To see what the Bridges team in Dubuque, Iowa is doing, read the premier edition of their newsletter, available here.
Those of you who attended the Bridges and Circles Conference in Florence, Kentucky in October probably remember the team from Dubuque. They were not—and are not—shy. I had the pleasure of visiting them in mid-November.
One of my lasting memories of Dubuque will be the energetic and warm soul of the group. This was no doubt enhanced by the places in which we met: the dining room of Clarke Manor, where we ate dinner together the first night, and the Multicultural Family Center, where the Getting Ahead (GA) graduates were honored on the second evening.
The Cincinnati conference team of Alyssa Hauser, Ermina Soler, Janice Carddieth, and Jim Ott enjoyed a meal catered by Carroll Clark. Carroll is not only a wonderful cook; she is, with Jim Ott, a driving force behind the Bridges initiative in Dubuque.
We celebrated the success of the GA graduates at the Multicultural Family Center in downtown Dubuque. This new facility, paid for by the city, is modeled on the principles of Bill Strickland. The Clarian group in Indianapolis will remember Mr. Strickland from Pittsburgh. Some years ago we attended a luncheon where he was the featured speaker. Bill Strickland builds beautiful buildings that are utilized as learning centers in the poorest sections of our cities. See more at http://www.bidwell-training.org/. The Multicultural Family Center is upscale in every feature!
During the GA celebration, I was struck by who was in the room. There were people from all classes, all races, many sectors, and all political persuasions. Beside the many GA grads (several of whom are now facilitators) were a number of city and county leaders. Bridges enjoys the support of City Manager Michael Van Milligen; Dave Harris from the Housing and Community Development department; Dave Heiar, economic development director; and Nancy Van Milligen, the president and CEO of the Dubuque Foundation, to name just a few.
You’ll understand my enthusiasm for the Dubuque Bridges-Getting Ahead steering committee when you read the newsletter.