About Building Bridges Now

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all about building bridges NOW

Ever since the tragic shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas in 2016, the Kaleidoscope Institute has been praying and discerning ways to respond that can be meaningful, gracious and long lasting in the midst of our polarized communities.

With the election and the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the need for gracious dialogue among people with different perspectives, passions and experiences is even more urgent, not just on race but also other issues such as women’s rights, human rights, health, immigration status, freedom of press, religion, speech and assembly and others that directly impact our community.    

The Building Bridges Now dialogue sessions are intended to be a cohesive dialogue program inviting participants to commit to recurring sessions covering topics such as Race and Children, Race and Race and Privilege, Black Lives Matter, Race and Immigration, Stop and Frisk, Stand Your Ground, etc.

Building Bridges Now is a carefully designed and ever-expanding resource that empowers Kaleidoscope-trained facilitators to create courageous environments and encourage honest sharing of individuals’ diverse opinions, perspectives and experiences.  The emphasis on listening to understand each person’s contribution to the topic being addressed can feel counter cultural in an environment that values a debate.

Learn how to establish your congregation as a gracious place for honest dialogue on challenging topics that can lead to reconciliation and transformation.

How the Sessions Work

The sessions are designed for facilitators with limited training (at least 2-day provided by the Kaleidoscope Institute). Facilitators are required to use the “scripted” format to give instructions for each dialogue segment. That is, read the italic-boldface paragraphs as if it is a script of a play. We do this because we want to ensure that the instructions are given clearly without the facilitators having to learn it by heart or give them extemporaneously. A facilitation team can make the reading of the instructions more creative by dividing up the lines and, if appropriate, involve participants in the reading process.

Facilitators also need to be proficient in presenting a video or an audio recording as part of each session. This means bringing the necessary equipment – computer and TV (or projector with screen) and sound speakers if needed. Facilitators should plan a test-run of the presentation before the session.  All videos, audio recordings and dialogue processes and handouts are available through a password protected page at the Kaleidoscope Institute website: www.buildingbridgesnow.com

If participants agree to come to more dialogue sessions, facilitators are expected to build their proficiency by participating in KI training either in person or via our monthly webinars provided by the Kaleidoscope Institute.

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