FutureHeights trains future leaders
A free neighborhood leadership-training event will be held on April 28 at Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian. FutureHeights will help participants learn how to identify community issues, recruit neighbors and take action at the neighborhood level. Chris McKee from the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative (MVOC), and Trevelle Harp, of the Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH), will share their extensive knowledge about community organizing.
Most people, if not all, want a neighborhood that is inviting, desirable, beautiful, and accommodating to everyone’s needs. In addition to help from the community, it takes vision to make this happen. Neighborhood leadership and creating that vision are at the core of making a noticeable difference. As a Japanese proverb suggests, “Vision without action is a daydream, and action without vision is a nightmare.”
McKee’s organization, MVOC, holds training events throughout Ohio. These sessions are designed to teach new leadership techniques; show how to weave one’s faith and values into practical action; examine the role of power and self-interest in community organizing; and find a way of working on systemic issues of social justice, all of which helps strengthen the local organization and the community. (See www.mvorganizing.org/involved/training for more information.)
Harp’s organization, NOAH, typically focuses first on organizing as block clubs. Through intensive listening campaigns to identify issues that the community feels are most important, NOAH then helps residents organize to act on those issues. Successful community events have included round table discussions between residents and officials of East Cleveland, Fresh Foods for East Cleveland, and helping to organize people around the abandoned and vacant housing in that city.
Space is limited. RSVP by calling 216-320-1423 or visiting www.futureheights.org.
Support for this free program is provided by the Cyrus Eaton Foundation. All that is needed are leaders. Step forward now.
Chris Hanson is a senior in the Urban Studies program at Cleveland State University, a consultant at The Urban Cash Cow, and an intern at FutureHeights.