Communities of Practice to Bridge Differences in Higher Education

March 5, 2021

Are you looking for a supportive community to help you develop or strengthen an initiative that fosters constructive dialogue, relationships, and understanding across lines of differences on U.S. college campuses?

The Bridging Differences Community of Practice is an 8-month facilitated virtual learning experience running from the Fall of 2021 (October 2021) until the Spring of 2022 (May 2022), hosted by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center (GGSC). It will center on the “Bridging Differences” online course that the GGSC will launch in October, giving participants a common reference point.

Throughout the program, participating leaders will connect around the challenges and questions they’re experiencing in their work on college campuses, the successes they’re seeing, and lessons learned along the way. They will learn from each other at the same time that they’re gaining research-based insights from the online course.

The Community of Practice will be divided into two separate cohorts:

  1. The Organizational Cohort is for organizations that do bridging work across at least five different college campuses. We’ll bring together representatives from up to 12 organizations to learn from one another, develop their skills and expertise in the space, and unite around common goals to advance their work. Apply here.
  2. The Campus Cohort is for leaders representing individual colleges and universities. These may be faculty, administrators, staff, or students who are seeking help in developing or strengthening a program on their own campus. We will engage up to 50 leaders on campuses across the United States. Apply here.

There is an application process to participate in either cohort, with limited space to support more intimate connections, conversations, and learning across organizations and campuses. Both cohorts are geared toward individuals or organizations who are working to foster more constructive dialogue, relationships, and understanding across lines of difference within higher education, though their work may focus on differences and divides of politics/ideology, religion, and/or race.

Participants in both cohorts will meet on monthly 90-minute Zoom calls where they will:

  • Learn from guest instructors (leading practitioners and researchers in the space) tied to the course, and engage in Q&A with them; and
  • Connect with other participants through smaller-group discussions and creative exercises.

* Note: Participants in the Campus Cohort will also have the opportunity to join 5 additional 90-minute Zoom calls throughout the year, focused on the projects they’re developing and strengthening on their own campus.

Here’s how you’ll benefit:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the science-based practices to bridge differences.
  • Connect with other leaders who are doing this work in a similar context, ideally identifying new collaborators and confidants on your journey.
  • Develop new skills and knowledge that will inform the projects you do at your organizations and campuses.
  • Learn from leading researchers and practitioners who will share insights about bridging differences—to support your work and leadership.

Does this sound like a fit for you or someone you know?

Applications will be due on April 30, and will be assessed by an independent group of reviewers.

↳ Applications for the Organizational Cohort are on this Google Form.

↳ Applications for the Campus Cohort are on this Google Form.

If you have any questions about this program, please reach out to: