Background and History

The Building Bridges initiative is a collaborative effort of the Dorothy Cotton Institute, Sustainable Tompkins, CCE Environment Program, CCE Green Jobs Program, Ithaca College Committed to Change Initiative, Groundswell, Natural Leaders Initiative, the Multicultural Resource CenterAlternatives Federal Credit Union, Center for Transformative Action, Local First Ithaca, Dryden Solutions, Cayuga Medical Center, and many others, to build, support and maintain a local movement in the Tompkins County region to create…

a “socially just and ecologically sound local economy”  by:

• Creating a shared vision and understanding (analysis)
• Creating common public narrative

• Developing the political will to take the required actions
• Establishing a common local financial & social investment strategy
• Developing stronger relationships across race, class and place
• Building increased community capacity

This work includes, but isn’t limited to, helping residents:

• work together across historic barriers of race, class, place

• identify and implement collaborative projects that bring social justice and sustainability activists together

• use Collective Impact processes effectively
• increase job readiness of unemployed and underemployed workers

• increase cultural competency of employers and employees

• increase capacity to identify and cultivate markets for new ideas, products and services that will create

  •  Greater energy efficiency
  •  Better waste management
  •  More affordable, accessible transportation
  •  More affordable, accessible food systems 
  •  Mechanisms for promoting and financing these ideas

• identify and support entrepreneurs and small business development

• build communication and conflict management skills

• expand personal and professional networks

• identify and capitalize the assets of economically marginalized communities

• gain access to health care

To explore the Building Bridges website.

To subscribe to the monthly Building Bridges Network Newsletter.

For more information.