Fighting Poverty with Passion
On November 19, 2016, Mayor Landrieu’s Neighborhood Engagement Office hosted the City of New Orleans Neighborhood Summit. This year’s theme was Celebrating Neighborhoods: Embracing the Power of Collaboration. For many people, New Orleans is a city made of neighborhoods. Even though the neighborhoods are separated by wards and parishes New Orleans is very community centered. I believe that it is very empowering when people of the community can come to recognize that the people who live within the community have the power to change it.
This summit is meant to celebrate the history, diversity, and strength of the city’s neighborhoods. This summit was first held in 2012. The day was filled with theme workshops and a resource fair. People had the opportunity to network and meet other community leaders. It is important that we are aware of things that happening on a local level. There are so many things that happen on a local level that we are not aware about. There are many elections that we an particopate in besides the presidential one. In fact, we don’t just elect at the presidential level, and it is just as important that we are able to vote on a local level as well. Most of the decisions that are made at a local level affect our communities the most.
Starting out, when I found out about this event, I wanted to make sure that all of the VISTAS knew about this event. Most the work that we do is community focused and we are a strong group of VISTAS who believe in the power of collaboration. On most of our professional development days, often times we share with each other resources and ideas that can help our organizations grow ad improve. It was great to see other VISTAS at this event.
This event was very popular, when I went to see if there were any more spots available there wasn’t. So, what I decided to do was reach out to the coordinator and see if I could volunteer. In less than two days, I received a response. The coordinator was very happy that I wanted to help out with the event. I was just as excited to know that I had the opportunity to volunteer. What I learned most from this situation, was that if you want something, go get it. It made me recognize just how powerful asking can be.
After the summit was over, later in the day to follow up, there was a soiree. At this event, there was a dinner with the mayor and community leaders were recognized and given awards. The youngest person that was given an award was in high school. The oldest person who recognized was in his eighties. You ca make a change at any period of your life.
Overall, what I learned from this event was that leadership does not stop at any age. Most people spend their lives working to better their communities so that future leaders can rise. Ultimately, I look forward to seeing what other experiences I could encounter just by asking.