In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Rahsaan Bernard. Rahsaan Bernard serves as the President of Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR). This nonprofit organization built and now manages the 16.5 acres of Townhall Health Education Arts Recreation Campus known as THEARC in Washington, DC. BBAR is also building the first elevated park in Washington, the 11 Street Bridge Park Project. In the conversation, Rahsaan Bernard shared the impact of his upbringing in Jamaica, critical parts of his leadership journey, and his focus on impact through Building Bridges Across the River. In addition, Rahsaan Bernard shared historical factors impacting the greater need of residents in D.C.'s Ward 8 and the need for the services provided. Rahsaan Bernard also shared how BBAR has involved the community in planning for the 11th Street Bridge Park Project and how that level of engagement can serve as a model for all leaders.
-Rahsaan Bernard on his upbringing in Jamaica and why his family moved to the U.S.
-What fascinated Rahsaan with bodybuilding and fitness
-Rahsaan Bernard on meeting his wife and starting a business focused on fitness
-Why Rahsaan Bernard chose to take on the role of President of Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR) and the goal of the organization
-Historical reasons why there has been very little investment in D.C.'s Ward eight, resulting in food deserts, as well as socioeconomic and medical challenges,
-Why do resident's on the East side of the river live an average of 13 years less than those on the west side of the river
-The thinking behind the 11th Street Bridge Park and the process Rahsaan Bernard used to get involvement and buy-in from the community
-Recognition of BBAR by Highline network as the best-in-class approach to building and investing in communities
-Why Rahsaan Bernard chose to join the National Board of Feeding America
-Leadership practices and resources Rahsaan Bernard has used to lead his team and engage more effectively with the community
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