To equip young people with the communication and leadership skills necessary to address the root cause of hatred, discrimination, and violent conflict. We create a safe space for young people to meet face to face with those they have been taught to fear. Together, they develop personal connections based on empathy and respect and the confidence to transform divisive attitudes in their communities.
A more just and inclusive world, where engaged global citizens are fueled by the desire and the skills to come to deeply understand different perspectives, rather than to simply perpetuate their own.
Transformation: Building Bridges believes that positive change is possible for individuals and for societies. And, individuals in Building Bridges experience profound, permanent change.
Empathy: At the heart of Building Bridges is learning the Practice of Empathy – how to recognize the humanity of another, including those that individuals may have been taught to fear and distrust, or even hate. Empathy is a lifelong, life-transforming practice.
Empowerment: One person can make a difference, and in Building Bridges’ programs, individuals learn to voice their own opinions, gain the confidence to hold a different perspective from those around them, and skills to act on their vision.
Justice: The Practice of Empathy leads to recognition of humanity in others. That recognition leads to the desire for positive social change towards a more just, inclusive society.
Evolution : Building Bridges actively seeks opportunities to learn about and improve our programs. We think critically about our work, and engage with our entire community, participants, staff, alumni, Board, families, donors, etc., to adapt to new information and needs as they arise.