August 2021

Most people might associate the word “revival” with the season of spring. And, yes, I’m well aware that this fall doesn’t appear to be much of a revival period at first glance. But, hey, Toys R Us is back, so it really seems like anything is possible...and if the 2020’s have taught me anything, it is to be prepared for the unexpected! More importantly, what’s not surprising at all is that our MasterMind Cohort alumni continue to revive democracy and connection through their crucial work. They are a shining example of how to navigate uncertainty in a powerful and effective way. Check out the following updates on what our alumni have been up to! If fall doesn’t revive your spirit, these updates will.

First up is Paul Swearengin of cohort #2! When we met Paul, he was an Author, Content Creator, Commentator, and Personal Development Mentor for Nonpartisan Evangelical. The mission of his organization was to challenge mindsets, build community, and move to action those in or impacted by the identity politics of the evangelical church. Paul creates space for those who have lost their access to the churches because they no longer meet the political litmus tests of the evangelical movement. 

Read more here.

July 2021

Do you consider yourself a “glass half full” or a “glass half empty” person? Either way, we’d like to challenge you to get away from those terms. Thinking in extremes or seeing things with a “black and white” lens can be dangerous because it limits our ability to navigate the “grey spaces” within our lives. We find that our MasterMind Alumni thrive off these spaces. They are consistently breaking the boxes they are put in by society, whether that be redefining what it means to be “extremely conservative.” “extremely feminine,” or “extremely” anything, really. Bridge Alliance is repeatedly surprised and motivated by what our alumni have accomplished, which is why we’d like to share some exciting updates with you.

Lisa D.T. Rice, Independent political strategist, policy adviser, and member of Cohort #5, is using her creativity to gracefully fight against ignorance. e realize “graceful” and “fight” don’t traditionally go together; but, if you’ve met Lisa, you know exactly what we mean. For those of you who don’t know her, Lisa also serves on the Board of Unite America and is the Chair of Unite America's PAC board. What you might not know about Lisa is that she loves to quilt. Recently, she created a mini-quilt for submission to the D.C. Modern Quilt Guild’s Modern Patriotic Show.

Read more here.

June 2021

2021, in a lot of ways, is just as difficult as 2020. Extroverts are clamoring to get out of the house, while introverts are hoping for a few moments of solitude. How have you found purpose through difficult times? For us, it was the ability to gather virtually with changemakers through convenings like MasterMind Cohort! Here are updates to inspire you if you’ve felt “out of steam” lately.

Jeanelle Austinis from our very first cohort and continues to impress us with her initiative and passion for social justice work. She is the lead caretaker at The George Floyd Global Memorial and was recently featured in a video produced by two-time Emmy award nominated journalist Georgia Fort. In the video, Jeanelle discusses the current state of George Floyd Square and how the space will be preserved as a global memorial site.

Read more here.

February 2021

We are only two months into the new year and so much is already happening in the Diversity and Opportunity realm of the Healthy Self Governance movement.

Justine Lee, Mastermind Alum and new Executive Director for Living Room Conversations, is hosting a live event next Saturday, March 6, 2021 titled “The Future Through the Eyes of Youth Leaders.” Lee invites you to watch six young advocates explore their aspirations for the world they're inheriting in this special Living Room Conversation. They'll share their experiences in civic engagement, bridge building, and what drives them to make an impact in their communities. More information on the event can be found here.

Read more here.


January 2021

2021 is here and Bridge Alliance can confidently say that we and our associates ended the last year on a good note (considering the national circumstances) and have walked into the new year with optimism and a new set of initiatives. This year, we will be putting our efforts into:

  1. Diversifying and deepening our relationships
  2. Scaling the Healthy Self-Governance Movement
  3. Heightening the visibility of the Healthy Self-Governance Movement
  4. Facilitating convenings and community building within the democracy field 
  5. Creating a public facing portal that can be used by the public as well

Read more here.


October 2020

With a major election and a new year around the corner, Bridge Alliance’s focus is on the future. How can we fix a system that has divided us so drastically? How do we ensure our nation prioritizes equity and equality as it moves forward? Bridge Alliance and our 100 member organizations are crafting and testing answers to these questions every day as part of the Healthy Self-Governance Movement. Here is the latest on those efforts.

Read more here.

September 2020

This month in Mastermind news, our alumni have been busy! Shannon Zerfas, founder of The Thread Weekly says she has had “steady organic audience growth” since the ending of cohort #2. During the cohort, Shannon worked on expanding her e-news platform. She has now “formed connections with universities across the country and ha[s] [had] the pleasure of working with four policy research interns” to get her platform in front of a larger audience. With these new resources, Shannon is reconstructing The Thread and plans to re-launch soon with a much improved structure. 

Read more here.