Open Call for Bridging Communities Projects

January 29, 2022


If you're building bridges in community, we want to hear from you!

The Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council is issuing a Call for Bridging Communities Projects to crowdsource the best ideas and activities in use across the United States that bring people together to work toward the common good while building relationships that help bridge group differences.

We want to learn about innovative local, regional, and/or national-level projects that strengthen the civic life and social infrastructure of communities, bring people together across lines of difference, and build greater trust, civic friendship, and belonging. We are particularly interested in projects where people from different and diverse backgrounds meet in situations where they have equal power, are working toward common goals without competition, and have ample opportunities for consistent, interpersonal interaction over time.

Whether you’re a food bank, community garden or beautification project, house of faith, sports league, veterans' group,  school or PTA, refugee resettlement program, youth-serving organization, local government, business, or something else entirely, we invite you to share your project with us. 

Submissions should be about projects you are already putting into practice, not just ideas.  Our review panel will determine if your project is of interest to our participating funders and experts. 

An honorarium will be paid to the 10 highest ranked ideas (top idea receives $1,000, 2nd and 3rd each get $500, and the other seven will receive $250). 

In addition, if your idea fits our criteria (and you are part of a non-profit organization), you may be invited to apply for a $75,000 fellowship opportunity run by the Center for Inclusion and Belonging (CIB).  If you are not a non-profit, there may still be other opportunities for funding, technical assistance, and recognition.

All submissions will be acknowledged. We will also inform participants of any next steps.

The deadline to submit is March 15, 2022.


The headlines remind us every day that we are becoming a deeply divided nation with a dwindling sense of trust and connection to each other. Data shows that our trust in institutions continues to decline and many fear that we’re losing our ability to build bridges across differences and find common ground. At the Center for Inclusion and Belonging (CIB), we believe there are people in communities all across America who are bucking this trend by building community and social connections – they just don’t always make the headlines.  We believe that people in  America are exhausted by division, and want to find ways to come together, and solve problems. We want to hear about your projects and strategies - no matter how big or small - to create greater social connection and bridge differences.

Ultimately, we hope to support the development of community-based activities that advance the public good and grow connections between people from different backgrounds.

We are particularly interested in projects that meet most or all of the following criteria:

  • Participants come from different backgrounds (not all the same race, religion, or political affiliation, etc).
  • Participants come together because they share a common value, interest, or goal  (for example, love of gardening, sports, or “giving-back to their community”).
  • Activities are structured so that participants from different backgrounds engage with each other as equals as they work on the project.
  • Participants are working towards common goals together without competition.
  • Participants have opportunities for ongoing personal interaction.
  •  Participants are actively encouraged to engage with people from different backgrounds, rather than staying with people from their own background.  
  • The project is ongoing, not just a “one-and-done” activity, where participants from different backgrounds have repeated opportunities for interaction.
  • The project serves as a role model in your community about how to bridge differences.
  • You are comfortable sharing the story of your project with others and having it shared more broadly.

Who can submit projects?

Anyone. A business, a non-profit, a government entity, a social group or club.

How to submit?

We’ve created an online submission form to allow you to input all required information. Once you click submit, your responses will be confidentially recorded into our database, reviewable only by staff of the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council and our review panel. Please note that you cannot change your responses after submission.

These are the questions you’ll be asked to answer: 

  • What is your project idea? (Up to 500 words)
  • How does your project match up with our criteria? (Up to 500 words)
  • Who are your partners/what organizations are you working with? (Up to 250 words)
  • Who are the leaders of your project?  (Up to 250 words)
  • What are the demographic characteristics of the project participants you are bringing together? (Up to 250 words)
  • Does your effort have a budget?  If so, how large is it and how is it funded? (Up to 250 words)

Applicant Information Briefing 

To learn more, watch this recorded Zoom call where we answered questions about the project. 

Click here for the recording and use passcode: 2IN!5SFv


Photo Credit: Dan Johnson