Gwendolyn VanSant is an experienced organizational change consultant and coach who works at the intersection of diversity leadership, equity and inclusion, and strategic planning.
She is the Founding Director of BRIDGE and the Equity and Inclusion Team Lead at Changemaker Strategies. Gwendolyn serves as the Vice Chair of the Town of Great Barrington W. E. B. Du Bois Legacy Committee and she’s on the board of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and UU Mass Action Network. A skilled community organizer, Gwendolyn is also a well-recognized thought leader on racial justice and reparations.
In addition to providing award-winning cultural competence trainings, Gwendolyn is a frequent speaker and long-time activist. In 2018, Gwendolyn was selected by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as one of the Commonwealth's “Unsung Heroines” and named a finalist in Executive Leadership in the 2018 Berkshire Nonprofit Awards. In January-February 2018, Gwendolyn co-curated the commissioned Town Of Great Barrington Du Bois 150th Festival in partnership with Randy Weinstein and her BRIDGE team. In spring 2017, Gwendolyn spearheaded the county-wide campaign and coalition "Not in the Berkshires" and helped craft and pass her town’s Trust Policy, a step towards a statewide Safe Community Act. In 2016, Gwendolyn served as the Founding Director of Equity and Inclusion at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. In 2015/2016 she was recognized as a “Berkshire Trendsetter” finalist by 1Berkshire in the "Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year" category. This same year, BRIDGE won 1Berkshire's Nonprofit Impact award. In 2016, Berkshire Magazine named Gwendolyn one of the 25 most creative, talented, and influential leaders in the Berkshires.
Gwendolyn graduated with a certificate in Positive Psychology from the Wholebeing Institute at Kripalu in 2015 after studying with leading field experts, Dr. Tal Ben Shahar and Dr. Maria Sirois. She has founded several initiatives based in the principles of equity and justice, the inherent dignity and worth of individuals, and our interconnected web of humanity.