Upswell Pop-Up

June 21, 2022

1:00 – 4:30 pm ET

Upswell Pop-Up: Bridging Toward Belonging

Register Here

You can’t thrive if you don’t belong. If you consider the biggest challenges our society faces — the racial, economic, and ideological divides that are rapidly deepening as they tear us further apart — it’s clear that our systems do little to ensure all people belong. But how do we close those divides and heal the deep wounds? We do it through bridge building — the foundation of harnessing collective and shared power. During our Upswell Summer Pop-Up, you’ll receive tangible tools to increase your bridge-building skills, unpack why trust and connection is critical to the process, and discuss why belonging is necessary in order to build a healthy and just nation where all thrive. Registration for this virtual Pop-Up is free.

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1:00 – 2:05 PM ET
Main Stage

Transforming Society Through Bridging

We cannot ignore the recent attacks and ongoing threats in our communities that amplify racial, ideological, and socioeconomic divides that exist in our nation. In a society where we remain stuck on the “us vs. them” culture, how do we find common purpose, heal our deep wounds, and foster belonging?  

One way is through bridging to belonging. How do we formally and/or informally-build relationships, trust, and opportunities for open and honest communication toward sustainable change and impact?  

On the Main Stage, join Professor Loretta J. Ross, award-winning and nationally recognized expert on racism and racial justice, women's rights, and human rights, Janine Lee, President & CEO of Philanthropy Southeast, and Reverend Myra Brown, Pastor of Spiritus Christi Church, for a powerful conversation on how we build bridges and thrive in belonging.

2:10 - 3:10 PM ET

A Citizen-Led Approach to Revitalizing Our Democracy

At a time when authoritarianism is increasing globally, democracy experts have been sounding the alarms for the global community to act and prevent further democratic decline. Renewed efforts to ensure free and fair elections, invest in civic education, and address issues of inequality and justice are underway in the U.S. and around the world. Yet, many recommendations target governments and political party infrastructure, and offer less detail for how civil society can organize for democracy in the U.S. With so much at stake, we need all-hands-on-deck.

This panel will focus on the latest research to understand the psycho-social underpinnings of democracy and what makes individuals more likely to engage in undemocratic practice. The panelists will also discuss what these findings mean for how social justice activists, bridge- and peacebuilders, and democracy practitioners better organize and orient themselves to do their work to increase opportunities to build relationships with diverse stakeholders and foster social cohesion. The panel will then pivot to hear from U.S. social justice, bridgebuilding, peacebuilding, and democracy practitioners to share the trends they see in their respective communities and reflect how this research can inform their work to build a more just, inclusive, and multi-plural democracy.

2:10 - 3:10 PM ET

Building Belonging with Walmart.Org: Three Strategies to Bridge Divides

Through initiatives focused on strengthening messaging, shared spaces and skills building, the Walmart Foundation and its grantee partners are working to foster greater community cohesion nationally through belonging and bridge building efforts formed at the local level. In this session, Lisa V. Gale, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, StoryCorps; Andrew Hanauer, President and CEO of the One America Movement; and Ashley Quarcoo, Carnegie Fellow and Senior Director, Democracy Pillars and Programs at the Partnership for American Democracy (PFAD) will join Melissa Rhodes Carter, Senior Manager, Inclusive Communities at the Walmart Foundation, for a conversation exploring innovative programs supporting these three pillars and discussing what’s next for bridging.  

3:15-4:30 PM ET

What will it take to belong?

The Main Stage and workshop speakers at our June Pop-Up will share wisdom and frameworks on bridging societal divisions and healing our nation’s deep wounds. The last session of the Pop-Up is the Exchange, where you’ll be able to share your thoughts on what you heard during the Main Stage and workshops.  How do we start bridge building in your community? What does belonging feel like to you? How do we bond under constant threats to our communities? Facilitated by Dr. Cheryl Hall-Russell, President and Chief Cultural Officer of Black Women Wise Women, the Exchange is an off-the-record conversation where the entire Upswell community is invited. Listen and share your perspectives on how we get the challenging work of bridge building done.

Event Speakers
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