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Community Development Workshop Brings Over 250 Neighborhood and Community Leaders

On  March 9, LISC partnered with Community Capital Fund, UMKC’s Center for Neighborhoods, and Livable Neighborhoods to host the 7th Annual Community Development Workshop (CDW) at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.

This year we partnered with Youth Ambassadors - an educational, nonprofit employment program designed to empower underserved youth with the knowledge that they as teenagers have a vital voice - to incorporate the youth voice into the break-out sessions and to lead a multi-media Youth Speak event (like a poetry slam but with sound, and journal writings read aloud by the youth). They were great! Their performance and presence at the CDW even led to several new partnerships and paid leadership opportunities for their youth.  

LISC Program Officer, Amanda Wilson, led a 2-hour session on community safety that included fast-paced presentations from neighborhood leaders and nonprofit organizations on what they have done in partnership with law enforcement to create a safer community by conducting outreach and cleanups with residents, proactively addressing code violations, solving nuisance activity around businesses and agencies, and installing surveillance cameras in hotspots. Speakers included Debbie Bayless with Center for Conflict Resolution, Cassie Weck with Jerusalem Farm, Blake Hensley with Northland Neighborhoods Inc., Linda Brown with Blue Hills Neighborhood Association, Bryan Stalder with Indian Mound Neighborhood Association, Major Doug Niemeier with Kansas City Police Department, Joe Mazzei with SmartPro KC, and Alecia Kates with Cameras for Good. Also incorporated into the session were reflections from Youth Ambassador students on what makes them feel safe and unsafe in their neighborhood and what neighborhood associations can do to make them feel welcome and safe.

For the complete CDW program, click here. Look for an announcement later this year for the next CDW!

*Banner Photo Credit: Brandon Frederick, ideation exercise by Neighborhood Artist Residency on Troost  


Amanda Wilson