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Living United 2013 Issue 3

Living United 2013 Issue 3

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Living United 2013 Issue 3
Living United 2013 Issue 3

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Published by: United Way of Central Ohio on Jun 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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2013 FraNkLIN CoUNTy ChILDrEN’S rEporT ExpLorESWhy NEIGhborhooDS MaTTEr To EDUCaTIoN
“In order to fully understand the state ofeducation in our community and how toeffectively improve it, we must understandthe factors and history that have created thecurrent conditions, and some of the biggestfactors are neighborhoods.” That’s how Janet E. Jackson, President and CEO, UnitedWay of Central Ohio, began her introductionof a panel discussion at the ColumbusMetropolitan Club on the findings of the2013 Franklin County Children’s Report: WhyNeighborhoods Matter to Education.Developed by United Way’s Championof Children, the Kirwan Institute for Raceand Ethnicity and Community ResearchPartners, the report takes an insightful lookinto the key decisions over the past severaldecades that have had tremendous effectson neighborhoods and schools. It exploressome of the neighborhood revitalizationefforts which are taking place in at-riskneighborhoods in central Ohio and concludesthat safe, vibrant neighborhoods and high-quality education are inextricably linked. Thereport also examines the holistic methods usedby the Harlem Children’s Zone as a potentialguide for future efforts in our community.In February, the 20
Anniversary Championof Children Signature Event featured a liveinterview with Geoffrey Canada, President of
The 2013 Franklin County Children’s Reportwas the subject of a panel discussion atthe Columbus Metropolitan Club on May 15.From left: Janet Jackson, Eric Fingerhut andReverend John Edgar, Pastor and ExecutiveDirector, Community Development for All People.
the Harlem Children’s Zone. Canada spoke onthe subject of education and neighborhoodrevitalization. The report and panel discussioncontinue the compelling discussion Canadabegan.The panel included the Director of the ColumbusEducation Commission Eric Fingerhut andCommission member Janet Jackson, both ofwhom described the report as a valuableresource for improving education. In aneditorial on May 22,
The Columbus Dispatch 
praised the report as a “welcome companionto recommendations released recently by theColumbus Education Commission” and wenton to say, “The new report is a good addition toan important ongoing conversation about howto make Columbus schools better.”On April 29, two very different events highlightedthe power of bringing partners together to createcollective impact and achieve a common goal.Habitat for Humanity’s Home of Hope projectbrought many partners together to construct anew home for a hardworking family in a BlitzBuild that lasted only five days. United Way wasthe proud sponsor of the final day of the build.United Way also partnered with Out & EqualWorkplace Advocates for the first-ever CentralOhio LGBT Workplace Leadership Forum. Theforum included representatives of some of themost prominent companies in central Ohio suchas Cardinal Health and Nationwide.
United Way volunteers at the Home of HopeBlitz Build on the South Side.Nationally-known civil rights activistElizabeth Birch discusses workplaceequality for LGBT community members.
online Ets:
and staff conducted almost 250 visits with leaders of localorganizations to educate them on the growth of poverty in ourcommunity and how United Way is working to provide pathways outof poverty for hardworking local families.We were certainly successful at raising awareness and mobilizingmore people to give, advocate and volunteer. But we have onlyscratched the surface of our potential and in 2013, under thepassionate leadership of Campaign Co-Chairs Anne and JackPartridge and Labor Co-Chair Glen Skeen, we will continue thetransformational efforts that began in 2012.So, to every member of the United Way of Central Ohio family I wantto say thank you for all you did in 2012 and I invite you to becomeeven more involved with United Way in 2013.Sincerely, Janet E. JacksonPresident and CEOUnited Way of Central Ohio
At this year’s Celebration of Excellence,United Way of Central Ohio continuedour long tradition of recognizingorganizations that went above andbeyond in their charitable efforts. Weare proud to honor these engaged andenergetic partners and all of the morethan 80,000 donors, advocates andvolunteers who supported United Wayover the past year. Together, we raised$51.2 million to help improve livesand strengthen our community. Thatis a tremendous achievement and a shining example of the generosity of thepeople of central Ohio.We could not have done this without the dedicated leadership of CampaignCo-Chairs Cindy and Steve Rasmussen, and Labor Co-Chair DennisNicodemus. Cindy and Steve mobilized a phenomenal Nationwide team.Nationwide has long been one of the strongest corporate partners ofthe United Way network, and in 2012 they raised the bar even higher.Enthusiastic Nationwide executives joined our campaign cabinet in suchhuge numbers we came to think of it as our “supersized” cabinet — andit did supersized work. Our cabinet volunteers, representing 28 companies,On May 7, key members of both the United Wayof Central Ohio and The Ohio State Universityfamilies gathered at President E. Gordon Gee’shome to recognize and celebrate the many-faceted partnership that exists between thetwo organizations. Dr. Gee recognized OSUstaff and faculty who have been volunteerleaders at United Way including Provost JoeAlutto who serves on the board.
