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We are back after an enriching restorative pause! Thank you all for your grace and patience so our team can reboot in service to our mission!
We have an abundant amount of good news to share! For today, we want to share with you that our CEO and Founding Director, Gwendolyn VanSant, has been published in a book compiled by Dr. Emily Williams on IDEA work. Get your copy here!
Also our partners at BCAC nominated our fearless leader for our community action award to have made the pivot to impactfully and intentionally activate in support of communities facing poverty issues. We will be honored alongside our client and partner Greylock Federal Credit Union who also was one of these National Community Action Awardees. Be in touch if you want to join in the Boston celebration in September! Keeping the Berkshires on the map with our collective Equity and Inclusion efforts!
Our summer program Happiness Toolbox is relaunching for its 12th consecutive year! We have several enriching programs in person and online. We are thrilled to have Drive Forward back with us online—clowns that focus on empowerment and joy. Don’t forget to visit our online video library from last year! We will have Spanish, French, Coding, Foraging, Yoga, HANDLE, Bookmaking, photography, Berkshire legends, Character strengths Sports, dance and activities with youth leaders. We will be celebrating Mother Earth! Join us. Financial aid available! Register here!!
Special thanks to Canna Provisions for our Pride month SJIA raising $1415. Also deep gratitude to our partners at Three Sisters Farm and Sweet Freedom navigating our stormy weather and supplying our mutual aid goods for our families. Big thanks to First Congregational Church for supporting our second year of mutual aid. We want to also congratulate Colleen Goewey on our team on her promotion as mutual aid coordinator. Growing our team step by step!
2021 August Engagements:
Please firstname.lastname@example.org to attend any of the above events!
JV and the BRIDGE team!
🤎 We appreciate your support, sustaining pledges and engagement! Thank you! Donate here! This month we are collecting for Happiness Toolbox and Mutual Aid Food Sovereignty program! 💕
A Restorative July
Dear BRIDGE friends:
We are going in to a holiday weekend and asking that you all consider what Independence and Liberation is for all.
We are writing to you to invite you to revisit the classic Frederick Douglass speech which our BRIDGE community read in 2019 with Shakespeare & Co. And what was most important is that we read the entire piece.
A way BRIDGE is practicing our values is we are taking a break! Our offices will be closed for a planned restorative retreat. We will be closed July 12th - July 23rd. I was thrilled to see this notion of a resilience retreat be captured here in Vu Li’s article. We have made this suggestion to several of our clients that kept working through the pandemic and a few have found meaningful ways in both 2020 and 2021 for a resilience retreat for their employees. This is a way to honor the labor of our teams. We all need time to restore and reboot.
If you have urgent needs, please contact email@example.com during 7/12-7/13 AND if you are able to help us with our mutual aid distribution on 7/16, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by July 9th! Many hands make light work.
While we are away, we hope you spread the word about our hybrid Happiness Toolbox program and join us for a fun day on July 30th.
Our Race Task Force will be meeting in subcommittees on July 12th. We will use the same Zoom Link.
Also, we have just finished up our IDEA Institute Cultural Competence Foundations and we will resume with Systems of Oppression on July 30th. If you have taken BRIDGE’s Cultural Competence, we invite you to sign up for these three sessions or a deeper dive into a race, gender and poverty analysis.
Also, we begin the Foundations course again in September followed by Systems of Oppression which are prerequisites for our Train-the-Trainer course in the Fall hosted in partnership with Berkshire Community College.
Here is a sneak peek into our IDEA Institute Inclusive Leadership Cohort to see the topics covered as we begin to design our community projects.
Thank you to Canna Provisions in Lee, MA for celebrating Pride Month with BRIDGE and thank you Hop Brook Community Club for hosting a Social Justice in Action event on Juneteenth and raising consciousness about white privilege and its impact.