The intentionality to build and strengthen cross-racial, ethnic, and cultural relationships and a broader sense of community beyond our immediate circles diminishes during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. During such difficult times, it is easy to focus only on the needs and relationships of those with whom we feel most comfortable, share a common identity, and don’t threaten our community. High levels of stress can lead us to judge people quickly who are not members of our community—judgements based on stereotypes, biases, and misinformation.

This webinar will share practical tools and examples of efforts to build bridges across differences, from the “right” questions to ask to uncover informal social support structures in different communities and identify common goals, to a list of assumptions that people often make. These tools can be integrated into the design of planning efforts to leverage and mobilize organizations and resident leaders across different communities in response to COVID-19 and other community challenges. Participants will have the chance to learn about these tools and the principles underlying them, as well as what to watch out for when applying them. Participants will also have an opportunity to share their ideas and experiences during a live discussion.

Panelists include:

• Kien Lee (Principal Associate/Vice President, Community Science)

• Mary Moran (Executive Director, Our Voice Nuestra Voz)

• Rachel Peric (Executive Director, Welcoming American: Building a Nation of Neighbors)

• Mia Ramirez (Community Partner, The Colorado Trust)

• John Yang (President, Asian Americans Advancing Justice)