The Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative received a $10,000 grant from The Community Foundation For Greater Buffalo to launch an innovative community conversations initiative to improve race and social equity.
The initiative seeks to engage residents throughout the City of Niagara Falls through a series of small talks or conversations. These are hosted in residents’ homes or intimate public spaces. Conversations will address variety of societal issues and include an educational component.
The initiative has multiple objectives as it seeks to create a positive outlet for discussing community concerns, create awareness of current issues, educate participants on civic responsibilities including the importance of voting, provide guidance in terms of engagement and actionable steps to improve the community, and encourage individuals to lead change.
The series of conversations will conclude with a large community conversation convention open to all.
A press release said The Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative has supported several resident-driven projects and hopes that, through this initiative, additional projects will take form.
The community conversations initiative is led by Brian Archie and Keyona Dunn, both part of the executive team of the collaborative. A press release said they “strongly believe in the power of small community conversations. They have been trained by the Kettering Foundation in their public deliberation workshop and are excited to continue to lead community conversations through the support of this grant.”
“We are making connection through conversations” Dunn said. “In fact, we meet people where they are and hope that these conversations will spark motivation among participants to reconnect with their civic responsibilities, including their right to vote.”
The public is invited to contact Archie and Dunn if they would like to take part in the initiative as a host or participants.
“We aim to engage and empower the four corners of Niagara Falls by creating a safe space for residents to be heard collectively” Archie said. “In turn, we hope this turns into action. Community conversations is all inclusive and is specifically designed to help remove barriers keeping us from moving forward toward an improved community.”
The Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative is a civic and community multi-sector collaborative whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for fully engaging the community and bringing innovative approaches to creating a healthier Niagara Falls. The CHNFC gives opportunities to residents to become change agents. Residents of the City of Niagara Falls work together with local nonprofit organizations, business, and faith community to address issues that impact the health and well-being of the city and its residents.