Updated: Dec 3, 2018
November 27, 2018
By Erica Pike, Vital Village Network
The original version of this post by was published in Vital Village's Blog and can be accessed here.
It was not long after Vital Village closed the doors at the 2017 Leadership Summit: Building Wellness through the Power of Advocacy, last year, that we set forward thinking about what we could do for the 2018 Leadership Summit. Each year we aim to spotlight the strengths of Network members and convene new and existing members of the Network to learn alongside & from one another through the annual summit.
Keeping in mind the lessons learned from participants’ feedback of past Summits, we hoped to increase collaboration & opportunities for networking throughout this years’ co-hosted summit, “Community Resiliency: Roots of Collective Empowerment”.
From start to finish, attendees were engaged and reflective of how to put new skills into practice and foster the new or expanding connections with Network members to enhance their leadership in community approaches to child and family wellbeing efforts in Boston. In the Summit evaluation, one attendee reflected: “I always appreciate the opportunity to fellowship with other folks who are interested, dedicated to, and working to actualize social justice... I was happy to be a part of it.” Most attendees felt they gained storytelling tools and advocacy skills from attending the summit and they appreciated the time to network and build community. See full feedback here on our Data Dashboard.
With an Executive Planning Committee that reflected the diversity of our network, we had resident leaders, organization partners, and advisers who co-hosted the event and made strategic decisions collaboratively. The process of co-hosting was said to be “intentional, respectful and a true collaborative effort.”
Recognizing that local and national injustice must be met with collective power, the Planning Committee began discussing themes for the summit. Together they crafted “Community Resiliency: Roots of Collective Empowerment,” with three participant tracks: Criminal Justice, Civic Engagement, and More than a Story. The tracks inspired invitations to some new and existing Vital Village Network members and partners to present their community-driven solutions - such as Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Union Capital of Boston, Family Matters Program at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, and Medical Legal Partnership of Boston.
With over 130 attendees and presenters at our 5th annual summit, the Network celebrated the accomplishments in resilience and made progress in deeping our collective roots. View photos from the Summit on our Facebook page here.
We thank our many network members who came as participants, those who facilitated workshops and our key sponsors and co-hosts: Boston Alliance for Young Children’s Social Emotional Wellness (BACSEW), the Boston Family Engagement Network at the Family Nurturing Center, Phenomenal Moms, Boston Public Health Commission Father Friendly Initiative, Rosalyn Johnson, Flour Bakery, Down Home Delivery, and Panera Bread.