The Charleston Promise Neighborhood is pleased to announce that its efforts to meaningfully engage the community are in full swing. We have reached out to community leaders from throughout the 5.6 square mile area that comprises the Charleston Promise Neighborhood, and assembled a roster of trailblazers who will direct our outreach efforts with the Neighborhood.
These individuals comprise our Community Engagement Council, which has already met three times as of this blog post. Council Members include:
Anita Antionette, Tommy Broach, Denis Chirles, Marvetta Daniels, Anjene (AJ) Davis, Rev. Alma Dungee, Tyeka Grant, Yvette Lambright, Jeanne Murray, Luqman Rasheed
Two of the Community Engagement Council Members, Alma Dungee and Tyeka Grant, are also members of the Charleston Promise Neighborhood Board, by virtue of their Co-Chairmanship and attended their first board meeting on Wednesday, January 26th. Three of our council members are also presidents of their neighborhood associations, and have provided excellent insights into the issues facing their respective neighborhoods.
The community engagement strategy which has resulted in such a dynamic council was created by the Annie B. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization dedicated to building better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. It was established in 1948 by Jim Casey, one of the founders of the United Parcel Service (UPS). The primary mission of the Foundation is to foster public policies, human-service reforms and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families.
After the selection of our council members, our strategy entails reaching out to faith-based leaders, business owners and other neighborhood association members and surveying the assets and needs in each one of their specific neighborhoods. Using this data, the council will assess and prioritize the primary areas of focus requiring action, and develop workplans to address 3-5 of these areas. Our goal is to complete this workplan by the end of April 2011. The whole process is designed to enlist broad community support for concrete, immediate goals that will result in immediate action to benefit the Neighborhood.
We are excited that the Charleston Philanthropic Partners (a group working through the Coastal Community Foundation) has awarded The Charleston Promise Neighborhood a grant of $25,000, $19,000 of which is intended for funding of our community engagement initiatives. The remaining $6,000 is intended to benefit the School Improvement Committees for our four schools, which are considering a joint project to encourage greater parental involvement in the schools.
Dwayne Green, CEO