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Building Bridges Summer Institute

Ohio University Southern

Building Bridges Summer Institute
Building Bridges Summer Institute


Building Bridges Summer Institute (BBSI) is an initiative that focuses on self-reflection, building community, and engagement.  Led by a team of trained facilitators, the BBSI will help students to identify with their own culture, become informed about other cultures and behaviors, and dialogue on current topics.  Through interactive activities, guest presenters, and discussions, the institute will work toward building leaders who are able to recognize, appreciate, and value their similarities and differences and those of others.  


June 23, 2021




Grades 11-12 , graduating seniors, and post- secondary only




•    Marquis Parham, Assistant Director of OU Career and Leadership Development
•    MaryKathyrine Tran, Assistant Director of Ohio University Women's Center
•    Marie Troxler, Associate Attorney, Frye & Troxler, PSC
•    Jodi Rowe Collins, EVP, Citizens Deposit Bank
•    Austin Johnson, Marshall University School of Journalism/Freelance Writer Daily Independent



Building Bridges Summer Institute

Photo Gallery - 2019 Building Bridges Summer Institute

Self-Reflection – Who Am I?

Session Description:  Self-reflection and self-awareness are the foundation for Cultural Competence. Before we can begin to understand differences between ourselves and others we must first take time to reflect on who we are.  “Self-reflection is the active and conscious process of inquiry into one’s thoughts, feelings and actions, leading to increased self-awareness. Self-awareness includes recognition of our personality, our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes and how our lived experience to date has influenced those things. It also includes an awareness of our power and privileges on the basis of cultural identities such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc… over others.  It is also often a prerequisite for effective communication and interpersonal relations, as well as for developing empathy for others.” (Community Integration Network - Competence Consultants & Associates 2012 -

•    Why is it important to know myself?  What is my purpose for being?
•    How can I be something to others when I don't know who I am?
•    What happens when I become my best self and it conflicts with my relationships and connections to others?

Building Community – What Do I need to Do?

Session Description:  This session will focus on some of the barriers that divide us.  Students will gain a greater awareness and deeper understanding of our changing community. Through building an awareness of one’s own myths, biases and stereotypes, this session seeks to foster a general understanding of cultural competency within participants through interactive dialogues and shared experiences. An emphasis is placed on providing participants with tools to foster inclusive environments.

•    What are the barriers that divide us?
•    What are biases and do I have any?
•    How do my experiences shape my interaction with others?
•    How do I understand where other people are coming from and honor that perspective without minimizing my own opinion?

Engagement – How Do I Do it?

Session Description:  To prepare students to create positive change, this final session integrates three foundational components: affirmation of self and others, exploration of socially responsible leadership, and development of a meaningful action plan.

•    How do I become engaged in making positive social change in my community or school. It’s not enough to want change; I must take action to make it happen.
•    Students learn to respect those who are different, see things from their point of view, and show them empathy.

For more information please contact:

Robert F. Pleasant, Jr.
Associate Director
Ohio University Southern
1804 Liberty Avenue
Ironton, OH.  45638