BY ZACH RISSMAN, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT NETWORK VISTA, THE HUB
This winter, the team at The Hub hosted a meet-up of 75 stakeholders to take a closer look at community development activities across West Virginia and brainstorm how to improve work across the state. We heard many people reflecting on a need for greater coordination and collaboration between people and groups who are engaging in this kind of work.
This October, we’re hosting our second Community Development Think Tank to share the preliminary results of our research on community development efforts in West Virginia; revisit and push forward ideas about leveling up community development activities across the state; and dig into the possibility of creating a collaborative network to increase everyone’s chances of making transformational impacts on the future of West Virginia.
If you want to be a part of the conversation in Buckhannon on October 29, click here to register for the event.
Who should be a part of this conversation? Hopefully, you!
Are you one of the many West Virginians engaged in community development work across the state? Community development work encompasses many different types of people and activities across the state – from public health to education to downtown development and beyond.
The United Nations defines community development as, “a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.”
Practitioners of community development may be independent community volunteers, organized community groups, or more formalized organizations or agencies – but our aims are all the same: engage residents to participate in and lead initiatives, projects, and programs that build a brighter future for West Virginia communities.
Are you working to make a difference in West Virginia communities?
Consider joining the conversation in Buckhannon on October 29, click here to register for the event.
Why are we considering forming a network?
At our winter event, we heard clearly that there is a need for system building and network coordination to move community development in West Virginia to the next level over the coming ten years.
A network will enable us all to increase our opportunities for communication and collaboration.
This is an opportunity to be more effective and efficient in our work, address gaps in services and common challenges, improve our chances of accessing resources and knowledge to help further our missions, and build unique relationships between partners who have similar interests, but that aren’t always directly connected.
In other words, the more we collaborate and communicate, the more impactful our work will be.
A network will allow community development practitioners to speak as one, comprehensive voice instead of hundreds of smaller ones. Speaking as a unified voice may help to open up access to larger and more significant funding pools, gives us a bigger soapbox when it comes to policies that impact our work, and opens doors to amplify our voices on regional and national stages.
The innovative work happening in West Virginia deserves this spotlight.
A strong community development network opens up the opportunity for West Virginia to emerge as a national leader and inspiration in community development efforts. West Virginia is a model for what can be accomplished in the community development field.
On October 29 at the Buckhannon Opera House, we will be digging more into these ideas and how to level up our collective efforts.
Ready to join us? Click here to register for the event.