Wearing perfectionism like a self-defeating and conscience-soothing shield, I have found it easier to explore outward than inward for the causes of systemic oppression. I have unconsciously protected my perceived vulnerable self with excuses that maintain the status quo and perpetuate injustice. I abdicated responsibility for the trauma I thought others had inflicted on those with marginalized identities for generations, thinking myself somehow above reproach. How could someone else have been so unjust? What kind of person could have those thoughts or make those policies hurting marginalized groups?
by Laura Engelman, MSW Intern and School-Year Facilitator
At the end of November, Building Bridges will host a yoga event to raise awareness of our programming and to start a conversation with the larger community around issues of cultural appropriation, accessibility and inclusion.
Building Bridges, I can say with certainty, changed my life in more ways than one. I had never had this sisterhood before, this group of like-minded young women eager to make positive changes in their world. This program inspired and motivated me to never stop making my voice heard.
Participating in Building Bridges at the age of 18 changed my life in profound ways.
I felt connected to the other young women who participated in the program and empowered in my own abilities to communicate with others effectively and to be able to exercise more compassionate and strong leadership.
2016 was a tumultuous year, with lots of changes for our organization, our communities, our nation, and the world. The US Presidential Election held a mirror up to the conflict, discrimination, and biases still alive and well in this country. What we saw was painful. What we saw challenged us. What we saw reaffirmed the importance of our work.
And what we saw motivated the incredible generosity of our community! We are humbled and invigorated by the outpouring of financial support we received in December. Raising over $30,000, this year-end campaign ensures that we can kick off the new year on a strong foundation.
We enter 2017 with gratitude and hope – gratitude for people supporting positive transformation and hope for positive social change towards a more just, inclusive society.
By Amanda Andrews, Building Bridges Middle East US 2013-2015 and Current Alumni Fellowship Member
In this era of social justice and progressive movements, it can be hard to keep up with all the changes. It can be overwhelming, even for those people who are interested in social justice movements.
We are excited to share that a new member has joined the Building Bridges team! This September, we welcomed Megan Devenport as our new Executive Director.
Megan is a community social worker with more than 10 years of experience. She brings a wealth of new expertise to our work; her background includes direct service with young people, community-building, and advocacy. Most recently, Megan was the Program Manager for Denver Shared Spaces, helping nonprofits connect commercial real estate with social impact. She has also worked as a counselor with young people and their families. This varied experience informs her work, and brings to Building Bridges a rich set of skills and expertise that will support the organization as we grow and work with young people here in Colorado.
With excitement and hope,
Building Bridges Board Chair and Alum
Join us in Denver on Friday, April 17th for our 10th annual Circles of Change Awards event. By celebrating others’ accomplishments each year, we hope to demonstrate that positive change is possible and that the courageous acts of one expand into circles of change. We also hope to pass this belief onto Building Bridges participants and teach that the tireless acts of individuals are what create more just, inclusive societies.