We ARE bridge-builders.
We are called to believe the best in our fellow humans, to not pass judgement about others values, needs, fears and wants. When we are in relationship with one another–urban and rural - our climate future becomes interdependent. But when we are out-of-relationship we justify laws and policies that disproportionately hurt others.
Listen to Understand
The world is full of noise. Show up and listen so deeply that what you hear doesn't just inform you, it changes you forever.
Believe in People
The solutions to our global climate crisis are local. We acknowledge that rural communities are on the frontlines of the climate crisis and are developing solutions. We trust and believe in people.
Critique ideas, not people. We must be brave and curious. We lean into people’s inner pains and fears and seek to understand and empathize with their situation, even if we don’t align on position, worldview or solution.
A Different Way of Working,
A Different Way of Relating.
We engage deliberately.
We live in an ever increasing sorted, categorized world – driven by an innate tendency to gravitate towards those who are like us – those who look like us and those who think like us. Without intervention, we become comfortable and unaware, resentful and angry. Whether it’s deliberate balanced representation of voices in dialogue or supporting a network of rural-urban bridge builders, we are committed to creating a future America that is less divided and more unified.
We believe in the power of facts linked with deep stories.
Feeling is a legitimate way of knowing. Experiential knowledge of place, people and issues is often as valuable as scientific research, historical data and generally accepted facts. We all have deep stories worthy of being heard, free of judgement. We bring voice and validation to feelings that transpire as hopes, fears, pride, shame, resentment and anxiety. When people feel heard, they have a new ability to hear others and hear information in a newly meaningful way.
Identity matters. Identities evolve.
For rural people and places climate change is directly impacting not only the local economy and livelihoods, but also challenging the way of life that has defined who we are - rooted in hard work, perseverance and resilience. Collective community change needs collective community dialogue - space to process the future together. We support communities emotionally and culturally to be inclusive and supportive of the changing community identity.
We focus on critical connections, not critical mass.
We don’t measure impact by quantity of people reached. The strength of our movement is in the strength of our relationships - which can only be measured by their depth. Scaling up means going deeper - being more vulnerable and more empathetic. The extent of the movement is assessed by the new culture that is formed - by changing the lens through which people see the world, by the new popularity of complex personal identity and a renewed rural-urban relationship of mutual interdependence.
Local solutions, local actions–national conversation and change.
Climate change can make people feel powerless. Therefore, democracy in action requires more than an informed citizenship. People also need to have agency—the feeling and actual power to do something about the problem, not just individually, but collectively. We work with you to elevate your voices and create system change - building policy and programs to be more relevant and inclusive and guide regulation to be more realistic and supportive.