ProjectCiv was started by Amanda Smithfield, a high school librarian in Nashville, TN. Amanda was distraught over the lack of civility that had seemed to worsen the last few years. This was especially apparent during the 2016 presidential election.

Amanda noticed the existence of her own echo chamber, and decided to do something about it! She became very intentional about reading more diverse sources. She noticed this gave her a more nuanced view of politics.

At school, Amanda started clubs for the high school Republicans and high school Democrats. When Amanda read that Pew Research Center report on the growing number of Republicans and Democrats who have few (if any) friends of the opposing political party, she decided to host her first bipartisan discussion at lunch. It was a rousing success!

Inspired by her friend Jarred Amato, who had started ProjectLit Community as a way to end book deserts and engage the community in reading diverse books with his students, she started ProjectCiv. She hopes you will decide to host (or participate in) a monthly bipartisan discussion!