YEAR 1

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COURAGE. CURIOSITY. COMPASSION.

We are a group of volunteers, adventuring across the U.S., on a journey to cultivate community, coalitions and compassion  through service projects and courageous conversations. 

We believe that if we can have the: 

1) COURAGE to step outside our comfort zone, to meet each other where we're at, while welcoming each other just as we are...

2) 
CURIOSITY to listen first to understand and to be open to perspectives beyond our own...
 
3) COMPASSION to care for each other's wellbeing and dignity, and help alleviate each other's suffering whenever we can...

we can weave together a network of connection, care and belonging that can heal the divisiveness of our current moment.


We love to meet new people and hear different perspectives. If you come across our Caravan, please come say, "hi!"  

 
 

DONATE

If you'd like to donate toward our cause, we are accepting donations via Paypal and Venmo (click buttons below.) 



Everyone involved in this project is a volunteer, and this project is entirely self-funded so we are deeply grateful for any and all donations toward our cause.

Your donations will go toward offsetting the out-of-pocket expenses of our service projects and bridgebuilding work, including making meals to feed people experiencing hunger and homelessness, random acts of kindness and generosity toward people in need, teaching and mentoring youth, and facilitating and producing bridgebuilding events for courageous conversations.

We would be glad to email you road updates along the way (only if you want) so you can see the journey unfold, and you can also follow us on our hashtag #whatisthecaravan to see our shared experience as we update about it.

Thank you! 


*Note: Paypal/Venmo charge fees on all donations unless you use a "personal" account, so we are using a dedicated "personal" Paypal/Venmo account for this project, administered by treasurer/founder Benjamin Caron, so all your donations go directly to feeding people and healing our country. All funds sent for this project are catalogued with full financial transparency for anyone who requests it. Please email ConnectWithTheCaravan@gmail.com w/ any questions. 

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OUR ROUTE:

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If we are traveling through your area and you want to arrange a meetup, please contact us!

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PUBLIC EVENTS:

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Image by Priscilla Du Preez

The Caravan

Pop-Up Connections    

On the Road

Ongoing

Elevation Central Arms Up.HEIC

Mt. Juliet, Nashville

6/15-6/16

Image by Chris Bair

Heartland Voices & Broadway/LA in The Heartland Performing Arts Programs & Showcase

St. Ansgar, IA

7/2-7/7

 
 

INSPIRATION & VISION

This project is largely inspired by the bridgebuilding work of two incredible organizations, Braver Angels and The Human Library, as well as the vision of The Beloved Community set forth by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and the Dignity Model of Dr. Donna Hicks.  

As this is the founding year of this project, we are approaching everything with a sense of humility, curiosity and hope. We are excited to learn and grow together in these efforts.

Our hope is that the experience will be so beneficial for all involved that we will be inspired to continue this project over many years, improving and honing our mission and process each year in order to be of greater service and impact for the healing of our country and humanity.

HOW IT STARTED: A NOTE FROM THE FOUNDER

"I wanted to share a little bit about how this project came to be and why I think it's important...

The idea for this project began during the 2016 election,
 when I watched as Americans began to speak about our fellow citizens with increasing anger, contempt and distrust. 

Living in Los Angeles and traveling internationally, but having grown up in a small, rural Midwestern town, I felt that I existed between many worlds, with a unique understanding of our growing divisions: urban & rural, liberal & conservative,  monoculturalism & multiculturalism, nationalism & globalism.

Over the following 6 years, I became passionate about bridge-building, and volunteered and trained with organizations like Braver Angels,
 The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and The Human Library (I now work for the Human Library Organization.) 

I also traveled across the country, meeting people, having conversations and producing bridge-building events and projects like the web-series "Home Again: Conversations from The Heartland" and "The Re:United States of America Project," a 6-week Zoom conversation series held during the 2020 election. 

After 5 years in the work, at the end of 2021, I began to dream of what it might mean to create an experience where we could get out of our bubbles, be of service, and try to have courageous conversations. Based on existing relationships and local partnerships, a national service and bridge-building tour was created, called
The Caravan.

I invited trusted friends and colleagues to join me, hoping that over the next 5 years we could develop a philanthropic travel experience that would be so rewarding that it would be something that people would want to return to again and again, inviting their friends and family to join, and growing the impact and the scope of the project until it became not only a highly-effective means for personal and societal healing, but also a symbol of hope and possibility in a time of hopelessness and helplessness.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider the potential of this project."

-Ben Caron 

 

If you want to get involved, email us directly to tell us about yourself and your interests at:
ConnectWithTheCaravan@gmail.com 

GET INVOLVED

 

CONTACT

You can email us directly at ConnectWithTheCaravan@gmail.com

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