United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, in partnership with innovation firm gravitytank, convened its second summit for United Way Neighborhood Network partner communities, this time inviting a cohort of Auburn Gresham, Cicero, South Chicago, Robbins/Blue Island and Bronzeville. The summit took place on January 27 and 28, and focused on identifying the needs in communities and evaluating approaches to meeting those needs.
Some highlights of the gathering were the “Story of Self” exercise where attendees developed a compelling story from their experience and learned how to use it as a tool for community outreach and engagement. On the second day of the summit, Neighborhood Network partners worked in cross-coalition groups, discussing how to work with and mobilize faith-based institutions, the business sector and local parents and youth.
Groups also participated in a storyboarding exercise where they envisioned a desired end outcome for their work. Attendees developed new considerations and insights about the realities and challenges that a target stakeholder may face and thought of creative and meaningful strategies to overcome those barriers.
Overall, the summit was a big success, with new relationships formed and Neighborhood Network partners expressing a resounding appreciation for the opportunity to learn from and with each other.
United Way continues to support and work with Neighborhood Network partners as they form and begin implementation of plans for improving the communities in which they serve and live. The Neighborhood Network communities of Cicero, West Chicago, Auburn Gresham and South Chicago are making great progress toward establishing bold goals for their communities, which we anticipate announcing in July and August.