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March 24, 2021
Dear <<First Name>>,

With a year of the global pandemic behind us, America still faces a long road to recovery. 

In this edition of Convergence Connection, in recognition of Women’s History Month, you’ll find several articles about how much of the weight of the ongoing crisis is borne by women. We’re especially grateful to our Associate Erica Loken, who shares insights from the Convergence Dialogue on Economic Recovery for America’s Workers on the economic toll on working women. 

We also include an article by Convergence’s Sr. Project Director Russell Krumnow and Jillian Youngblood, Executive Director of our partner Civic Genius, sharing what we’ve learned about the impact on parents, especially women, of this past year’s devastation of childcare in America. Check out our report Childcare During Covid: Parents Speak – or click on links that allow you to hear directly from the parents.  

As we continue to improve Convergence Connection, let us know what you’d like to see included and any thoughts you have about what we say and the resources we provide. 

And please share this newsletter with anyone you know who also cares about dialogue across divides and ask them to sign up themselves! 

Best regards, 

David  

 

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Guest Writer Erica Loken
Women face unexpected challenges during COVID-19
by Erica Loken, M.P.P., Project Associate

This Women’s History Month, issues related to women garnered a lot of headlines, but not all the news was good. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and magnified significant barriers to women’s economic recovery that have long required solutions. No doubt women have made significant strides, such as the Nation electing the first female vice president and a record number of women in Congress, but the number of women in the workplace is declining.  

Over 2.3 million women have left the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 25 percent have considered leaving the labor force or stepping back from full-time work. These challenges disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, Women of Color (BIWOC) as well as low-income women. The crisis of women dropping out of the workforce will set women back even further economically if America’s leaders don’t come together across sectors and political divides to act quickly and decisively to put effective and sustainable solutions into action.  

In response to the crisis facing America’s workers, we convened the Convergence Dialogue on Economic Recovery for America’s Workers, which brought together a diverse group of participant stakeholders including business leaders, worker advocates, and workforce policy experts to identify the watershed issues for worker recovery. Experts agree, and our participants echoed, that policies that squarely address the needs of women are fundamental to America’s full economic recovery...
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Op-Ed: Access to childcare key to
rebooting America's economy
COVID-19 has decimated the childcare industry, forcing a shocking number of women out of the workforce. In this article, Jillian Youngblood, ED at Civic Genius, and Russell Krumnow, Sr. Project Director at Convergence, discuss how collaborative dialogue can address this challenge.  
 
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Tune in to a special listening session:
Parents Speak
The pandemic upended the support systems families rely on. Hear working parents tell their stories in the listening session hosted by our partner Civic Genius and read our report.  
 
Listen to Parents
Read the Report
America's workforce in crisis
 “It’s literally life or death,” says Rachel Lipson, Project Director at Harvard’s Project on Workforce and participant in the Convergence Dialogue on Economic Recovery for America’s Workers. Watch Rachel and Russell Krumnow, Sr. Project Director, share insights from the dialogue’s diverse table.  
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Partnerships vital to the bridge-building movement
Manu Meel, CEO of BridgeUSA, and Convergence CEO David Eisner explore the field of bridging divides and opportunities to include more voices. 
 
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Resources
Big news! CA Assembly Health Chair Jim Wood introduced a bill to create a new Office of Health Care Affordability. Read the consensus recommendation in Convergence's CA Health Reform Initiative report.  
In the latest FixUs report, Republican and Democrat leaders from administrations spanning JFK to DJT talk about what’s eroding our democratic institutions and politics.  
Make your virtual dialogues as effective as if they were in person. Use strategies and tools in the
Convergence Online
Dialogue Guide
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In Case You Missed It
  • David Eisner shares what it will take to succeed in bridging divides in his article in Real Clear Policy
  • Convergence Board Member Stuart Butler’s article Time to Rethink Nursing Homes is turning heads as it shares insights from Convergence’s new report
  • Don’t miss the Reunited States, a powerful look at polarization and the bridge-building movement in the U.S.
Bridging Divides and Solving Problems
Convergence Meets the Moment
Help us break new ground, bridge divides to find solutions for America’s cascading crises, and partner to advance the bridge-building movement in the battle against toxic polarization. Will you invest today in solving problems through collaborative dialogue?
 
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