Community Engagement at the Forefront
Community engagement is a critical part of all that we do. Last month, Tanishia Johnson, Manager of Community and Family Empowerment, attended the Community Engagement Partners (CEP) network convening in San Antonio, Texas. Partners from across the country discussed the creative ways community engagement has strengthened schools, communities and families. Highlighting the unique social and political dynamics in cities across the network, attendees engaged in the planning of building coalitions to address cross-sector inequities, and considered how they are measuring and communicating about the impact of their work. The group immersed themselves in San Antonio history, including both community assets and systemic inequities across systems, explored CEP’s Community Engagement Framework through the lens of local lessons and member reflections and explored the unique political and social dynamics impacting their work.
Those learnings were brought home and helped to inform our community stakeholder meetings with regard to how ROC the Future engages the community in its work. Two meetings were held that included members from grass roots organizations, faith based organizations, parents and educators. The group discussed various factors impacting community and family engagement and ways in which RtF can be different in its approach, given its unique systemic approach to change and improve outcomes. Our goal is to use the input from this group to develop a set of recommendations on community engagement for ROC the Future moving forward.