Community Building at a Distance

March 19, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,


This is an unprecedented time in our personal and collective lives.  Many of us are being urged to physically step back from our routines and the connections we hold most dear; others are forced into roles of tremendous responsibility and decision-making; so many others are seeing the threads of their lives unravel through no fault of their own.  All of us are confronting our assumptions, our levels of access and being powerfully reminded of both our vulnerability and our inextricable connectedness.


We know that – whatever your role or circumstance – your lives, like ours, have shifted.  First and foremost, we want you to know that we are thinking about you even when we cannot be as proximate as we would like.


How can we individually and collectively “wake up – interrupt – step up?”


At CBI’s most recent Stakeholders Breakfasts – in December of 2018 and 2019 – we’ve used “Wake Up – Interrupt – Step Up” to frame and focus our program’s attention on equity and justice and how we can work intentionally and effectively to address the inequities that exist in our community and society.  We have incorporated this framework into CBI’s Vision of a connected community that wakes up, interrupts and steps up for inclusion and equity.  And, we believe it provides a strong framework today for moving through where we find ourselves in this moment.  It is an invitation to ask and address questions that can help us see the world around us – and within us – in some fresh ways:

  • What has COVID-19 woken you up to?  What questions are you asking of yourself and others?
  • Where are you seeing the “way we’ve always done things” being interrupted?  What does that mean or say to you?
  • Where are there opportunities in which you/we can step up and have impact – either in this moment or in the days and weeks to come?

What does this mean for CBI’s work right now?


The CBI office – like many of yours – has turned virtual.  In addition to taking responsibility for ourselves and our families, we’re focusing on CBI’s ongoing programs and examining how to use our existing tools and networks, plus some new platforms, to connect in new ways.  We plan to share stories and resources to help us all navigate the challenges we face.  It is becoming clear to us that we can build community, even at a distance.


How can you be engaged?


As CBI builds on its mission to give people and organizations knowledge, skills and courage, we will be in touch in the days ahead to share opportunities to connect, learn and serve together.  To do that effectively, we need your help!

  • What do you need. . .or what needs are you seeing and trying to address in our community?
  • What resources have you found to support, inspire and give you a fresh perspective?
  • Where and how are you finding courage?  What examples of courage are you seeing?
  • Email us and let us know.


At CBI we’re committed to building bridges we can walk across. . .towards one another. . .and together.  We hope we can support you to navigate through these uncertain times, just as you have supported us in so many ways over many years.  Together, we will discover fresh knowledge and gain new skills.  We’ll summon ourselves to experience and exhibit greater courage than we might have envisioned weeks ago.


As always, we’re grateful to be part of this shared community and journey with you.  Please reach out to us as you are able.


Stay well,

Annetta, Christi, Dianne and Megan
Community Building Initiative

Sustaining Sponsors