Letter from the CEO & Chairman
Neighborhood & Economic Development, Inc. was founded on the premise that; real change happens when ordinary people get involved at all levels–including the higher levels. If we want to deliver on our promises of high-quality programs, economic vitality and sustainable community impact–we don’t have to look to government to solve our problems. The answers are within me and you–we will have to find better ways to lead more inclusively and run our companies and programs more effectively.
One big way of doing this is creating an ecosystem of leadership where our constituency’s direct experience with social injustices and desire for change is valued as pre-qualifying criteria to begin carrying out a number of our different objectives. We don’t realize how damaging it is to have so few of our constituency involved in the study/work of driving community impact at the higher levels. They bring an understanding of current conditions that even the most credible statistics often blanket. Local leadership who treats their constituency as anything less than their №1 they’re missing out on untapped talent that could strengthen research and community impact.
I find that disengaged low income residents may meet their expectations of paying taxes and voting but do not expend discretionary energy on their community. Common drivers and or suppressors of community engagement is the sum of direct experience with social injustices that our community leaders and elected officials work tirelessly to improve. A good place for us to start is by leveraging our leadership to influence personal development and career opportunities relative to experiences with injustices and the desire for change. Incorporating community ideas, and connecting their involvement with the program, organization or respective city’s overall goals.
A good place to start with this is mentorship. While this solution isn’t necessarily expensive, it would entail some investment from both parties. The key requirement is to exercise the courage and vision to intentionally create a highly engaged culture in every corner across this country beginning in the neighborhoods that needs it most.
CEO & Chairman
Neighborhood & Economic Development, Inc. 501 c 3