February 2021 Leadership Council Meeting Highlights

On February 4, 2021, Convergence launched a new vision for our Leadership Council in a first-ever special session open only to Leadership Council members. Members expressed overwhelming enthusiasm for our new program, described by Director of Development and Finance Dusie Cassata, which seeks to harness the passion, talents, and expertise of our diverse Leadership Council. Our new Leadership Council Working Groups on Recruitment and Dialogue Selection are taking shape and we are moving full steam ahead on our robust agenda for 2021.

You can view the full LC meeting below.

13:20 – David Eisner and Manu Meel
38:00 – Russell Krumnow and Rachel Lipson

In addition, Leadership Council members were given a sneak peek at a potential new Convergence Dialogue on digital disinformation. Vicki Veenker, Convergence’s West Coast Managing Director, presented a compelling overview of the precipice on which the nation is teetering, between free speech and digital disinformation, and what the future portends for polarization and elections in America.

At the full group meeting, Convergence CEO David Eisner opened by reflecting on the historic time in which we are living following the dramatic events at the Capitol on January 6th and the critical need for Convergence’s work in this moment to bring America’s leaders together, rebuild trust, and bridge our deep divides.

David was then joined by Convergence special guest Manu Meel, CEO at BridgeUSA, for a dynamic exchange about amplifying bridge-building work this year and beyond. Manu explored the value of grassroots organizations like BridgeUSA partnering with “grass-tops” organizations like Convergence to normalize bridge-building across America. David and Manu also discussed the importance of lifting up diversity in the bridge-building field, including racial, age, and viewpoint diversity.

Finally, Russell Krumnow, Senior Project Director at Convergence, discussed Convergence’s dialogue on Worker Recovery with dialogue participant Rachel Lipson, Project Director of Project on Workforce at Harvard University. The Worker Recovery project reconvened many participants from Convergence’s 2018 Working Up dialogue, plus others, to try to quickly identify issues ripe for consensus to help America’s workers suffering from loss of employment and other economic impacts of COVID-19. Russell and Rachel shared issues emerging from the group for a potential follow-on dialogue, including workforce reskilling and access to childcare. Leadership Council members found both of these compelling areas to pursue.

The next Leadership Council meeting will be June 10, 2021. It will also be virtual.