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In Nov. 2021 after ten years of our evolving mission and impact, we changed our name to Gathering Ground. You may still find reference to our old name Creative New Jersey in posts created prior to Nov. 2021.

December 2023 News and Highlights

This month at Gathering Ground

Here’s what we’re doing, resources we love, and what we’re excited about…

We’ve been busy…

Attending NJ Center for NonProfit’s Annual Conference.

This year’s conference provided a great opportunity to connect with friends and peers. The exchange of ideas, insights, and experiences will be instrumental in driving progress and innovation across our respective fields. The keynote speakers were insightful and truly inspiring, and we all left feeling energized and motivated to push ourselves to new heights. We are grateful for the connections we made and the knowledge we gained at this year’s conference, and we look forward to staying in touch with our talented colleagues as we continue to work towards our shared goals. A big thank you to Linda Czipo and her team for an amazing conference!

Celebrating Good Works

We also spend a lovely morning at the OceanFirst Bank Winter Gathering in mid-December and saw several colleagues and friends – a warm winter shout out to fellow attendees Hopeworks, Allies in Caring, Community Foundation of South Jersey and the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, among others!

(Pictured, left to right: Gathering Ground’s Maria Carnemolla; Theresa Jacks, Council of NJ Grantmakers; and Erik Estrada, Community Foundation of South Jersey)

Our team has been hard at work developing new and exciting programming for next year, and we can’t wait to share the details with you.

Here is a sneak peek:

  • Our peer-to-peer think tank, Communities in Conversation, will alternate between resource sharing and topic-focused discussions. Our first topic-themed virtual gathering will be on Mental Health, and it’s scheduled to take place March 2024. We’re proud to announce that we’ll be partnering with the Mental Health Association of New Jersey to bring you this cross-sector program. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Quarterly Briefings on important issues impacting New Jersey communities with a specific focus on equity. Experts in various fields will share their knowledge on topics such as racial equity, artificial intelligence, climate justice and more. Our first Briefing, featuring guest speaker Justin Laing of Hillombo, LLC, will take place on February 29th, 2024, and will delve into the topic of racial equity.
  • Elevating Equity – 2024 Cohort opportunities will be opening soon! We’ve been hard at work with our Lead Designer and Trainer Justin Laing (Hillombo LLC) on the next phases of our Elevating Equity program, and will have some news to share in the coming weeks on that front – stay tuned for more! If you’re not familiar with our Elevating Equity program we encourage you to check it out – and let us know if you want to be notified when the next cohort opens up!
  • Explore the Elevating Equity Compendium
  • We go back to the Elevating Equity compendium regularly to reference the collective learning and wisdom generated by the first cohort, facilitators and documenters. You can explore the interactive version of the compendium or download it.

We have many exciting things on the horizon at Gathering Ground! Make sure to keep in touch with us and check our website for updates on upcoming events and gatherings.

Communities in Conversation Logo with speech bubbles

Join us in the new year for another exciting Communities in Conversation with changemakers from throughout New Jersey on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at our new time 10 am.

Communities in Conversation is an opportunity for people to foster deeper connections, share knowledge and resources, and leverage these virtual gatherings as a springboard for statewide collaboration in advancing equity in our organizations.

Please visit our website for more info on the 2024 Communities in Conversation schedule at

Resources we are loving…

NonProfit Quarterly’s How Returning Land Can Build Power and Advance Healing Justice by Donna Bransford and Jocelyn Wong

Insider NJ’s The Trenton Just a Few Blocks from the Gold Dome by investigative reporter Bob Hennelly

Burnaway Magazine’s Ruderal Fiction: Stories and Ecology for Disturbed Times by Eric Halvarson

Podcast: Marketing Made Simply – November 1, 2023 episode: How to Stay Genuine in the Age of AI (Insights from INBOUND 2023)

What we are excited about…

2024 is a year for growth and transformation

With an unwavering commitment to equity and justice, Gathering Ground is set to introduce a series of transformative initiatives designed to disrupt oppressive structures and amplify social and economic justice. From dynamic in-person and virtual programs catalyzing connection and action to innovative programs addressing social inequalities, we’re centering equity and access in our collective fight for a fairer, more just world.

Stay connected with us and learn about how Gathering Ground’s 2024 programs will be a beacon of positive change, uniting communities and paving the way for a brighter, more equitable future in the great state of New Jersey! 


“The Orange Call to Collaboration ushered in a period of increased collaboration among the municipality, school district and nonprofit and community-based organizations.”

– Robin Gordon – Director of Administration, HANDS INC. (Orange)