Around the Institute

The Obamas Host the Bridge

June 4, 2018  • Institute Staff

Prince Harry, Common, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the Institute’s Eric Liu were just a few of the speakers featured at the Obama Foundation’s inaugural summit in Chicago last fall. The Bridge—Aspen’s new program on race, identity, and inclusion, led by Michele Norris—was showcased during the gathering, where hundreds of leaders came together to explore creative solutions to familiar problems. The Bridge hosted its “Who Do You Think You Are?” photo booth, which asks participants for six-word portraits for the Race Card Project. Over two days, more than 100 people from around the world distilled their thoughts and observations about identity into just six words. They shared triumphs, sorrows, and memories and posted their mini-anthems on a massive wall—which quickly became a popular summit hub. Norris and the Bridge team also led a workshop, “What’s Your Story?” featuring their new BridgeBox tool, which is designed to kick-start powerful conversations. The workshop allowed summit participants to explore race, gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity, American identity, and otherness in a deep and candid dialogue. A session like this can help leaders reach across differences, push past discomfort, and keep the conversation going in their own workplaces.