Neighborhoods are what make cities vibrant. I live in the East Hills Neighborhood and previously lived in Heartside Neighborhood and currently work in Heartside. I attend the East Hills Council of Neighbors meetings regularly and have really enjoyed getting to know more of their board members and leaders.
This week Johannah Jelks of Generation X and Y for Michigan organized “The Future of Grand Rapids Neighborhoods” A city wide community meeting. The goal was to provide an opportunity for neighborhood associations and community leadership to come together to discuss various issues such as neighborhood funding, alternative resources,public transportation, and creating a citywide initiative to support the economic growth of neighborhoods. This meeting was remarkable for several reasons
A month ago Johannah and I were on a panel discussion and someone in the audience asked if neighborhood representaitives ever broached issues together. While everyone on the panel was exicted about the idea Johannah fully conceptualized and realized the event within a very short span of time, she deserves some major props for that!
The number of attendees and Grand Rapids officials who attended the meeting was remarkable, this lead to a robust and dynamic conversation.
I was invited to facilitate a discussion about Social Justice & Equality for all Neighborhoods our discussion points focused on identifying what challenges lay around community oganizing in Grand Rapids and on identifying resources to create access to opportunities and equality to all neighborhoods. The entire community conversation is being compiled and I am looking forward to sharing the results!
Here are photos of the event on Facebook