The Muncie team that traveled to the Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Conference returned with an award, great feedback, and some wonderful neighborhood ideas.
The 48th annual conference, which brings together people/organizations committed to building and strengthening neighborhoods, was held in El Paso, Texas, May 24-27.
The team featured Heather Williams, Ball State Office of Community Engagement associate director and manager of the Building Better Communities Initiative; Krista Flynn, OCE program coordinator and MAP member; Megan “Mo” Orbin of MAP; Mitch Isaacs (executive director of Shafer Leadership Academy, MAP board president), and Dustin Clark (City of Muncie).
They placed fifth in Regional Best Neighborhood Program in the Social Revitalization/Neighborliness category for the IDEA Conference, which brings together leaders representing Muncie’s neighborhoods to develop and strengthen community-building skills.
“I learned that we are a part of a vast national effort to revitalize communities at the grassroots level. It’s not just Muncie that seeks to engage residents; it’s a movement happening across the county, ” Mitch said. “Judges and NUSA board members both commented on our passion for the IDEA Conference. They could tell we love the conference and believe in the impact it has on neighborhood leaders!”
Williams, Flynn, and Orbin also presented “Neighborhoods ARP Funding: Participatory Budgeting in Action” at the conference.
A description of the presentation from the NUSA program described it this way: “The City of Muncie, IN, allocated $1 million to help combat the effects of COVID-19 within Muncie’s neighborhoods. The process that developed to ensure the equitable distribution of those funds focused on residents’ voices and meeting the needs of each individual neighborhood association.”
Krista said it was “exciting to share how Muncie is utilizing the ARP funds.” ”Several folks from our session stayed after to ask more in-depth questions on how they can do the same in their community,” she added. Neighborhoods, USA (NUSA) is a national, non-profit organization committed to building and strengthening neighborhood organizations. Created in 1975 to share information and experiences used to build stronger communities, NUSA continues to encourage networking and information-sharing to facilitate the development of partnerships among neighborhood organizations, government, and the private sector for the ultimate goal of strengthening every neighborhood.