Strange Bedfellows

Image used with permission from USA TODAY/Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser.


The Strange Bedfellows stories bring together moments of Americans from all over the country working together across political, racial, religious and other perceived dividing lines, to solve real problems facing their communities. The stories range from Democrats and Republicans in Iowa uniting to address police violence to an interfaith alliance of Jews, Muslims and Christians in Oklahoma to transforming a once-segregated department store into a site for community conversation in Alabama.

Strange Bedfellows is the culmination of Hidden Common Ground 2020, a partnership of Public Agenda, USA TODAY, the National Issues Forums and the American Amplified public media collaborative. The initiative has explored polarizing topics leading up to the 2020 election to find areas where Americans agree and opportunities to advance democracy across divides.

The Hidden Common Ground Initiative™ (HCG) challenges the increasingly dominant narrative of a hopelessly-divided America through research, journalism, public engagement and storytelling that elevates the areas where Americans agree on solutions to contentious issues, and by fostering productive dialogue on those areas where we truly disagree.