Sprockets Citywide Meeting: Strengthening Community, Taking Action

Over 50 youth workers, representing 30 different organizations, attended Sprockets’ first Citywide team meeting of the year, gathering for a morning of networking, community building, and idea generating. Also joining were special guest panelists and Rondo residents Melvin Giles (Community Peacemaker), Aubriana Jackson (Rondo: Beyond the Pavement film crew), Tia Williams (Frogtown Neighborhood Association), and Toua Xiong (Hmongtown Market). With an emphasis on community, panelists were asked to describe their connections to, and passion for, the Rondo Neighborhood. Continually expressed were concerns regarding gentrification, housing, and community disinvestment, especially as a result of the construction of 1-94 whose devastating legacy remains pervasive today. Despite these systemic issues, panelists affirmed the cultural and social community wealth of knowledge and experiences that continue to thrive in Rondo.Inspired by the experiences and wisdom shared in the panel, youth workers spent the rest of the meeting exploring two main questions:

1. What are youth and families telling us are the gaps/needs?

2. What supports do we need to best meet the needs of our youth and families?

 Community wealth and investment, cultural responsiveness, family engagement and inclusive spaces were a few of the numerous themes that emerged from group conversations. Ultimately, youth workers were challenged to reflect on how their youth work must be situated in the various communities they serve, while also recognizing and responding to how aspects and/or issues affecting communities also impact the experiences of the young people they work with.                                          


Moving Forward

Following the Citywide Team Meeting, Sprockets staff compiled and presented a list of themes from the meeting, to the Sprockets Community Advisory Council (CAC) earlier this month. CAC members reviewed the themes, identified priority areas to address, and brainstormed several action items. Next steps will include Sprockets staff and CAC calling together action teams around these key strategies. Keep a look-out for these opportunities to move action forward!