The following post was written by Kendall Reingold, summer intern for the Alliance for Children and Families Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building. She is an undergraduate student who has been assisting with the planning of the 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference.
The 2014 Neighborhood Revitalization Conference is proud to present a workshop that will provide an inside look at successful strategies to engage community members in improving their own health and wellness. Featuring speakers from two Alliance member organizations, United Neighborhood Houses of New York and the Gary Comer Youth Center, as well as Aramark, an Alliance partner, the workshop offers three unique perspectives.
Jerica Broeckling, Program Manager of the Aramark Building Communities program at the Alliance for Children and Families will facilitate the workshop, entitled: “Using Authentic Engagement to Improve Health Outcomes.” The panel will include Terry Kaelber, Director of Community Engagement Projects at United Neighborhood Houses of New York; Ayoka Samuels, Senior Program Director at the Gary Comer Youth Center; and Michelle Jordan, Director of Community Relations at Aramark.
The presenters are committed to the importance of authentic engagement strategies. Mr. Kaelber explains, “Working to increase access to and use of healthy food often involves changing individual eating habits. Social norms drive eating habits and can be the doorway to changing individual behaviors. To impact social norms, a level of deep community engagement is needed.” For Kaelber, this means “projects must be driven and led by local residents, who are involved at the earliest points of idea generation and planning, are invested in through skill building and training opportunities, and who become partners and leaders throughout implementation and evaluation. Such approaches are built upon relationships and a commitment to partnering, both of which take time and tremendous effort, but the rewards and impact can be significant and long-lasting.”
Authentic engagement is a longstanding principle of community-based organizations, although the term itself is relatively new to the lexicon. This workshop is sure to help your organization realize its potential for positive authentic engagement outcomes. Register for the conference online to attend this workshop, which will take place on Thursday, July 24th, the first day of the conference.
Early bird registration for the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference in D.C. is available online until July 7. For the latest details about the conference and these presenters, stay tuned on Twitter. Follow UNHNY, Aramark, the Gary Comer Youth Center, and the Alliance’s Center for Engagement and Neighborhood Building, and keep up with conference news using the hashtag #NRC14.