We have found that the Mosaic Partnerships™ process builds relationships, encourages informal social interaction, deepens the level of trust, increases the interconnectedness of personal and professional networks, and results in expanded participation of the partners in community improvement activities and volunteerism. If these in-process measures of social capital are increasing, then we would expect the level of social capital, which is a longer-term measure, to likewise increase.
The impact of Mosaic Partnerships™ extends beyond personal relationships. A number of participants have gained awareness of dimensions of the community previously unseen. This “a-ha” experience generates creative life-giving motivation to collaboratively address the challenges in our cities. We will be studying and measuring these “ripple effects” for years to come. Examples are detailed below, as well as on the DVD located in the back of the Some Answered Questions booklet. The first video was completed after Phase I in the Rochester Mosaic Partnerships™ program. It contains interviews of several sets of Mosaic Partnerships™ partners regarding their experience in the program and the development of their relationships. The second video entitled “Ripple Effect” was produced two years later and re-interviews those same sets of Mosaic Partnerships™ partners. The videos were produced by an ABC affiliate in Rochester.
The following examples illustrate the true effects of Mosaic Partnerships™ as the participants take their experience in the program and manifest it into their lives and the world around them.
Mosaic Partnerships™ Program Implemented at Rochester Institute of Technology
In 2001, Dr. Al Simone, President of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), participated in the Mosaic Partnerships™ Program in Rochester. As a result of his experience in the program, Dr. Simone was motivated to implement Mosaic Partnerships™ at his university. Recently, RIT made national news for Dr. Simone’s diversity initiatives for hiring and retaining minorities. Both Black issues in higher education and Hispanic outlook in higher education featured RIT as a role model for US universities in recruiting and retaining faculty of color. Dr. Simone attributes much of this success to the Mosaic Partnerships™ Program.
Biracial Partnerships Extended to Neighborhoods and Schools
Michael Coniff, a Mosaic Partnerships™ partner in Rochester, is the administrator for a Neighborhood Empowerment Team office in the Maplewood neighborhood of Rochester. In that position, he works to resolve neighborhood issues. Maplewood is experiencing an influx of people of color, which has resulted in increased racial tension in the community. After completing the Mosaic Partnerships™ program, he recognized the program’s ability to strengthen race relations and build bridges between people. In response to the growing racial divide, he decided to bring the program into his community.
The program designed for Maplewood has two parts. First, 30 neighborhood residents were paired across race and/or ethnicity. They began the Mosaic Partnerships™ journey to friendship and trust building in September 2005. Second, 15 students from a predominately white high school in the neighborhood were paired with 15 students from a predominately African-American high school. This part of the program ran the length of the school year, September 2005 to June 2006.
The Clean Schools Project
After completing the Mosaic Partnerships™ program, one participant, an executive at Eastman Kodak, living in a suburb of Rochester, was inspired to initiate a service project within the Rochester City School District. His first inclination was to contact his Mosaic Partnerships™ partner, who was a member of the school board. The school board put them in touch with the principal of a grammar school located in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood where absenteeism due to illness was very high. The school’s kindergarten classroom had become disorganized and unclean. The Mosaic Partnerships™ partner and a group of friends cleaned the classroom completely and reorganized its contents. Not only was the classroom more pleasant but also absenteeism dropped dramatically. The success of this initiative has encouraged this Mosaic Partnerships™ partner to plan another project with the school.
Wegmans Food Markets
Danny Wegman, President of Wegmans Food Markets, was a Mosaic Partnerships™ partner in the first phase of the Rochester Program. To continue his commitment in making Wegmans “America’s Best Employer” to work for (Ranked #2 by Fortune Magazine and the Great Places to Work Institute), Danny initiated a student mentoring project for children of various racial, ethnic, social and economic backgrounds. The purpose of the project is to identify at-risk students at an early age and assign them a mentor through their school years. Students in the mentoring project have achieved better academic success and much higher graduation rates.
Wade Norwood, Danny’s Mosaic Partnerships™ partner, joined forces with Danny to expand the project. According to Danny, he has the will and the way, but not the expertise or knowledge of the community that Wade possesses. Together, they enlisted the help of their Mosaic Partnerships™ cluster group and other participants. Their cluster group has continued to work on this project and is looking to involve an increasing number of Mosaic Partnerships™ participants to help this project touch the lives of thousands of “at-risk” students in Rochester.
Home Library Program for School Children
A Mosaic Partnerships™ participant has taken steps to develop a project to encourage literacy among city students. Her goal is to provide a home library for every student in the Rochester City School District. She has begun this endeavor with a second grade class. Initially, each home library will include eight starter books, a bookshelf, a reading lamp, and an area rug. This partner has solicited volunteers, starting with her Mosaic Partnerships™ cluster group, who will support this project either by mentoring one student and offering to support the child’s efforts at home, or by reading to the entire class.
Brenda Lee and Sandra Frankel
Brenda Lee and Sandra Frankel offer a prime example of the social capital building fostered by Mosaic Partnerships™. Brenda Lee, a dean at the University of Rochester Medical School, and Sandy Frankel, Brighton Town Supervisor, began their partnership in 2001. As an African-American woman, Brenda was reluctant at first to participate in yet another race relations experiment, having experienced her share of failed diversity programs in the past. She was pleasantly surprised about her positive experience in the Mosaic Partnerships™ program and by its unexpected outcome. Her partnership with Sandy developed into a close friendship involving families and friends. Four years later, they share a host of memories including birthdays, surprise anniversaries, children’s weddings, parents’ deaths, Christmas dinners, Jewish foods, and Sandy’s re-election campaign. Recognizing the impact of the program, the two partners have become staunch advocates for Mosaic Partnerships™. They epitomize the program’s goals and exemplify its intended outcome in their workplaces and communities. Because of their prominence and respect in the community, the world around them is changing as a result of their transformation. Their ongoing friendship is destined to bring about far reaching changes in the Rochester community.
Taken from the most recent Mosaic Partnerships™ implementation (See Appendix: Greensboro Data Measurement Booklet):
- Ninety-one percent (91%) of the participants believe that they will continue their relationship with their Mosaic Partnerships™ partner after completion of the program.
- Mosaic Partnerships™ participants reached a level of trust with their Mosaic Partnerships™ partner that is eighty-nine percent (89%) of the level of trust that their Mosaic Partnerships™ partner has with his/her four closest friends.
- Sixty percent (60%) of the Mosaic Partnerships™ participants shared their professional networks with their Mosaic Partnerships™ partner.
- Sixty-five percent (65%) shared their networks of friends.
- Fifty-five percent (55%) shared their families.