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NEW! Walk Our Talk – Putting the Building Bridges Principles into Action

HSC Workshops Banner
with Kirby Edmonds, Laura Branca, Anne Rhodes, and Elan Shapiro
April 8, 2019
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Fee $70, includes light refreshments

Borg Warner Conference Room, Tompkins County Public Library,
E. Green St. at S. Cayuga St., Ithaca (driving and access directions below)
Presented by the Human Services Coalition
Co-sponsored by the Tompkins County Public Library

This workshop is for anyone who wants to put the Building Bridges principles into practice in their organizations and communities.

The Building Bridges initiative is a collaborative effort among the Dorothy Cotton Institute and several community organizations with a shared vision to create “a socially just and ecologically sound local economy” in Tompkins County.

The four Building Bridges principles are:

  1. Put equity and environment at the center of all we do
  2. Respect human rights and human dignity
  3. Build stronger, healthier relationships across race, class, and place
  4. Ensure broad inclusion and access to decisions about available resources

In this workshop, attendees will:

  • Fully understand the meaning and scope of the four principles
  • Learn how to establish organizational goals and practices consistent with these principles
  • Hear examples of how the principles have been put into practice in the community
  • Network with other organizations that share the same tenets

About the Presenters:

Kirby Edmonds, a managing partner at Training for Change (TFC) Associates, has designed and delivered numerous workshops for counselors in the areas of basic  ounseling, group counseling and developing cultural competency. He has designed training workshops, written manuals, and provided consulting services for a wide variety of organizations and networks including UNICEF, NTEU, Corning, Inc., Pennsylvania Department of Health, AFL/CIO, Solidarity Center, and others. Kirby is expert at organizing and facilitating complex community planning processes and building managed networks based on shared values.

Kirby is a trained mediator with over 30 years’ experience managing and resolving interpersonal, multi-party, interorganizational and community conflicts. He also teaches courses in conflict management and cooperative conflict resolution.

Laura Branca is a managing partner at Training for Change (TFC) Associates, founded in Ithaca in 1982. She leads interactive trainings, designs courses and materials on organizational change, planning, leadership development, team building, communication, decision-making, handling conflict, diversity inclusion, equity, and building culturally competent agencies and coalitions. TFC Associates assists organizations and leaders through consulting, strategic planning, and coaching, and are skilled facilitators with special expertise in facilitating intra-group and cross-group dialogues on racism and intersecting forms of exclusion and oppression.

Laura is Board President and a co-owner of Moosewood, Inc. She is a Senior Fellow with the Dorothy Cotton Institute whose focus is human rights education and civic participation in non-violent social change. Laura has more than 30 years of experience teaching conflict management, helping people resolve interpersonal, multi-party, organizational, and community conflicts, and mediating for the Community Dispute Resolution Center.

Anne Rhodes has been doing anti-bias work in Tompkins County for over 30 years, and has been a member of Building Bridges since its founding. She has led trainings on all forms of oppression for school districts, Cornell and Ithaca College, businesses, and community groups. She is an active member of Showing Up for Racial Justice, White Allies Against Structural Racism, and the Rural Listening Group. She lives in Freeville.

Elan Shapiro has been an educator, facilitator and activist at the intersection of environmental and social and economic justice issues for the last two decades. While teaching courses on social justice and sustainability at Ithaca College, he helped found Sustainable Tompkins, Building Bridges and TC Showing Up for Racial Justice, three community organizations that seek to uphold and enact the core principles that are at the heart of this workshop. Elan has also led trainings and facilitated processes related to this work at Greenstar Cooperative Market, Ecovillage at Ithaca, the EAC Montessori School, Cornell University, and Xerox Corporation.

Registration and Payment

Register online at If you are unable to register and pay online please call 607.273.8686 or

Cancellation Policy

All registration sales are final – we are unable to refund or transfer fees onto a different workshop for missed
sessions.  At times a workshop may be cancelled due to inclement weather or other issues. If this occurs, we will post the cancellation on our website:, email all registered participants, and refund any prepaid fees. If you plan to walk-in, please check our website for the most up-to-date information prior to attending.


Limited scholarships are available to agencies whose non-profit board and staff members cannot attend without one. To request a scholarship, email: in advance of the workshop.


Coffee, other drinks, and snacks are provided at all workshops; lunch is not provided. Attendees at sessions in the Borg Warner Room may leave and eat lunch on the beautiful Ithaca Commons.

Special Needs

Please notify us if you have any special needs; the Coalition wishes to make its workshops accessible to everyone.

For the comfort of everyone, HSC workshops are fragrance free. We appreciate your cooperation.

Parking and Directions

The Coalition is a United Way agency

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