 Janet Jackson and OSU President E. Gordon GeeAndrew Roberts and Tanny Crane
 Janet Jackson cited the recent partnershipthat brought noted education expert GeoffreyCanada to central Ohio to appear at theChampion of Children’s 20th AnniversarySignature Event and several OSU-sponsoredgatherings, and thanked OSU’s Pay it Forwardgroup for their important role in the ColumbusVolunteer Challenge.High quality early learning was the focus ofUnited Way’s legislative breakfast on May 2.An impressive panel of early learning expertsdiscussed the strong connection betweenaccessible high-quality early learning andsuccessful employment. Panelists included Janet Jackson; Tanny Crane, President andCEO of the Crane Group and Andrew Roberts,President of the YMCA of Central Ohio.Panelists highlighted the effect of accessiblehigh-quality early learning on high schoolsuccess, continued employment for workingparents, and Ohio’s future workforce. Abouta third of the children entering kindergartendo not recognize letters, cannot count to 20and cannot write their names. Without thesevery basic skills, children enter kindergartenat a terrible disadvantage they are unlikely toovercome without intervention.Other speakers included Mary Jo Hudson, Chair-Elect for United Way’s Board of Trustees andPublic Policy Committee Chair; Dawn Tyler Lee,Senior Vice President of Community Impact;and Anthony S. Trotman, Director of the FranklinCounty Department of Jobs & Family Services.
NEIGhborhooD LEaDErShIp aCaDEMy
On April 11, United Way and PresentingSponsor Fifth Third Bank recognized theaccomplishments of the 18 members of theinaugural class of the Neighborhood LeadershipAcademy as they graduated from the program.The Academy is designed to enhance theskills of existing and emerging neighborhoodleaders while empowering them to promotesustainable change for their neighborhoods.Participants represent communities acrosscentral Ohio, with emphasis on United Way’sfive priority neighborhoods — Franklinton,King-Lincoln, South Side, Northland andWeinland Park. The eight-month programprovides an intensive training curriculumof activities that help leaders engage andmobilize their neighbors to drive neighborhoodrevitalization efforts and create a strongersense of community collaboration.Throughout the eight-month program, which ismodeled after United Way’s highly-successfulProject Diversity and Pride Leadershipprograms, the Academy participants attended50 hours of in-class instruction and interactiveactivities. The focus of the Academy is onadvocacy, communication skills, effectivecollaboration, and consensus building, andplaces great emphasis on community assets.Fellows studied mapping both physicalcommunity assets like churches and schools,and non-physical assets like the skill sets ofcommunity members. “Often a community’sstrongest assets are the people living rightnext door,” said fellow Christine Happel, whois a member of the Weinland Park CommunityCivic Association. “Working together with ourcommunity members to combine our uniquesets of knowledge and skills will build strongcommunities.”Staff from The City of Columbus played animportant role in the Academy curriculum byeducating fellows on the intricacies of workingwith the city government and preparing them foractivities like attending City Council meetings.Fellows also received first-hand knowledgefrom several experienced community leaders,including: Jim Sweeney, Executive Directorof the Franklinton Development Association;Donna Bates, a community volunteer, andSteve Sterrett, Community Relations Directorof Campus Partners.One activity that many graduates foundespecially compelling was visiting some ofColumbus’ priority neighborhoods in order towitness the strengths of these communities andthe challenges they face, as well as to betterunderstand how their skills can help solvethe community’s issues. The neighborhoodtours helped educate the graduates on thediversity that exists within many of Columbus’neighborhoods and how utilizing such diverseresources can be a major asset.During a diversity activity at the Academy,Amanuel Merdassa, who was raised in Africa,and Judy Box, who was raised in Australia,discussed their childhood experiences. Despitegrowing up in vastly different surroundings,the two graduates discovered how similartheir experiences were, particularly theirviews on community. Merdassa, YouthProgram Manager at Ethiopian TewahedoSocial Service, and Box, Chairwoman of theFranklinton Area Commission, appreciatedhow two children from opposite sides of theearth could experience similar upbringingsthat would ultimately shape similar viewson the importance of community. “Diversityis what should bring us together, not whatshould keep us apart,” said Merdassa.The Academy was made possible by a generousgrant from Fifth Third Bank. Fifth Third willcontinue to support the Academy along withnew sponsor The Grote Foundation.
United W is nw cceting lictinsf te secnd Neigd Ledesiacdem clss. Inteested cndidtescn g t liveunitedcentli.g/  neigd-ledesi-cdem t l. Te dedline is Jul 15.
Front row (from left) Barbra Goins-Nellons, Megan Fitze, Anthony Howard, Peggy Williams,Amanuel Merdassa, Felicia Robin Sinkler. Back row (from left) Judy Box, Belinda Nelson,Kimberly Cole, Quay Barnes, Kristen Easterday, Christine Happel, Jennifer Gable, Marilyn Rice,Pamela Hobbs Reeves

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