2017 Neighborhood Summit: Building Equitable Futures

By, Mahi

The Neighborhood Summit for the year 2017 was held in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. The government of Cincinnati is committed in providing the best possible services for its people. The city with its focus on the economic growth and prosperity of its citizens serves as Hamilton Country’s County seat.  2017 Neighborhood Summit, which was held in Cincinnati, exemplified the dedication of the government as well as the eminent community members towards sustainable neighborhoods. This year, the Neighborhood Summit was held on March 11, 2017 at the Cintas Center. The theme for this year’s Neighborhood Summit was “Building Equitable Futures”. The event focused on building the just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate and reach their full potential.

The event opening was done by the Mayor- John Cranley, who expressed his profound gratitude for the presence of the community members in the esteemed gathering, and stressed upon the theme of the Summit and calling it the “need of the hour”. The plenary of the event was Eileen Cooper Reed.  Eileen showcased the itinerary of the Summit to the attendees and headed towards the formal proceedings of the day. Eileen is a highly regarded and well-known Cincinnati activist, she was the president of the Cincinnati Public Schools Board and she is working currently to advance the intersections in equity.

The Summit included the awards ceremony comprising the annual neighborhood community awards, given by the Vice Mayor, David Mann. The Engage Cincy winners were announced by City Manager, Harry Black. One of the main highlights of the Summit was the “Building Equity Workshops”, which consisted of a series of active and engaging sessions aiming to explore equity building in communities as it relates to education, infrastructure, economy, transportation, safety and health. The series of sessions and workshop was led by Don Joyner, Sarah Corlett, and Jeffrey Stec.

In the Summit, various thought-provoking sessions entitled to focus on Social Equity for Parks and Recreation, How Co-living can build a community, a collaborative approach to neighborhood vitality, leveling the playing field with your city budget, making Cincinnati a better place for all youth, and others were delivered to upskill the awareness of equity management in the neighborhood. The revitalization of widespread neighborhoods and their growth is unsustainable without the equity of access, opportunity, including the broader spectrum which covers housings, jobs, civic participation, health and education.

The theme of this year, “Building Equitable Futures” urged the community for coming forward and together to face the challenges which are faced by all and bring forward innovative solutions to the problems which will shape a better future for all. Workshops on topics such as building equity, refining ideas and planning next steps, solutions gallery walk and similar topics simulated careful consideration about rising problems and their solutions among participants.

These sessions allowed the summit attendees to be a part of a facilitated and guided workshop during any part of the day which they found comfortable to participate. Group activities demanded that the community members in the form of small groups were to work on an equity issue which is faced by the people who suffer from inequity. These community members explored the equity issue, brainstormed creative solutions and unique ideas around the problem, identified the opportunities that could be developed and planned the potential steps which led to the solution of the problem.

The participants of the workshops:

  • Explored the problem at hand
  • Brainstormed various solutions around the problem
  • Refined ideas and planed next steps which should be taken in order to solve the problem
  • Then, at the end produced a solutions gallery which depicted the solution to the problem

The 2017 Neighborhood Summit was refreshing, and simulating with challenging opportunities to hunt and find plausible solutions to the problems of inequity. Attendees had an opportunity to forward their ideas, engage socially and participate in the series of workshops which was done through a creative approach of problem solving in which the assets, needs and wants of the people who are suffering from inequity was dealt and focused on.

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