Common Ground 2020: Accommodating Our New Normal

An illustration showing people on a Zoom meeting with the Common Ground logo

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the national reckoning on systemic racism in America that has been at the forefront in recent weeks, Common Ground has adapted this year to give existing registered and multi-year hosts the flexibility to take action on the issues that matter to them and their communities.

Because of the current social climate, the Common Ground team felt a sense of urgency to support participants where they stand here in our shared new normal. For some, the next step may be taking immediate action or providing a service in an area of urgent need. Others may feel that connective conversations are more important than ever. Many are struggling to navigate the increasing demands for time and resources and must take a step back in order to reprioritize.

With that in mind, this year’s Common Ground structure has been modified to help our community move forward. Automatic $500 support stipends were made available to multi-year hosts and Common Ground hosts who had registered as of June 1. All hosts who were eligible for a stipend this year have already been notified. These support stipends can be used for direct action and community work in addition to hosting a virtual Common Ground conversation.   

New hosts who would like to hold a Common Ground conversation this year but have not already registered will receive planning and promotional support for a virtual Common Ground event. Virtual conversations can be held at any date and any time through October 4.  Due to the continued federal and state recommendations on physical distancing, we request that no in-person Common Ground conversations be held. Your safety is important to us.

If you are interested in hosting and not already signed up to do so, please contact the Common Ground team here.

Continued planning support for events and action projects will be provided via webinar and virtual meetings in partnership with Neighborhood Connections. Promotional support for events and projects will also be available for all hosts.

Additional funds in the form of immediate action grants will be available to all Common Ground 2020 hosts and participants through our community partner Neighborhood Connections. As with previous years, funding for community projects will be available through Neighborhood Connections’ Common Ground Action Grant Fund. Since 2018, that fund has supported approximately 80 community projects.

More information about these additional supports, including conversation facilitation webinars, will be available in the coming weeks.

Common Ground’s strength is always the incredible group of community leaders who choose to host conversations each year. Changes to this year’s Common Ground structure have been made in recognition of the dedication of our Common Ground hosts and their deep knowledge of our community’s most pressing needs. You can learn more about this year’s Common Ground plans at www.ClevelandFoundation.org/CommonGround. In 2021, Common Ground will return, bigger and better, to celebrate its fifth anniversary.

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