Kankakee, IL – The City of Kankakee is one out of more than a dozen communities who will gain access to researched strategies and tools to address polarization in the community. Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong has been accepted into the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and National League of Cities University (NLCU) Bridging Differences Fellowship (Fellows). The National League of Cities represents more than 19,000 cities, towns and villages; however, Fellows represent 17 diverse communities across the country, including the City of Kankakee. The partnership includes Mayors, Council members, City Managers, Chiefs of Staff, and Directors across municipalities.
Mayor Wells-Armstrong will join other local leaders in a three-month fellowship for elected officials. The partnership will give the City of Kankakee the opportunity to further address the needs of how to bridge the divide in the community which is a highlighted goal of the fellowship.
“The City of Kankakee has a very diverse population and I believe it’s important to utilize the opportunity to learn about different tools and strategies we can use to further enhance the lives of our residents. I look forward to being a part of this fellowship, working with the team and bringing back these resources to our community,” said Mayor Wells-Armstrong.
The Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at UC Berkeley is currently working on a new, two-year initiative called Bridging Differences. According to the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), the initiative will highlight and promote key research-based principles for fostering positive inter-group relationships. It will also call attention to common themes and best practices to move forward.
“In order to have thriving communities, all voices need to be heard and feel safe to share in civil discourse. We hope this fellowship will be the start of more research backed efforts at NLCU to bring communities together and be a catalyst for inclusive dialogue,” said Dana D’Orazio, Program Director of Leadership and Learning at National League of Cities University.
The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at the City Summit in San Antonio, Texas. All of the trainings are free to attend. Three months of pilot training strategies will then take place the following month through next year. A final learning event where work and feedback will be shared will be held on March 7, 2020. Only a limited number of communities have be selected.