Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s LaTisha Vaughn and Trident United Way’s Amanda Lawrence have been chosen to present at the 2020 Collective Impact Convening event May 6-8, 2020, in Minneapolis, MN. Their proposal, addressing “authentic engagement,” was chosen by the Collective Impact Forum from more than 120 submitted proposals.
Vaughn and Lawrence submitted and were chosen to present their session, entitled “Engaging vs. Engagement” which will explore the differences between planning for versus planning with a community that has its own lived experiences.
“For too long, organizations, although well intended, have planned for communities instead of planning with communities to solve problems,” said LaTisha Vaughn, TCCC’s Director of Networks. “Communities of need do not lack insight into their barriers, challenges or solutions, they lack critical connections and resources to be able to effectively create and implement solutions.”
Planning with communities in need ensures that critical insight and first-hand, lived experiences lead to the right issues or barriers being tackled. It ensures that the community is empowered to find solutions that work for them rather than an organization supporting a pre-determined and uninformed solution for a community.
Vaughn and Lawrence’s presentation will also explore tools and techniques used to help ensure authentic community engagement, creation of initiatives using a lens of equity and knowledge of what best practices work well and what roadblocks to avoid to maintain momentum for community engagement and improvement.
Their presentation grew from a nine-month learning journey, the result of The Cradle to Career Community Challenge grant initiative. The grant program, funded by the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, a national movement working to improve results for 10.5 million students across the country, seeks to implement local changes that enable economic mobility for children and families in need. The goal is to strengthen and align areas, such as education, employment, health and housing, that shape opportunity for children and families.
Through this grant program, TCCC has partnered with local nonprofits Trident United Way, Father to Father, Inc. and Metanoia to learn more about how to authentically engage the local community and support learning opportunities to make sure all children are Kindergarten ready.
The Collective Impact Forum, an initiative of FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, supports the efforts of those who are practicing collective impact in the field. This year’s Collective Impact Convening will build on the success of the 2019 convening in Chicago that sold out in advance and attracted more than 800 funders, backbone leaders, and other collective impact community partners.