FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two-year grant to strengthen civic participation in Winston-Salem and beyond
Winston-Salem, NC (February 22, 2016) - Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation have awarded a grant to Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods for its effort to connect people, strengthen underrepresented voices, and help communities leverage resources to create safe, just, and self-determined neighborhoods in the Winston-Salem area.
Rather than focusing on particular issues, NBN works broadly to help low - and middle income neighborhoods recognize their existing assets, build leadership and strengthen their decision making capacity. Through its flagship program, Neighbors in Action - which includes trainings designed to help individuals understand the current systems and how their community is situated within them - the organization is able to empower citizens and help open up meaningful civic avenues for low-income communities in Winston-Salem.
"The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes a strong democracy works best when all citizens in a community are involved and diverse voices are heard and included." said Joy Vermillion Heinsohn, Assistant Director of ZSR. "Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods is working to encourage residents to become more active participants in addressing the issues that impact their lives and their communities and to empower them to make change happen. We are proud to be a partner in achieving this shared vision."
"At NBN we recognize and uncover the gifts, skills, talents and wisdom of people in the neighborhoods, which is the foundation of the asset-based community development approach we use," said Paula McCoy, Executive Director of NBN. "As institutions, we must utilize those community assets, listen to the wisdom that is there and bring the necessary resources to resident leaders to increase their capacity to create change. This grant from Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation will allow us to make needed investments that bring about resident-led initiatives. Our work on the ground allows us to build trusting relationships that advance this work."
On November 20, 2015, trustees voted to approve 83 grants totaling $7.5 Million to organizations across North Carolina.