Free Library Partners with WHYY to Bring Communities Together

By Kate C. RSS Tue, November 30, 2021

WHYY and the Free Library of Philadelphia are working together to make it a little easier to have difficult conversations.

Bridging Blocks: Uniting Neighborhoods Through Conversation is a three-year initiative that will gather small groups of Philadelphia residents to talk about issues including gun violence, immigration, gentrification, and racial justice. Each conversation will be framed by original WHYY media, including some produced by young people in WHYY’s Media Labs. The groups, led by skilled facilitators, will meet at neighborhood libraries and other community locations throughout Philadelphia.

The first event in the series will be held at the Kingsessing Recreation Center, adjacent to the Kingsessing Library, on Monday, December 6, at 6:00 p.m. Participants are asked to register in advance at

Bridging Blocks embraces the notion that young people have an uncanny gift to disarm tense situations and make it more likely that people from diverse households and with diverse views can discover in their differences an even richer sense of community. The expectation is that using the spark of student videos to ignite honest discussions will empower people to take constructive action. 

WHYY’s Media Labs program is a media instruction partnership with the School District of Philadelphia and other schools located in the Philadelphia region, South Jersey, and Delaware. Participating students learn video and audio production, critical thinking, STEM education skills, problem solving, research, develop a strong sense of self-efficacy, and are better prepared for a wide variety of workplaces. 

Major funding for Bridging Blocks was provided by Barbara and Fred Sutherland.

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