Jackson County United Way once again is seeking community members to be a part of its Community Conversation series.
From August to October, these conversations will be held across the county with various groups of individuals who would like to weigh in on issues they see Jackson County facing as well as suggestions for solutions to these problems.
In 2016, United Way began the process of implementing Community Conversations, using the method introduced by the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation.
The organization conducted 37 conversations with people of varying backgrounds to learn what they saw as the main issues of the county, weighing in on what kind of communities they wanted to live in and how the county can continue to grow.
They also indicated that substance abuse was on the hearts and minds of Jackson County residents.
Since then, United Way has participated in drug-free initiatives and funded partners with programs directly targeting substance abuse and drug prevention in the county.
“We’ve seen what a huge impact these conversations can have on our communities,” Executive Director Maci Baurle said. “We want to make sure that we are always up to date on what the needs are and what we as a county and an organization can do to help.”
The knowledge learned from the community’s input in 2016 and 2017 allowed United Way to build its strategic plan with the goal to move 1,000 working families out of financial struggles and into stability by 2030.
JCUW hopes by building on the previous work, it will be able to continue to tailor the focus of its work to be more inclusive to what the county wants to see.
“From this fall’s conversations, we look forward to hearing from community members so we can continue to serve the pressing needs of Jackson County residents,” said Jena Hanks, financial stability program manager for JCUW.
The conversations will run every Tuesday evening, beginning Aug. 3 and continuing through Sept. 28. The conversations will utilize the Harwood Model, meaning the facilitator is there to pose questions, but the conversation is ultimately led by the participants.
If you are interested in being a part of the conversation to make Jackson County a better place to live, register at jacsy.org/conversations or call 812-522-5450, ext. 1.
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What: Community Conversation series
When: Tuesdays beginning Aug. 3 and continuing through Sept. 28
Register: Visit jacsy.org/conversations or call 812-522-5450, ext. 1
Who: Organized by Jackson County United Way