2015 Resident Leadership Program
by Chandel Gibbs, Resident Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA Member
This past Thursday, NHS hosted the final installment of our 2015 Resident Leadership Program. Our very own Jim Paley, NHS’ Executive Director, facilitated the last workshop: “Effectively Using Community Resources.” Jim started the workshop by showing the class a series of historic videos and images: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech; the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing; Watts riots; Ferguson riots; and Baltimore riots. Participants then wrote down the first thought that came to mind when viewing these images. This activity stimulated an in-depth discussion of community cohesion and chaos.
Jim’s objective was to figure out ways to bring about constructive change within communities. Participants learned about the Elements of Resident Leadership, including building teams to accomplish goals; the importance of forming alliances with police to enhance community policing; and identifying needs and finding resources to catalyze community change.
At the end of the class, we held our graduation ceremony for the RLP participants – complete with cake!
We asked participants to write down their ideas for community projects to undertake now that they had completed the RLP. Here are a few of their goals:
- “Project at overseas vision: help ensure women, youth, and children cultivate sustainable development in Indonesia.”
- “Develop and beautify resident veggie garden at 73-75 Kensington Street. This garden connects with new NHS property at Edgewood Ave.”
- “Bring lights into Huntington/Sheppard green space and camera at the corner.”
- “As a city, I think it’s important to optimize our bus system and make more direct routes between neighborhoods that don’t stop Downtown always. Also: more lines that run past 7pm.”
- “I would like to get more resources to people/families who have ‘family’ gardens.”