This week’s Badass Chick is Susanne Goldstein, creator of ExchangeNation.
After the 2016 election, Susanne was acutely aware of how divided our country is but, she says, “if you ask anyone what they think the divide is about, you get vastly different answers – race, immigration, politics, climate change, reproductive rights.” The one topic she saw people agreeing about is that urban areas were booming and rural areas were disappearing. So, she created ExchangeNation, which is building “sister-pairs” between urban and rural America communities to do an Exchange of culture, skills and economic development opportunities. Through this she hopes to begin healing the divide. Basically adults volunteer to go do community-based projects in another part of the country. As an example: Susanne has a team of six Boston-based volunteers (who range from real estate developers to venture capitalists to community developers) and also a team of six volunteers in Lawrence County, Alabama (who range from police officers to journalists to welders). Each team identifies what need their community could most use help with, and then the two teams work together to find solutions. Lawrence County needs to stimulate its economy, so the six Boston-based volunteers take trips down to Alabama to help them kick start entrepreneurship through a small business incubator. And the six Alabama-based volunteers take trips up to Boston to not only work on projects, but give us a chance to better understand their culture and way of life through a series of events called “Healing the Divide,” – the next one is March 5th.
The whole project is pretty impressive, because people from all walks of life — different political parties, different backgrounds, different class levels — are working together to better understand one another in this time of deep division. They’re offering their skills, opening their minds and truly giving back to their communities.
Susanne is hosting an event March 5:
Healing the Divide: Urban and Rural Americans in Courageous Conversation
Monday, March 5, 2018
500 Rutherford Avenue
Boston, MA 02129
She’s also looking for six more volunteers for her program, so if this might be something you’re interested in, definitely check out more about her and watch her video below.
Loren’s Badass Chick of the Week highlights local women and girls giving back to the community, following their passion and/or breaking stereotypes. If YOU have a Badass Chick you want to see highlighted, email Loren@1033ampradio.com!