Looking ahead to 2020, as representatives of the BRIDGE Board, we (A.J. Enchill and Ari Cameron), are focused on resourcing and supporting the BRIDGE team as it transitions into its second decade (yes!) of organizing, service, and training for equity and justice here in the Berkshires. Toward this effort, we are looking to expand our work and welcome in new board members. We currently seek potential new board members who are happy and eager to fundraise for BRIDGE as well as lift up and represent the work of BRIDGE while also showing commitment to self-reflection and ongoing learning.
It’s an exciting time at BRIDGE! Many wonderful community and organizational partnerships are blossoming. BRIDGE holds a minority and women-run status through the state of Massachusetts’ Supplier Diversity Program, something we are committed to maintaining on the board with intentionality and care. As our CEO Gwendolyn VanSant recently shared with us, we can also expand our definition of “diversity” for the board to include profession, age, region, etc. We look forward to collaborating with corporate leaders across all sectors as board members and advocates, something we know is a best practice in corporate responsibility. More than anything, we want to continue to build a strong board of directors who will work together to guide and support BRIDGE as it becomes a nationally-recognized model for training, education, and rural organizing!
We, A.J. Enchill and Ari Cameron, are honored to step into the Board Co-Chair role and work with our brilliant CEO, Gwendolyn VanSant, to steward BRIDGE into a new chapter of network- and momentum-building, with a continued commitment to accountability, collaboration, and equity at all levels. By accountability, we mean taking responsibility for the impact of one’s actions and following the leadership of people of color who have been at the core of BRIDGE’s mission since its founding. Through cultural competency coaching and strong structures already in place at BRIDGE, we have worked with Gwendolyn as a Governance Committee to create a set of Operating Agreements and formalize an Accountability Committee within BRIDGE’s bylaws intended to fortify and guide our board of directors. BRIDGE will also move forward with a Co-Board Chair structure as a part of our bylaws to further weave in BRIDGE values of shared leadership, space for multiple social identities, and collaboration.
We choose to invest in BRIDGE at this time in history because we have witnessed and experienced the impact that BRIDGE’s organizing, training, resources, dialogue, and work toward repair has had on young people, adults across a range of professional sectors, organizations, institutions, and ultimately, the social and structural fabric of the Berkshires. This is work that touches people’s hearts and lives, increases self-understanding, and shows us our interconnectedness. Now is the time that we need full community collaboration in creating the world we want to live in. As co-chairs, we are passionate about serving as ambassadors for BRIDGE, building resilient connections, and creating a well-resourced future for BRIDGE by supporting our CEO Gwendolyn VanSant and her team to grow BRIDGE as a model for accountable, grass roots movement-building and systematic change.
A.J. Enchill and Ari Cameron
Multicultural BRIDGE helps to improve the lives of community members throughout the Berkshires, and provides consultation and training to groups and businesses across the state and throughout the country.