradition; the group plans to meet for a fourth time in 2020—after the election. —K.S.

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