A series of workshops took place last fall, where stories from long-time resident "experts" were used to build the first Citizen’s Toolkit --to be launched on this website later this spring.
Philadelphia is experiencing changes of all kinds across its communities. In so many different situations, from neighborhoods growing too quickly and those fighting to grow at all, there are lessons to be learned from community advocates tackling these issues. By sharing their stories of successes and struggles, there are many teachable moments that can be distilled into lessons and tools for use by others tackling similar issues. Even when the stories seem dissimilar, there are insights and new perspectives to be gained for even the most seasoned neighborhood advocates. For aspiring advocates, a document of lessons learned could be an invaluable resource of ideas and inspiration.
Community advocates, with varying levels of history fostering and nurturing neighborhood projects, came together during four workshops to share their experiences with one another. It was a unique chance for participants to engage with counterparts from all different parts of the city to exchange stories and learn from one another. With facilitation by CPI, participants were asked to talk about a major problem in the neighborhood they’d confronted, how they engaged neighbors, dealt with setbacks, and managed fears expressed by neighbors. Working as a group, participants teased out the useful approaches, tactics and resources used, and decided what to document in a Citizens Toolkit. CPI is documenting the lessons learned that will build up Toolkit content.
When complete, the Citizen’s Toolkit will be made available on the CPI website and in print for use by both aspiring and seasoned neighborhood advocates.
It's expected that future workshops may be initiated to expand on key lessons and add additional stories.