Film coming in Spring, 2022
“The results were
- The New York Times
- USA Today
Bridging The Gap
There is a growing story in America telling us that we are isolated, that we don’t talk to each other anymore, that all we do is call each other out on social media, and that we are destroying the art of conversation and the country along the way.
The story tells us that this crisis is even more acute in higher education.
We partnered with Oberlin College, and Spring Arbor University to see just how bad it is. We did see that there are certainly serious problems within campus culture but the priceless lesson we took home is that students want something more, they are ready for it and if we invest in them they will turn this country around.
Since we started the Bridging the Gap program in higher education, with 2 campuses in 2020, it has been an experiment. As we moved it into the virtual setting in 2021, we continued the experiment with 7 additional schools. We are expanding, yet again, now to 20 campuses and returning to the intensive and immersive in-person experience. The program offers classroom learning on communication skills to effectively cross lines of political, cultural, and experiential difference, a cross-campus exchange between one or more schools to practice these solution-oriented life skills, and hear from voices of a broad range of stakeholders on a chosen policy topic. Through these direct engagements and experiences, the program endeavors to teach students how to truly listen, understand, be heard, and seek common ground – without comprising deeply held values. Importantly, this is not an effort to dismiss the deep and genuine political differences in our country. Rather, it is a concrete step to give students - our country’s future leaders - the tools to find areas of common ground, create constructive tension, understand our shared humanity and solve pressing problems with those of different backgrounds and beliefs with whom we share this country.
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