Kicking off Community Heart & Soul

The resident-driven process engages the entire population of a town in identifying what they love most about their community, what future they want for it, and how to achieve it.

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On May 17, Nebraskans from across the state gathered virtually to learn about Community Heart & Soul. This resident-driven process engages the entire population of a town in identifying what they love most about their community, what future they want for it, and how to achieve it.
Developed and field-tested over a decade in partnership with over 100 small cities and towns across America, Community Heart & Soul is a proven process for engaging a community in shaping its future. 
Shontele Orr, former Heart & Soul project coordinator in Cascade, Iowa, shared how benefits have come to her community since going through the process. These wins include more youth involvement, support for a new library, and even new volunteers who have become more involved and since been elected to the city council. 
Orr said what drew her community to the process was that Heart & Soul was its focus on involving the whole community in decision making.
“From a board or city council perspective it seems like you hear from the people who show up, but you don’t necessarily hear from the people who don’t show up … You always kind of wonder, ‘are you doing the right thing?'” With Community Heart & Soul, she says Cascade leaders were excited to learn how to engage young and old, longtime residents and newcomers, different income levels, and different demographics to know what the community really wanted. 
Hosted by Civic Nebraska, this webinar introduced Community Heart & Soul and why it works as a process for communities to find new ways of working together. Participants got to ask questions to seasoned Community Heart & Soul participants and coaches who have experienced the process and its impact firsthand. Contact Daniel at Civic Nebraska to start the conversation about whether Community Heart & Soul might be a good fit for your town. 
Webinar presenters include: 
Daniel Bennett, Rural Civic Health Program Manager & Community Heart & Soul Coach, Civic Nebraska
Shontele Orr, Former Project Coordinator, Cascade, Iowa, Community Heart & Soul
Jason Neises, Heart & Soul Coordinator, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque
Sara Lightner, Senior Director, Community Heart & Soul
 

 

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