A recent study conducted by Gallup and the Knight Foundation discovered that 61% of university students felt campuses prevented them from expressing their views. And such sentiments were not only shared among students, but by faculty, staff, and administrators across higher education institutions. To address this, Greater Good Science Center designed a research-based course to foster understanding across social divides. The ripening of such efforts can be seen at Bethel University, where the predominantly white and Christian campus worked with a local community marginalized by color and poverty. Students worked in urban farming projects, exposing them to values they never interacted with before. At times it was enriching; at other times it was conflicting. But through the churning process, they forged a mutual relationship based on "What can we do for each other?" Tanden Brekke, assistant director for community engagement, said, “Bridging is also internal work because we have to be willing to ask ourselves what it means to be Christian, and be willing to be changed by others... which can feel exciting, challenging, and fearful.”

Read Full Story