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The bridgebuilding field took several big leaps forward over the past month – and a few steps back.  

On September 15th, to mixed reviews, the Biden Administration hosted the United We Stand Summit to “counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety.” The summit made significant strides in promoting bridgebuilding initiatives and prioritizing the need for unity in a moment of extraordinary divisiveness for the nation. That message, however, was complicated by partisan rhetoric surrounding many of the issues raised and by the timing of the event, which was held in the midst of a heated campaign season. Nevertheless, there were several consequential outcomes from the summit, which will have a meaningful impact on individual Americans and democracy. Those include: 
  • New Pluralists, a cross-partisan group of philanthropic and field leaders, announced that it is mobilizing $1 billion in new investments to increase support for programs that build bridges among Americans of different backgrounds to foster unity.
  • Interfaith America announced A Nation of Bridge Builders, a partnership with several service organizations including the YMCA, and Habitat for Humanity. Together, the partners will train 10,000 Americans to be bridge builders in their neighborhoods and will host over 1,000 bridgebuilding events in over 300 communities.
  • A collaboration of Domestic Policy Council Directors from the Bush, Obama, and Trump White Houses will launch, a citizens’ initiative to foster dialogue in communities and identify solutions to address hate-fueled violence. 
Just a few weeks after the White House summit, Convergence CEO David Eisner joined leaders from the bridgebuilding field in a panel discussion to discuss progress on the legislative front. David was joined by Ross Irwin of BridgeUSA, Phyllis Segal of CoGenerate (Formerly, Jenan Mohajir of Interfaith America, and Blaine Volpe of Millennial Action Project in conversation about the Building Civic Bridges Act and what it means for the nation.  

Convergence will continue to play an integral role in these bridgebuilding developments and report on their impacts in the coming months.  

Watch the panel with David to learn more.
Read David’s Interview on the Bill in the Seattle Times
As many as 1 in 4 eligible Americans are not registered to vote or don’t know if they are registered. Help create a more collaborative and engaged future for our democracy by exercising your right to vote in local and national elections. 
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Why Political Polarization Won’t Thwart Better Care for Older Adults
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Read this encouraging piece by Convergence Dialogue on Reimagining Care for Older Adults Principal Investigator, Stuart Butler, covering the Consensus Blueprint from the Dialogue and offering hope for a better future for older adult care.  
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The Role of Volunteers in Bridgebuilding
Pocantico Convening on Service Bridging Expanding the Bridging Impacts of Volunteering and Service Programs with Convergence and CBI logos

More than 72 million Americans volunteer regularly through faith communities, employers, schools, community organizations and beyond. That’s a broad and diverse swath of the American population that is passionate, informed, and highly likely to engage with civic life.  

Convergence wants to harness that civic passion in America’s volunteers by empowering them with the tools to be effective bridgebuilders in their communities. By engaging organizations in bridgebuilding work, the multiplier effect of those efforts could be enormous.  

To explore that question, Convergence partnered with the Consensus Building Institute (CBI)  on a collaboration that brought together leaders in the fields of non-profit service, national service, and conflict resolution, which culminated in a new report that summarizes strategies for implementation.  

Read the Report
 New Data from CDC Reinforces Urgency of Convergence’s Work on Firearms and Suicide
2021: Of the 47,646 suicide deaths in America, 26,320 were by firearm Source: CDC with Convergence logo

Firearm suicide prevention has been in the news with the recent release of a CDC report on the increase in suicide rates in 2021. Convergence tackled the question of how to prevent these deaths less than a year ago with the release of the Convergence Dialogue on Guns and Suicide Prevention Final Report. The Dialogue group included mental health professionals, gun rights advocates, gun violence prevention leaders, and those with important lived experiences to identify solutions. Read the report to learn more about the issue and what strategies these diverse leaders worked on together to save lives.
Read the Report
Pathways to Better Jobs: A Deep Dive into the Future of Work

With an increasing skill and pay gap among US workers, is education still the great equalizer? Burning Glass Institute President Matt Sigelman recently explored this question and the ways in which a strong skills strategy may the part of the solution.  

This clip is a deep dive into one dimension of the Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs, which seeks to understand why millions of low- to moderate-income earners are not progressing to improved and stable avenues of employment. You can view the excerpt here and learn more about the Convergence Dialogue on Pathways to Better Jobs here.   

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UPDATE: Convergence Leadership Council Meeting 
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The Convergence Leadership Council meeting scheduled for later this year has been canceled due to our evolving plans for a larger event in early 2023. We look forward to sharing details with you soon!

In case you missed the last Leadership Council meeting, check out recordings from our past meetings including a behind-the-scenes peek into our new Economic Opportunity projects with Convergence leaders on the initiatives.

Watch the Economic Opportunity Discussion
john a. powell with trees in the background

If you haven't yet seen this, be sure to tune in for this invigorating conversation with john a. powell, recipient of the 2022 Convergence Bridge-Building Leadership Award.
Watch the Conversation with john a. powell
Building Better Leadership
Cherie Harder Heads the Trinity Forum - Helping Leaders Think, Work, and Lead Wisely

Tune in to this inspiring podcast hosted by Convergence Board Member and BBB Wise Giving Alliance President, CEO, H. Art Taylor, and former Convergence Board Member and The Trinity Forum President, Cherie Harder. The podcast gives insight into creative ways to lead.
Listen Now
We’re Hiring! 
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Convergence is hiring! We are seeking a Development Manager. Learn more about the position here, and please share this opportunity with your networks!
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Are you following Convergence on your favorite social media platform? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and now Instagram to keep up with the latest at Convergence and in the bridgebuilding community.
Join us by investing now in a future for our country where we value collaboration over conflict and bridgebuilding over deepening divides. Your support for this work will be critical to our success.
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