Skip to main content

Military Veterans in Journalism Joins #ListenFirst Coalition

By February 12, 2024News

MVJ joins a group of over 500 organizations working to bring Americans together across differences to build social cohesion.

Military Veterans in Journalism is proud to announce it is joining the #ListenFirst Coalition, a bridge-building collaborative effort of the ListenFirst Project. As a Coalition member, MVJ joins a group of organizations working across the country to give diverse communities opportunities to bridge divides.

The #ListenFirst Coalition was created in 2017 by four bridging organizations to aggregate, align, and amplify bridging efforts to reach farther and create greater impact. Bridging brings together people and perspectives that are disconnected or divided to cultivate understanding, trust, and productive disagreement that can lead to collaborative problem-solving and a way forward together. The nonprofit Listen First Project serves as the backbone of the Coalition and manages its campaigns that aim to turn down the heat, and save our country from tearing apart. Today, the #ListenFirst Coalition’s campaigns and events bring Americans together to reduce toxic polarization and build social cohesion, so we can find a way forward together.  

MVJ joins the #ListenFirst Coalition as an extension of the MVJ Counter-Disinformation Program and as a way to provide its community with opportunities to bridge divides via storytelling. The organization will collaborate with other coalition members on events and opportunities to bring members of the military-connected community together to listen and understand each other, find common ground, and help bridge the gap between military service and civilian viewpoints.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the #ListenFirst Coalition,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s executive director. “Our participation and collaboration with this esteemed group of organizations will help us learn and develop our work, especially as we work to inoculate veterans from violent extremist propaganda.”

The list of coalition members spans over 500 national and local organizations, each with a diverse community and a focus on bridging divides to combat the toxic polarization in America. MVJ has previously worked with several of these member organizations, including Project Over Zero, to train journalists on ways to create positive dialogue and discourage politically-charged violence via journalism.