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Consulting on
Pluralism & Belonging

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The diversity of the United States — demographic, religious, ideological — is both an asset and a challenge.

Diversity challenges us to understand and balance an incredible array of experiences and viewpoints; it necessarily produces conflict. If that conflict is not well-managed, communities become exclusionary or conflict escalates into hate crimes, high polarization, and political violence. 

But conflict can also be productive; it can empower collaboration and authentic solutions around shared priorities such as religious freedom and racial justice. 

Societies don’t cohere by force. A community, like a murmuration, sticks together when each member finds more joy in it than sorrow. Creating that dynamic is collective work.

 

Cohesion Strategy partners with nonprofit and philanthropic organizations working toward bridgebuilding, pluralism, and belonging. Together, we can shape diverse communities built on meaningful relationships, strategic collaboration, and productive conflict.
 

Our Services

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Strategy

Advising on strategies for success in a pluralistic world, and supporting pluralistic approaches.

Developing partnerships across lines of difference for the common good.

Working through internal values-conflicts in complex situations.

Identifying mission-aligned funding or grantees.

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Facilitation

Planning and facilitating convenings, conferences, and other events for participants from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints.

Developing programming that moves participants through conflict toward effective collaboration.

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Research

Performing nonprofit landscape and academic research.

Partnering with specialists in other fields to produce original research.

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Operations

Supporting small teams with project management, budgeting, and internal communications, in support of your mission and goals.

 

Developing mission-aligned fee-for-service programming to support nonprofits’ bottom line.

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Speaking

Speaking on religious and ideological pluralism, bridgebuilding, integrity in complexity, and social cohesion.

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Advising

Advising on the landscape of philanthropy and religion, and religious and social pluralism. 

We tailor our process and approach to respond to the specific needs of each client.

The Flock

For individual advising or strategy sessions at the discounted rate of $240 per hour. To discuss larger projects, please email me at allison@cohesionstrategy.com.

Clients and Advisees

Current & Former Clients

Fetzer Institute

Multi-Faith Neighbors Network

Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund at New York Community Trust

Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University

Aspen Institute Inclusive America Project

El-Hibri Foundation

Advisees

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, Faith In/And Democracy initiative

People

Who We Are

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headshot of Allison Ralph
Allison K. Ralph, PhD, Founder & Principal

A thought leader in religious pluralism and social cohesion, Allison brings 20 years’ experience in strategy, research, and nonprofit and philanthropic leadership. She previously worked at The Aspen Institute Religion & Society Program, where she served as Assistant, Associate, and Interim Director of the program and Director of its Religion and Philanthropy Initiative. She also managed events at the El-Hibri Foundation and The Catholic University of America. Allison has a PhD in church history from The Catholic University of America, and an MPhil from Cambridge University. Her graduate research focused on how societies manage or fail to manage their internal diversity, and how they create and maintain social boundaries.  

“Starlings’ murmuration consists of a flock moving in sync with one another, engaging in clear, consistent communication and exhibiting collective leadership and deep, deep trust. Every individual bird focuses attention on their seven closest neighbors and thus manage a larger flock cohesiveness and synchronicity (at times upwards of over a million birds).”

Sierra Pickett, from “Emergent Strategy” by adrienne maree brown

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Contact Us

We’d love to talk more. Please contact us to set up an initial consultation.

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