Through a combination of classroom learning, cross campus exchange between students from Oberlin College and Spring Arbor University, and site visits with a broad range of criminal justice stakeholders in Michigan, the “Bridging The Gap” Winter Term Pilot Program will endeavor to teach students how to truly listen, understand, be heard, and seek common ground without attempting to change minds or having to compromise deeply held values. This will be hard work. It is important to note that the program is not a 2020 election strategy but it will be all the more urgent as the 2020 election is likely to further divide our nation. Moreover, this is not an effort to dismiss the deep and genuine political differences in our country or to minimize the abhorrent behavior of hate groups. Rather, it is a concrete step to counter the powerful forces that seek to divide our nation, by giving Oberlin and Spring Arbor students – our country’s future leaders – the tools to connect and ultimately find areas of common ground, shared humanity and a sense of connection with those of different backgrounds and beliefs with whom we share this country.