Keeping Up with Isaiah

Keeping Up with Isaiah

  Isaiah, a Young Leader, is a hilarious yet quiet young man who lives in Brookland Park. He has been working with Embrace for the past year on various community initiatives such as cutting grass for his neighbors. He is excited to join the Young Leaders program. The Young Leaders program begins with a readiness phase that trains all youth in asset-based community development. Isaiah has completed this training. Each Young Leader also receives one on one mentoring. Through this mentoring, Young Leaders are able to share their personal and professional goals. In Isaiah’s case, he shared dreams of becoming a chef, learning about business and becoming more social. Another component of the Young Leaders program is the opportunity for youth to gain hands on experience in community storytelling and organizing. Isaiah is interested in collecting the stories of neighborhood teens with the goal of getting them more active. His next step will be to complete training in community listening where he will begin interviewing long time residents and teens. Isaiah believes that both trainings will not only launch him on the path to getting teens more active but will introduce him to more neighbors-thus making him more social. This is one example of how the Young Leaders program helps teens meet personal, professional and community goals. Please stay tuned and we will keep you posted on Isaiah’s journey as a Young...

Jammin’ on the Boulevard!

Jammin’ on the Boulevard was “jamming!” This event was a result of the Music Action team’s goal of bringing the community together around musical talents. The event took place in the parking lot beside Nomad’s Deli.  Brookland Park neighbors danced, clapped, listened and shared neighborhood stories. Several singers performed popular songs, gospels and oldies. Our, DJ Norman Washington, made the event inviting and kept the high energy going! The group of neighbors were full of diverse talent but the diversity in age, creed, culture and race was remarkable. The group joined hands at the end to sing ‘Lean on Me’ as we left to walk back to our homes. This event helped Brookland Park appreciate the beauty of their neighborhood.     This slideshow requires...

Brookland Park Collective Meeting

Have you ever met neighbors that are willing to meet frequently, engage in monthly activities and prepare close to gourmet style, home made dinners for their evening meetings? We have. We’ve witnessed  sincere community work evidenced in the way the Brookland Park Collective members participate, laugh and discuss with each other. The atmosphere formed from block clubs and action teams feels light and nurturing. In late May, this group gathered together once again at All Souls Presbyterian Church to touch base about the exciting happenings in Brookland Park. Leroy, our strategic implementation manager, worked to facilitate conversation about next steps for each action team. The music action team(stay tuned!) was able to nail down times that they would practice. Resident led events were recapped and new neighbors shared their testimony of feeling included. One couple shared that they planned to take an evening stroll but did not end up completing it because they stopped to say hello to a neighbor and ended up chatting for hours. These are just some of the outcomes that community bonding can bring. The Brookland Park Collective meets every other month from 6:00-8:00 pm. If you live in the Brookland Park area and are interested in joining the collective or want to engage with a block club on your street contact Leroy Jefferson at leroy@embracerichmond.org.  ...

Brookland Park Community Clean Up

Monthly, residents of Brookland Park take pride in their community by cleaning up public spaces. In May, Embrace Richmond engaged in the RVA Clean Sweep partnering with  Minister V, the founder of Youth Ministry Entertainment (Y-Me), the Battery Park Civic Association and the North Central Civic Association. Community clean ups not only beautify the area but build community relationships increasing social trust and social capital. These are important outcomes of Embrace’s work towards building communities based on resident assets. If you are interested in joining in this community building event join us on Saturday, June 17th from 10:00- 11:30 am. The group will meet at the Battery Park Community Center located at 2803 Dupont Circle, Richmond, VA 23222. Please remember to wear clothes toe shoes and bring a bottle of water!...
Mission Shift Training Staunton UMC

Mission Shift Training Staunton UMC

  On May 23rd, Wendy McCaig facilitated the second session of Mission Shift Training with more than 70 individual lay and pastoral leaders.  This training was hosted by the Staunton District of the United Methodist Church and churches came from across the region.  This training was unique because of the number of congregational leaders seeking to implement asset-based principles in a rural context.  This is important because according to the Wall Street Journal, rural counties rank the worst compared to medium or small metro areas, big cities and suburbs in regard to measures of socioeconomic well being.  In the past, the worst rankings were found in urban areas. There was a wonderful energy to this group as they shared ideas on how to contextualize the Asset-based Community Development model.  It was exciting to see them tailor the principles to their community. They gave examples of how their various churches were building stronger communities through their various missions efforts.  This collaborative conversation was the highlight of the training for many. Below are a few quotes from the participants in this training: “I am hopeful. These aren’t just concepts…they are proven!” “I realize that ministry is not just about “giving” but about relationship.” “The tools I learned today were most rewarding!” If you are interested in receiving or learning more about ABCD visit here or email Wendy at wendy@embracerichmond.org.  Ademy, J., Overberg, P. (2017, May 26).Rural America Is the New “Inner City”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from...
Welcoming Jackie as Embrace’s Operations Manager!

Welcoming Jackie as Embrace’s Operations Manager!

Embrace welcomes Jackie Washington with open arms! As a recent master’s degree holder from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work Advanced Standing program, Jackie brings a refreshing perspective to our work.  For the past 5 years, Jackie has been working at the intersection of families, communities and development in areas of revitalization, social justice and collective trauma. She understands Richmond’s history and is informed by the cultural fabric of this city. In fact, she sees this fabric as Richmond’s greatest asset. Most importantly, she practices social work from a strengths based approach.  This aligns well with Embrace’s asset-based community development work. Jackie wants to empower residents to lead themselves. To do so, she will be developing our Young Leaders program. She hopes to incorporate innovative ways to engage young people that will excite them to lead their communities. She hopes to assist them by sharing her knowledge about leadership, community trust building and organizing. Jackie will also assist with Embrace’s sustainability through fund development and communications.  She is open to meeting other community leaders that will aid in furthering Embrace’s mission. Contact her...