2015: Our Most Impactful Year

2015: Our Most Impactful Year

As we reflect on this past year, the word that comes to mind is impactful. At the beginning of 2015, we were engaged in asset-based community development efforts in two neighborhoods. At the end of 2015, we are blessed to be supporting efforts in seven neighborhoods with two more community engagement efforts under development. This rapid expansion in asset-based community development efforts across Metro Richmond is the direct result of the hard work of our community partners who successfully completed both our Mission Shift training programs and the summer Dream Catcher projects. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to train over 200 church and community leaders in ABCD in 2015. The video below contains the highlights of this past year: The most exciting achievement this year was the expansion of the Dream Catcher project which engaged over 20 neighborhood youth in the community building efforts in their neighborhoods. As a result of their hard work, seven new action teams were formed. These teams are addressing issues of safety, community connectedness, economic revitalization, school strengthening and youth activities. Below is a short video about this project: Additionally, Embrace Richmond turned 10 years old this year and celebrated our 10 year journey with nearly 100 of our closest friends and supporters. We have captured the highlights of this 10 year journey in this video. The amazing year we had would not have been possible without our community partners, our donors, our wonderful staff, the hardworking neighborhood leaders, our board of directors and the countless volunteers who have served so faithfully. Please help us make 2016 even more impactful by...
A Peek at Our Present : The Dreamcatcher Outcomes

A Peek at Our Present : The Dreamcatcher Outcomes

Here are the shared dreams that came out of our summer Dream Catcher projects:  North Central Neighborhood: 1. Healthier educational opportunities for junior high and high school students in the Northside area, starting with a listening project to discover what our students would do to improve their educational opportunities. 2. Micro-enterprise development to help fuel the revitalization of Brookland Park Blvd, starting with a young artist co-op that helps our youth turn their talents into a small micro-business that could potentially draw more residents to Brookland Park. 3. A continued desire for greater community unity including honest conversations about race in our rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, as well as an intentional block-by-block community building effort to help neighbors develop deeper connections with one another.   Broadwater Townhomes: 1. More family friendly activities that help neighbors build relationships, such as cookouts, a community garden, prayer team, parent support group, and play groups. 2. Improved recreational and fitness opportunities, such as a basketball court, better access to the weight room, a boxing club, teen-only swim times, an improved playground, and a lifeguard at the pool. 3. More opportunities for youth to excel, such as a robotics workshop and study groups.   Lincoln Mews / North Oak Apartments:       1. Improved relationships between residents through better conflict resolution and increased respect for one another and the neighborhood in general; starting with a row-by-row connecting strategy to help residents build stronger relationships with one another. 2. More community-wide events, such as cookouts, community conversations, and parent support groups. 3. More opportunities for the youth to engage in positive activities, such as an arts...
Seeking The Good Community

Seeking The Good Community

The three young people chose a simple name for their ideal community they were building. “The Good Community,” one young man said. Inside the Good Community, there would be block parties for the kids, a swimming pool with a diving board, a playground with swings, and animals. A sign would rise above the tranquility. “No Trespassing.” You would need to pass through metal detectors to enter The Good Community. “There’s no violence,” the young man said. Here, in the Hillside Court public housing community, the young people know the truth – so many of the problems come from the outside. Inside Hillside, there are plenty of gifted people who care deeply about these children, people working to make this a Better Community. To support their efforts, Embrace Richmond has awarded the Hillside Court Partnership (HCP) a $500 Dream Catcher Grant for summer 2015. It will enable young people who gathered Tuesday – for pizza and a hard look at what Hillside Court is today and what it can be – to hit the streets this summer along with friends from HCP partner The Brandermill Church, capturing the dreams of neighbors and looking for common vision to pursue for a brighter future. At a table across the room, three more young people used Legos and colored pens to design their ideal community. They called it, “The Virginia Union Express.” “All the people in the community are one, that’s why (we chose) Union,” a young man said. He echoed the sentiments of those who designed The Good Community. “It’s non-violent,” he said. The world as they know it now? “When it...