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Making ConnectionsThis is a featured page

Making Connections is a ten-year initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation (1999-2009) that worked to improve the lives and prospects of families and children in 10 of America’s toughest neighborhoods. Making Connections worked to increase family income and assets, ensure that young children have what they need to do well in school, and promote strong resident leadership, civic participation, social networks, and community mobilization.

The key ingredient for success is when the people who live, work and worship in tough neighborhoods believe that better results for families and communities are possible and whether they are committed to pursing those results.

Residents themselves, along with their allies, must be the drivers of change: they have to own it, demand it and work for it. When residents enjoy strong, positive social networks; are trained and supported to lead; and are mobilized to reach for results on behalf of their families and communities, they possess the capacity to raise their voices and make authentic demands for change.

No single strategy can develop genuine community engagement in and leadership of a broad-based agenda to improve results for children and families. Instead, cultivating and supporting Authentic Demand involves a mix of approaches, including leadership training to residents and other partners, strong social networks that build relationships and reciprocal exchange among residents and between residents and community partners; community organizing efforts; and the kind of civic participation that enables residents to hold elected officials and service providers accountable. (Sustaining Neighborhood Change: The Power of Resident Leadership, Social Networks, and Community Mobilization)

Latest page update: made by nataliallc , Oct 21 2010, 6:17 PM EDT (about this update About This Update Edited by nataliallc

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