BY THE HUB’S EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM
STEPHANIE TYREE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
AMANDA WORKMAN-SCOTT, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
EMMA PEPPER, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC NETWORK COMMUNICATIONS
We’re proud to share our 2019-20 Impact Report – a publication showing strategic wins over the past year from the WV Community Development Hub. We worked with 264 organizational partners this year, provided in-depth coaching to 21 communities, and offered technical assistance to 111 communities and organizations. The Hub’s work positively impacted 40% of our state’s population.
Read the 2020 Impact Report
A Message from The Hub’s Executive Leadership Team
This year marked a significant turning point for the WV Community Development Hub. Our work is done in community, with community, and for communities. We spend much of our time in rooms with West Virginians facilitating conversations, building visions, and moving plans into action. The foundational theory that our work is built upon – the Theory of Accompaniment – calls us to walk beside the residents that we serve.
How do we build community when the people we are serving are in spaces of crisis and isolation? West Virginians are showing resourcefulness, compassion, and energy to move into action. It is our job to support them in harnessing that energy to ensure communities can continue on a path toward resilience, well-being, and prosperity.
What Our Work Looks Like Today
Over the past three years, we have scaled up our work in catalyzing sustainable change led by and for West Virginians. With support from community teams, 40% of West Virginians are touched in some way by Hub-related work, and we are working smarter. Curricula for our coaching programs follows a rigorous development process that accounts for the unique capacities that each community brings to the table. Our work in creating systemic change through policy and communications has shifted from siloed efforts to a thick thread that weaves throughout all of our programming, helping communities to create more dynamic and lasting impacts. Our support for West Virginia’s system of community development practitioners is now crystallizing into a formal network that is envisioned and led by the practitioners themselves.
These approaches have enabled us to deepen our impact, and the results show as new and unexpected leaders come to the table, and the scale and sustainability of their efforts grows.
Reflected in the pages of the 2020 Impact Report is the work of rural community leaders in advancing critical growth opportunities for West Virginia like redeveloping historic downtowns; increasing tourism and retaining existing populations; supporting and developing locally-owned businesses; creating more green spaces, rail trails, and recreational opportunities; reuniting and building trust in communities that faced historical divisions; and more. We are honored to walk alongside these leaders as they transform the trajectories of their communities.
What Our Work Will Look Like Moving Forward
There are catalytic opportunities on the horizon now, and our team is moving into action. Here are just a few of the areas we’re focusing on in
- Launching Kickstart Community, an initiative to support West Virginians who want to make a difference in their communities starting today. Kickstart Community will feature a publicly accessible virtual platform with tools to teach residents how to move into action on foundational elements of community building such as creating strong teams, recruiting and sustaining volunteers, and visualizing and enacting projects. As residents progress through their learning, Hub staff will be available to answer questions and address hurdles residents may face. West Virginians who are ready to take their leadership further will have the opportunity to take part in our 1-year Community Coaching Fellowship program. Kickstart Community will also be a platform to share research and best practices coming out of the field today.
- Creating more virtual spaces to accompany our work happening on the ground. To sustain the level of engagement and learning that are necessary components of effective community building, we are building in more virtual components to our curricula and program development, including the summer 2020 launch of virtual Community Conversations focused on urgent and emerging needs residents are facing today. These virtual spaces have the added potential to increase the volume and quality of cross- community learning we are helping facilitate for residents.
- Closing the gap that stalls downtown redevelopment efforts. 2020-2021 will be a time of deep focus and engagement from our team as we collaborate with partners and national experts to determine financial mechanisms, investment structures and creative resources and strategies to address the persistent hurdles rural communities are facing in redeveloping the heart of their communities.
- Build our racial equity framework to better support community engagement and development in West Virginia’s communities of color. The time is now for all of us, including The Hub, to build strategies to ensure that we are supporting and engaging all constituents and driving resources to communities that are most in need, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We have work to do in this space and we are focused on improving our organization to better support and engage the diversity of talent throughout West Virginia’s communities in the coming year.
We are interested and willing to connect with anyone who wants to share in this journey with us.