FRIENDSHIP - It has been proven that friendship and fellowship - when supported by broader economic, political and social institutions - have transformational powers within a society or an organization. Because of this, the entire program was designed to put people in close and regular contact who might never meet, and to encourage interaction between them at increasingly deeper and more intimate levels. The success of the individual partnerships relies on the participants themselves, who are encouraged and stimulated to be creative in their approaches and to advance at their own pace through a guided process.
CULTURE - The culture of a community resides in the minds and hearts of its people, and flows from generation to generation. Cultural differences can be the source of misunderstanding, social breakdown, and violence. But culture, in and of itself, must never become an impenetrable barrier that blocks basic human connection. Cultural differences should, rather, be the source of pride and joy, as we celebrate the things that make ourselves and others unique.
"THE OTHER"- Social science tells us that in every society, there are ways of defining the "us" and the "other". The "other" can refer to someone outside of any "category of belonging", from outsiders to the family, the town, the racial, ethnic or economic group, or the country. Commonly the "other" is treated with distrust, suspicion and disrespect.
MONUMENTAL IDEALS - The United States is unique in the way it inscribes its loftiest ideals of democracy and equality onto public monuments. In Large Group, Cluster Group, and individual partner meetings, the process includes in-depth dialogue about our country's most powerful and important ideals. OPEN MEETINGS – Intentional spaces for pairs and clusters to embed topics and issues targeted to specific goals, community or organization. Open meetings by design are occur throughout the program to develop an interplay between social cohesion and solidarity of goals. CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY - This is typically the last Large Group meeting of the program. The meeting celebrates new understandings of cultural difference, new outcomes, the creation of new friendships and the foundations of a new culture.