United Way Community Conversations reveal desires for improved neighborhoods and expanded opportunties

Letitia Robertson, Sr. Associate (Education) Community Impact at United Way

Letitia Robertson, Sr. Education Associate for Community Impact at United Way (standing, left), talks with young mothers about what they desire for the community as part of a recent United Way Community Conversation.

There’s a lot of discussion across the Mid-South about goals and aspirations for our area – and much of it comes from United Way’s “Community Conversations” being conducted at locations across the region.

United Way is bringing groups of people together to talk about their desires for  community, giving United Way an  expanded perspective on addressing local  challenges. Using information and insights from the conversations, United Way is examining local area priorities, creating strategies and aligning resources to address the issues that really matter for local citizens. The process is helping inform our Strategic Plan work, which is a big part of steering United Way into the future.

Community ConversationsDuring a community conversation last week at the Shelby County Early Head Start Center in South Memphis, mothers and other residents in the 38126 zip code spoke about their pride in the local community and what would make it even better. Many spoke about their desires for a safer, more physically active and more economically productive community, stressing the need for more jobs. The group also discussed the need for greater amounts of quality childcare for children up to age 4 and their desires for more positives outlets for youth to have fun and be active.

LaTonya Taylor, Early Head Start Family Services Advocate with Renaissance Head Start, believes it is important for more people to have a greater understanding of resources that are already available. “There are resources available for us in our community. A great part of having these conversations with families is, we get a greater idea of what their needs are.”

“I am really thankful United Way has come to engage with our local parents and find out what they desire for our community,” Taylor said.

If you are interested in participating in an upcoming United Way Community Conversation, there are “at large” meetings planned for Thursday, May 30, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Friday, June 21, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Please contact Letitia Robertson, United Way’s Sr. Associate, (Education) Community Impact at letitia.robertson@uwmidsouth.org or call 901.433.4314 to make a reservation.

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