Lee -- There is palpable energy surrounding Gwendolyn VanSant. “You are a star!” declared one enthusiastic supporter of VanSant — the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founding Director of Multicultural BRIDGE — as we walked along Main Street this morning. Elissa Myers of New Marlborough, who ultimately came to support VanSant in her caring about the community, sees the Unsung Heroine of Massachusetts as speaking to individuals from all walks of life in the midst of tumultuous political and social times. “For people who knew there was a problem, [Gwen] stepped up, put a finger in it, and galvanized a community” in the process.
On Friday evening, July 6th, the community is invited to RESILIENT CONNECTIONS: A GALA CELEBRATING THE IMPACT AND LEGACY OF BRIDGE. The event, being held at Naumkeag in Stockbridge, is a unique opportunity to celebrate the work of a transformative social justice organization that — for the past decade — has been creating new connections across the Berkshires and beyond everyday.
“I’m really grateful, for the opportunity to lift BRIDGE up after ten years,” said VanSant of what she considers a real community organization. “If you put that in the context of my talking about black women leadership, trying to do social justice and racial justice work in our community, it’s hard and it’s isolating — to be lifted up and to feel all this support of the many people who are watching and cheering me on…is really exciting,” she added on the proverbial eve of the nonprofit’s 10th anniversary.