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Spotlight Nonprofit: Building bridges to bring all people together

LatinaLista — According to the BRIDGES for a Just Community 2012 Human Relations Progress Report Latinos and African Americans in the Greater Cincinnati area answered “yes” when asked if they had been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity.

It’s an answer that disappoints the six-year-old organization that strives towards “inclusion, closeness and fair treatment among different social groups living in the Greater Cincinnati area.” BRIDGES for a Just Community tries to adhere to its mission, reflected in its name, of building bridges among the diverse groups that call Cincinnati home.

Following a set of core values, among them which include:

Community…build a community where each individual’s uniqueness is respected and valued and where understanding, respect and unity are commonplace

Justice…promote fairness in building a caring and just community where we live, learn, relax and work

Respect…demonstrate an appreciation of the value of ourselves and others through our attitudes and actions

Inclusion…involving everyone through actions which welcome, consider and engage all stakeholders

Collaboration…work with individuals, organizations, businesses and government to increase inclusion and social justice for all

BRIDGES sponsors a variety of community-wide programs that fosters the growth of leadership starting with elementary school-age children to adults; promotes discussions about race and class in the local community; hosts conversations among community members of different religious persuasions and encourages close community ties with the local police through an innovative program pairing 10 and 12-year-olds with police officers to build friendships and respect.

Just as importantly, BRIDGES serves as a voice for the disenfranchised by speaking out in local media regarding issues of discrimination, economic justice, civil rights, immigration reform and whatever issues are in the headlines and impact all communities.

As a human relations organization designed to equip people with awareness, skills and opportunities to transform our region in to a more just community, BRIDGES for a Just Community believes in the sanctity of community. Our core values focus on community, justice, respect, inclusion, collaboration, responsibility, integrity, learning, celebration, and sustainability.

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