3 Gulf Coast Community Foundation staff members join Council on Foundations’ Bridging Differences Leadership Cohort

Discussions to focus on research-based strategies for bridging differences with colleagues, peers and grantees

Image courtesy Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Three members of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) team have joined the Council on Foundations’ Bridging Differences Leadership Cohort, “which envisions philanthropy playing an essential part in cultivating a diverse, inclusive democracy where everyone belongs,” Gulf Coast announced this week.

The three team members are Strategic Engagement Manager Kelly Borgia, Community Leadership Associate Hollie Mowry, and Interim Vice President of Philanthropy Sasha Pyatte, a news release says.

“Sixty-five participants across 46 organizations representing a diversity of viewpoints, experiences, geographies, and backgrounds were chosen for the cohort,” the release points out. “The Council on Foundations, with a 75-year history, is a nonprofit membership association that serves as a guide for philanthropies as they advance the greater good,” the release adds.

The cohort will meet virtually on a monthly basis through November, in partnership with the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley, the release says. “The discussions will center on science-backed skills covered in the Greater Good Science Center’s Bridging Differences online course, which offers research-based strategies for bridging differences with colleagues, peers, and grantees,” the release explains.

The program teaches participants how to develop a deeper understanding of the science-based practices to bridge differences; how to connect “with leading researchers, fellow philanthropy practitioners, and other nonprofit sector leaders who are doing this work, ideally identifying new collaborators and confidants on the journey,” and how to develop “new skills and knowledge to inform Gulf Coast’s philanthropic work,” the release points out.

“The Council’s Bridging Differences Leadership Cohort is an incredible program that we are honored to be a part of as we develop skills and strategies to bridge differences — big and small — in our community,” Gulf Coast President and CEO Phillip Lanham said in the release. “I am confident,” he added, “that Kelly, Hollie, and Sasha will bring back important tools for our Foundation, such as growing their skills on learning and practicing how to be an active listener and compassionate speaker, while becoming better relationship builders and connectors. This is a sound investment in our team that will impact Gulf Coast’s transformational work with our philanthropists and the community,” Lanham said.

Along with participants representing all areas of the U.S., the Cohort will include persons who work with The LEGO Foundation in Denmark and the Templeton World Charity Foundation in the Bahamas, the release notes. “The cohort is a good fit for individuals and teams who are already working to foster more constructive dialogue, relationships, and understanding across lines of difference and those who want to get started,” the release says.

To learn more, visit cof.org/page/bridging-differences-leadership-cohort.

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