We have seen in the past two weeks just how important it is for neighbors to know one another and to come together. Our community was outraged by the death of George Floyd, and stepped up to demand change. And when violence came again to our neighborhoods at the hands of arsonists and vandals, neighbors responded to support one another through community clean-ups, food and supply drives, and nightly neighborhood watches.
We have learned that we need one another, and that we all have something to contribute. We have also seen clearly that our communities and our systems do not work for all their members. Change is imperative.
This year for NeighborWorks Week, we encourage you to take action: as an individual, as a neighbor, and as a part of a larger community.
How can you get involved?
Ask yourself how you can be part of improving your community for all people.
- Commit to listening to your neighbors’ experiences.
- Contact your elected officials to support policy changes to end discrimination.
- Support Black-owned businesses, community businesses, and Black artists.
- Learn about anti-racism and how you can actively work to end racism.
- Support organizations that are working to promote justice.
Build a Stronger Neighborhood
Getting to know your neighbors during COVID-19 may be more challenging, but you can do it!
- Create a block club list. Make a map of your block with names and phone numbers of your neighbors.
- Spend more time in your front yard. Consider adding some chairs or a picnic table, or planting a front yard flower or vegetable garden.
- Organize or participate in a neighborhood clean-up or community garage sale.
- Encourage each other. Put decorations in your windows or make art on your sidewalk with chalk.
- Welcome new families. Introduce yourself and exchange phone numbers.
- Share tools, build a Little Free Library, give away garden produce, bake cookies for a neighbor.
- Address conflict gently and directly. Try talking to your neighbor before reporting a problem to the city.
Give to Support Recovery and Change
There are many organizations working to bring about meaningful change and help neighborhoods that were impacted by opportunistic destruction.
- The George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Black Visions Collective
- Reclaim the Block
- We Love Lake Street
- Neighbors United Funding Collaborative
- Frogtown and Rondo Community Business Recovery Fund
- West Broadway Business & Area Coalition & Northside Funders Group