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.
A collaboration of Domestic Policy Council Directors from the Bush, Obama, and Trump White Houses will launchDignity.us, a citizens’ initiative to foster dialogue in communities and identify solutions to address hate-fueled violence.
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.
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.
New Data from CDC Reinforces Urgency of Convergence’s Work on Firearms and Suicide
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.
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.
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.
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.