To date, the organization has held 39 conversations throughout the region since March
United Way of Central Maryland has extended an open invitation for the community to participate in meaningful conversations, identify challenges and work together to improve and strengthen neighborhoods throughout the region. Through One Thousand Voices, United Way is holding dinner conversations across Baltimore and its surrounding counties to hear directly from residents about their hopes and dreams for their neighborhoods and the challenges they face.
“To date, we’ve held 39 dinner conversations with more than 700 participants in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “While sharing a meal with community members, we’re LEARNing – Listening. Exploring. Adapting. Responding. And Networking. It’s our goal to meet the biggest community needs by creating the most impact as quickly as possible. Through One Thousand Voices, we invite everyone in central Maryland to join us to work together to improve lives.”
One Thousand Voices is designed to empower every person in every community across the region to change their story — and the story of their neighborhoods. United Way of Central Maryland will leverage what it learns in these conversations to help build community networks to address their most pressing and challenging issues.
“Our region – and the world – are changing in unprecedented and unexpected ways,” Baker added. “We developed One Thousand Voices to respond to emerging and ongoing challenges in our region and to work alongside residents to effect positive and meaningful change.”
Conversations are ongoing, and will continue throughout the summer, with a special installation at Artscape this weekend and conversations at various locations across the region.
“For years, our decision-making about the work we do and initiatives we support has been grounded in data and reports ,” said Sandy Monck, chief impact officer, United Way of Central Maryland. “One Thousand Voices is about taking a step beyond the data. It’s about getting the stories behind the numbers, and working closely with our community to develop strategies and tactics that respond to the community’s biggest needs.”
United Way’s goal is to take the suggestions made during these conversations, unite nonprofit and other partners, and empower residents by giving them the tools they need to make their visions a reality.
Baker added, “We don’t have all the answers, but we’re confident that in partnership with the community, we can marshal our collective intelligence and ingenuity to improve the lives and neighborhoods of Maryland families. What we learn from these conversations will help us define and refine organizational goals.”
The community conversations are open to the public and anyone can attend. Anyone interested in participating should visit www.uwcm.org/one-thousand-voices for more information on the conversation series, including locations and times of upcoming conversations.
United Way of Central Maryland fights for the education, financial stability and health of every person in every community across central Maryland by forging unlikely partnerships, by finding new solutions to old problems, by mobilizing the best resources and by inspiring individuals to join the fight against our community’s most daunting social crises. Learn more at uwcm.org.