Unify Challenge: College Bowl

Illustration - participating in a unify challenge

The power of different perspectives.

From cable news to social media, we tend to get information that confirms what we already believe. We live in media bubbles. And while it's human nature to find that comforting, it’s not so healthy for our country.

In October 2021, Unify America piloted the first-ever Unify Challenge College Bowl with 10 universities from across the county to help students share perspectives across differences and strengthen their civic muscles. Today, over 70 colleges and universities have joined as partners.

Here's how it works.

Two college students—total strangers from different schools with different political leanings or backgrounds—were matched into a one-on-one guided video conversation to talk about big goals for our country.

Yikes. Sound like trouble—or at least really awkward conversations? That’s what the students thought, too.

But to their big surprise, the student pairs found more agreement than they expected as the partners walked through 17 different goals for America across with topics ranging from free speech and criminal justice to immigration and education.

Professors dig the Challenge.

Unify America handled all the heavy lifiting and provided professors materials for their classrooms, a unique landing page for student sign-ups, an attendance dashbaord, and an impact report with the post-Challenge data.

Professors reported success across their diverse classrooms ranging in subjects from political science 101 and senior-level publc policy capstone classes to business communication.

Professor Leah A. Murray, Ph.D.

Weber State University

Professor Jeff Wilson

University of Illinois Chicago

Professor Clark Friesen

Lone Star College System

See an example landing page for studentsSee an example post-Challenge data report

Students make real connections.

Despite feeling nervous at the beginning, the majority of university students were surprised by how much they  found agreement and how much they enjoyed a conversation with a stranger from a different “bubble.”

Here are stories from four students who participated in the 2022 Fall College Bowl, Mallory, Ariel, and Chris.

Mallory

Mississippi State University

Ariel

University of Louisville

Chris

University of Akron

The results are in!

2,182

students

participated in our October 2021, Spring 2022, and Fall 2022 College Bowls

83%

of participating students

rated the experience an 8 or higher (on a scale of 1-10)

100%

of participating professors

surveyed would consider using the Unify Challenge again in their classrooms

46

universities & colleges

participated in our Fall 2022 College Bowl

Add my school to this map
our partners

Thanks to all of our partnering universities, including:

Become a Partner University

Interested in bringing the Unify Challenge to your classroom or university? Schedule a 30-minute chat with our team, or sign up for our upcoming College Bowl.

Schedule a time to chatSign up for the College Bowl
Illustration - Character holding the American flag and pointing

Who’s Unify America?

Unify America is a cross-partisan nonprofit on a mission to replace political fighting with problem-solving. We create evidence-based interactive experiences that encourage constructive conversations across political ideologies and backgrounds.

Founded by Harry Nathan Gottlieb (founder of Jellyvision and Jackbox Games), we’re a team of game makers, tech makers, anthropologists, and business leaders who all share a passion for bringing Americans together.

Visit our website
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