Cultivating Contact: A Guide to Building Bridges and Meaningful Connections Between Groups

Published in partnership with the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, this guide harnesses the lessons drawn from decades of research on how to foster a sense of trust and belonging between people from different backgrounds through community-based programs and initiatives.

Decades of research show that people’s social attitudes and behaviors can be transformed through effective contact programs that bring people from different groups together. In this guide, you will find:

  • Strategies and activities that encourage people from different groups to work together as equals
  • Tips and best practices for implementing and facilitating contact-based programs
  • Materials that can help communities and organizations assess the effectiveness of these contact programs

While the United States continues to reckon with many forms of social division, it also faces a moment of immense possibility. We hope this guide helps set the stage for building meaningful and sustained contact in communities across the country.

Connected Communities