2013 Neighborhood Summit and Kick-off Dinner

Hosted by Xavier University, Community Building Institute, and Invest in Neighborhoods | January 22, 2013

On Feb. 15 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. the 2013 Neighborhood Summit will kick-off with a discussion around youth engagement in community life featuring Denise Gonsalves, director of Youth Leadership Development for the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative in Boston. Cost is $25 per person for the dinner in Xavier’s Schiff Conference Center. Register at www.xavier.edu/cbi by February 11.

Denise Gonsalves recently rejoined the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative as director of Youth Leadership Development. She was away for four years earning an MBA and working as a senior associate brand manager at Kraft Foods. In her earlier tenure at Dudley, she had worked in Roxbury and Dorchester for more than 12 years developing youth programs, organizing coalitions, and mobilizing the community around civic engagement. She is passionate about expanding and coordinating youth leadership efforts in the community and helping organizations recognize the value of youth voices and action in community change efforts.

The 2013 Neighborhood Summit will be Feb. 16 from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Xavier’s Schiff Conference Center. Due to the generosity of sponsors Seasongood, Xavier University and Invest in Neighborhoods, the Summit is free of charge. The theme is “Strengthening Communities through Leadership and Partnership.” Register for the Summit and reserve your lunch online at http://www.investinneighborhoods.com/register.html

Since 2002, the Neighborhood Summit has provided information and tools for neighborhood leaders and volunteers to more effectively improve their communities. As Cincinnati enters a new era in which neighborhoods are given more opportunity to create their own vision and implement it, it’s much more important that they have the knowledge and resources to do so. The 2013 Neighborhood Summit establishes a Community Academy to teach basics of effectively operating a community council. Experts and professionals will help participants learn best practices. Some sessions are for those fairly new to neighborhood activity and others are for those with more experience. To start the work envisioned in Plan Cincinnati, there are sessions on implementation, form-based codes, and how four of our neighborhoods already are using the tools to transform their communities. We are looking to the future and exploring ways to incorporate and tap the energy of youth through community building. Youth will actively participate in summit activities, including interactive labs and youth-centered discussions. Finally, there is space to share experiences and lessons and to discuss how citizens will engage in making Cincinnati the greatest city it can be.

Community Academy sessions are offered in 101 level for basic information and 201 for more advanced topics appealing to experienced community advocates. Many workshops are presented by local professionals and experts who teach their subjects all over the country. Of particular note are Susan Naimark of Boston, author of The Education of a White Parent and former director of National Community Building and Organizing Programs at Neighborworks America, and Deborah Pearce, principal of the Pearce Communications Group of Bayside, WI. Naimark will share her experiences and lessons in a two-hour afternoon session on increasing membership for community activities. Pearce, who consults with companies and organizations across the country, will discuss interpersonal communication and interpersonal conflict management in ways that benefit community organizations.
At lunch tablemates will discuss a series of questions about how and where Cincinnati should encourage citizen engagement in policy and important decisions to determine the city’s future. Notes will be compiled and an overview shared during the wrap up session. Young adults will especially enjoy sessions on neighborhood asset mapping, learning centers, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, effective dialog and resolving differences, communications, and the two-hour morning session on how and why we need to engage young people.
The Community Building Institute is a partnership of Xavier University and the United Way.