Global Bridgebuilder’s founder, Skot Welch, challenges communities and organizations worldwide to become more innovative by tapping into the ideas and perspectives of diverse groups of individuals, rather than relying on a single viewpoint or experience. His work has been bringing him to Dallas for the last several years and with the help of area lifestyle enthusiast Oliver Johnson, he’s become both an advocate and fan of the city.
A resident of western Michigan, Skot began making comparisons between Dallas and his home city of Grand Rapids, as well as comparisons with other cities around the world. He was struck by the presence of a very forward moving and thinking vibe in the city and yet it felt strangely provincial as well.
Take for example a few lifestyle magazines seen around the city. While they clearly seem to be designed with a mostly affluent audience in mind, Skot found it odd that the city’s ethnic mix was not more broadly reflected. With each visit, this increasingly became the subject of many lighthearted conversations.
Skot and Oliver, along with local lifestyle entrepreneur Derrick Shaw, took it one step further. They started a game to see how many faces of color they could identify throughout the pages of these magazines each month. The initial observation held up each time. But, they discovered something else: there were certain people, ethnicity aside, who appeared or were featured repeatedly. The “Celebrated Few”, as Oliver refers to them, are trailblazers without a doubt and have made significant contributions to the city and metropolitan area. But seeing or reading about the same people all the time takes on a small-town Mayberry effect, leaving you wondering if everyone else has disappeared or is invisible.
Project in-vizible turns that notion on its head with the knowledge that there are people - all ethnicities, all social classes, the urban and the rural dweller – who are clearly in-view, relevant and in-focus. These are people whose ideas, stories, and expressions through the arts, advocacy and in other ways are transforming communities and enhancing our quality of life.
This is our story. Be in-vizible and tell us yours! What transformative energy are you creating to make Dallas or your own city and community more vibrant and livable? Perhaps it’s through your artistry. Or maybe it’s a great new idea or cause to rally around. It could even be a life-changing experience that’s a motivational force for others!
We look forward to hearing from you!
Skot, Derrick and Oliver