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Community Bridge Building: A Learning Journey

For nearly 100 years, the Community Foundation has emboldened the extraordinary ideas of today while investing in our shared tomorrow. Through decades of experience, we’ve come to understand that Lancaster County’s needs are always changing and evolving. That’s why we have identified two main focus areas to help us keep sight of the right goals for our efforts, so we can continue to be part of creating a Lancaster County where all individuals are valued, supported, and feel they belong.

One of our main focus areas is to actively engage in community bridge building. In order to seize our community’s greatest opportunities and solve our biggest challenges, we must commit to mutual respect and curiosity. In times of growing distrust, disconnection, and dehumanization, the act of courageously leaning in to truly listen and learn from each other is critical to our connection and healing.  As a multi-racial, multi-faith, multi-generational community, we believe that finding strength in our shared humanity and building bridges of understanding is our best way forward.

To equip our team for this work, four Community Foundation colleagues are taking part in a national leadership cohort. Marie Cleaves, Tracy Cutler, Dave Koser, and Valentina Schade were selected to join the Bridging Differences Leadership Cohort, a facilitated learning experience that meets monthly until November 2023. Hosted by the Council on Foundations in partnership with the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, this course offers research-based strategies for bridging differences within communities.

We are honored to continue our learning journey as we move into our 100th year of impacting good, inspiring giving, and igniting action in Lancaster County. We invite you to learn more about our recent bridge building efforts.