Neighbor Link-Up & Neighborhood Association Support
Neighbors value getting to know each other better, looking out for one another with caring relationships, and feeling a sense of community. Activities include conversations around the table, block parties, and supporting the renewal of Neighborhood Associations (a city initiative). CCD Board Member and owner of Prosperity Business & Consulting Marquis Childers, Jr. is also on the Executive Board of the Neighborhood Associations of Michigan (Vice President) and has helped create the Muskegon Heights Neighborhood Associations Council, with representatives from associations across the city who gather together to discuss common goals and actions for change. A resident charter was created, it sets a standard for how developers, elected officials, city workers, and others can and should engage with citizens of Muskegon Heights. Neighborhood Associations bring the power of organizing but also form locally trusted communications sources among residents.
Partnerships that Empower
CCD is a small organization, but the value of its roots in the Muskegon Heights community is large. When we enter into partnerships and collaborations with larger organizations, we do so with critical evaluation of the ways in which we participate, alignment of goals and missions, stewardship and recognition of any information or content created, and ongoing interest and involvement of residents in the process. One recent partnership was with a project called the "South Heights Photovoice Initiative," a partnership with Muskegon Community Health Innovation Region. The group of residents who participated steered the direction of the process, discussed and decided on content, and retained full control of production and design decisions for images and narratives included. The group also decided when and how to present the public exhibition of the materials, and continue to be involved in how and when the exhibition is displayed. Please view the brief video of the process here, and the full exhibition booklet PDF version here. CCD continues to work with the Photovoice group to help move the ideas contained within the initiative forward. The Livability Lab teams 1 & 2 are in part a result of the ideas from this initiative. To learn about other community collaborations and partnerships, please see our Year In Review report here.
2020 Next up: Resident interest in civic engagement and policy change, health disparities, economic empowerment and ownership
As our community is looking to gain better representation and influence in local, state, and federal decision-making and policies, we have heard from residents that more information about the census (which determines allocation of federal dollars and resources to a community) and about voting issues and processes would be helpful. See the "Words into Action" series that kicked off on September 19 (flyer and full video available at bottom of page). Let us know if you'd like to know more about how to get involved with the civic engagement efforts.
In response to COVID-19, CCD created an ad hoc committee/task force to work with residents on filling in gaps in communication - either directly or by collaborating with other organizations to secure resources requested by residents.
Economic growth and wealth-building is an area where residents have voiced a need, especially young adults just starting or growing their career who would like to see Muskegon Heights as a welcome and supportive destination for entrepreneurs and business-owners. Some CCD Board Members are also involved with Muskegon Young Black Professionals (MYBP), the Muskegon Heights Business Association, and other groups and we encourage residents to add their energy and ideas to the discussions, so CCD can find ways to be supportive of efforts to move forward in the area of economic empowerment.
Click here to watch full video of the INSPIRING
Sept. 19 presentation!