[PODCAST] An Innovative Approach to Growing Community

An Innovative Approach to Growing Community

There is no way to learn and understand better than first-hand experience. In today’s episode, Katie talks to Barbara Lee VanHorssen of The Momentum Center for Social Engagement about their innovative approach to teaching cultural awareness and DEI through immersive experiences. From a Civil Rights Road Trip to Cultural Immersion Experiences that take participants across the boundaries of their understanding and geographic location.


Leave Your Lens

We all have a lens through which we see and experience the world around us. This lens is based on our past experiences and what we experience in our communities, culture, and networks. When we step outside of those areas of familiarity, we can see the world through someone else’s lens. Barbara’s organization builds awareness, understanding, and community by creating experiences that help participants leave their lenses behind. In this episode, she discusses a Civil Rights Roadtrip that ventures to the southern United States along the path and sites of the Underground Railroad. She also shares about trips to foreign countries where travelers are immersed in different cultures and traditions.

The Momentum Center for Social Engagement programs is innovating how we pursue DEI understanding and education. While many organizations use curriculum, consultants, and other methods to build community, Babara takes an experiential approach. 

Growing Community is About Intentionality

Barbara’s programs center on an intent to explore and understand the world around us and help people appreciate and value diversity. Katie and Barbara discuss the challenge many nonprofit boards face with building diversity at the governance level in homogenous communities. While many say that your board should reflect the community you serve, Barbara takes it a step further, reminding us that if we’re not going to be proactive about pursuing diversity, we won’t create it. 

More information about the Civil Rights Roadtrips and Cultural Immersion Experiences of the Momentum Center for Social Engagement can be found here or on their Facebook Page. Follow Barbara Lee VanHorssen on Linkedin to keep up with the innovative ways she’s changing the nonprofit sector. 

Meet Barbara Lee VanHorssen, Community Growth Expert

Barbara Lee VanHorssen is the founder and Experi-Mentor of the Momentum Center, a grassroots movement to create a stigma-free community. She is an ordained interfaith minister and holds an MBA in Leadership Studies. 

Barbara has worked with and for marginalized and disenfranchised people for most of her life. She is working to create a more understanding world for those with mental illness and developmental disabilities.



Shout out to our friends at Hubspot for making today’s episode possible!

Barbara Lee Van Hoerssen Growing Community

Katie Appold

Katie’s nonprofit career includes a variety of leadership roles for human service, foundation, and publishing-related nonprofits as well as many volunteer roles. Under Katie’s leadership, nonprofit organizations have developed new programs related to free healthcare, affordable and accessible housing and literacy programs for K-12 students. In her first Executive Director role, Katie increased the annual revenue of the organization she led by 300% and received the top grant prize in the nation for affordable housing through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. Today, she leads Nonprofit Hub and Cause Camp, which collectively serve more than 50,000 nonprofits throughout North America. Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree in business administration and a masters degree in nonprofit leadership. Katie serves as the board president of Gracious Grounds, a housing organization serving individuals with disabilities. She is an active member of the Grand Rapids Young Nonprofit Professionals, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Cause Network, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

November 14, 2022

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