South End Engaged is a collective impact initiative convened and funded by United Way of Greater New Bedford which brings together a cross-sector group of stakeholders to develop projects that will benefit the South End of New Bedford. The initiative, which is comprised of over forty organizations, including non-profits, city departments, businesses, and residents, is guided by the vision statement that “all residents of the South End of New Bedford are safe, healthy, and have the knowledge and skills to thrive.”
South End Engaged is organized using collective impact best practices and is backboned by the United Way of Greater New Bedford. UWGNB coordinates the logistics of the initiative and is also a funder of the initiative. There are three working groups, which are responsible for project planning around their focus areas – Family & School Engagement, Health & Safety, and Economic Revitalization. A Steering Committee comprised of work group chairs, residents, and other community stakeholders guides the governance and strategy of the initiative. South End Engaged values the engagement of South End residents in all aspects of the initiative – from project planning to governance and evaluation. Through the work of the evaluator and engagement of the community, the initiative will create “continuous learning loops” to strengthen the work of the initiative and ensure its alignment with the community’s needs.
United Way of Greater New Bedford has funded six projects through South End Engaged totaling $121,306:
1. Youth/Police Dialogues Project ($60,500): YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts, in partnership with the New Bedford Police Department, NorthStar, Dennison, Immigrants Assistance Center, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, and New Bedford Housing Authority will initiate Youth/Police Dialogues, a nationally recognized program developed by the YWCA Boston, to provide a safe, structured way for young people from the community and police officers to come together, speak openly, and build trust. Roughly 60 young people and 18 police officers will participate in these facilitated discussions in the South End, with the hopes that the program will eventually expand across New Bedford and Southeastern MA.
2. 3rd Graders Swim Project ($23,630): YMCA Southcoast, in partnership with NBPS and YWCA, will teach every 3rd grader at Gomes and Renaissance (roughly 190 students in total) and some Ben Rose and Bay Village families (roughly 20 families in total) how to swim, which will keep them safe in the water and open them up to new recreational experiences and potential employment opportunities on the waterfront.
3. Community Dinners Project ($20,024): Mass in Motion, in partnership with residents, Grow Education, New Bedford Parks, Recreation, & Beaches, Southcoast Health, Coastline Elderly will host 3 community dinners (serving 75 people) at Gomes that will bring south end families together to discuss topics that are pertinent to them and their community. These dinners will provide invaluable information that will help inform the action plans of South End Engaged work groups, and will serve as a platform for inviting more residents to join South End Engaged efforts.
4. Professional Development for Teachers/Admin ($5,400): The partners on this project are NorthStar, New Bedford Public Schools (NBPS), & YWCA. This project will include two training sessions on four topics for the Gomes and Renaissance Schools – cultural competency, creating trauma sensitive schools, dealing with conflict, and mindfulness. NorthStar, NBPS, and the YWCA are looking into implementing new practices at the schools (such as staff meetings and book clubs) to reinforce the messages from the trainings and to work towards sustainable culture change.
5. The Headsets for Translation Proposal ($6,802): Gomes and Renaissance Schools will receive 31 parent headsets that can be used for translation, along with other translation equipment. New Bedford Public Schools (NBPS), who spearheaded the project, is currently drafting a protocol for community organizations who wish to employ the equipment for their meetings. NBPS is also exploring how to utilize high school students to conduct the translations while earning a credit/credential for translation services.
6. Youth Basketball Clinic “Basketball Essentials” ($4,950): This project resulted from a partnership between Dept. of Parks, Rec, & Beaches and South End residents. Basketball clinics will be held in Montes Park beginning in May through June of 2017 for youth ages 6-18. There will be a focus on recruiting youth from the South End to participate. There will be a leadership and social skills component as well, and the Dept. seeks to hire to community members for the project and will work with the Resident Organizing team and other community partners to identify candidates.
South End Engaged Team
South End Residents; BankFive; Bristol Community College; City of New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches Department; Coastline Elderly Services, Inc.; Dennison Memorial Community Center; District Representative for Congressman William Keating at U.S. House of Representative; E for All; Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board; Grow Education, Marion Institute; Housing Solutions Southeastern Massachusetts; Immigrants’ Assistance Center; Leadership SouthCoast; Mass in Motion; Mayor’s Office, City of New Bedford; New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce; New Bedford City Council; New Bedford Department Planning, Housing, and Community Development; New Bedford Economic Development Council; New Bedford Housing Authority; New Bedford Police Department; New Bedford Public Schools; NorthStar Learning Centers; People Acting in Community Endeavors; PACE YouthBuild; Public Policy Center, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; Old Bedford Village; South End Business Association; SouthCoast Health; The Resource, Inc.; The Women’s Center; YMCA SouthCoast; Youth Opportunities Unlimited; and YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts.
To learn more about South End Engaged, or to get involved, contact Michelle Hantman at 508-994-9625 ext. 212 or firstname.lastname@example.org