18 Graduate from Neighborhood Leadership Training Program

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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18 Graduate from Neighborhood Leadership Training Program

Posted: 12/06/2013
Eighteen neighborhood and community leaders have completed the City of Knoxville's "Building Strong Neighborhood Organizations" leadership training program, and they will receive graduation certificates at a ceremony at 2 p.m. this coming Sunday, Dec. 8th.

The ceremony - to be held at the L.T. Ross Building, 2247 Western Ave. - will feature brief remarks by members of the class, songs by local singer-songwriter R.B. Morris, a poem composed for this occasion by spoken word artist Black Atticus, and the presentation of certificates by Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis.

"We had 18 very engaged leaders who rolled up their sleeves and spent two hours each week grappling with the challenges and opportunities involved in creating and sustaining strong neighborhood organizations," said David Massey, the City's Neighborhood Coordinator. "The 11-week course was doubly enhanced by the fact that the group represented a broad cross-section of neighborhoods in the city, along with one community in Knox County."

A key partner in the effort was the Knox County Health Department, which provided the venue for the class and other support. Inskip, Lonsdale and Mascot - three of the neighborhoods represented in the program - participated in KCHD's Healthy Communities program.

Other represented neighborhoods were Burlington, Cold Springs, Delrose Drive, Edgewood, Edgewood Park, Fairmont-Emoriland, Forest Heights, Fort Sanders, Glenview, Mechanicsville, Michael-Meadowview, Montgomery Village, and West Hills.

The curriculum was created from scratch during an 18-month period by a committee of neighborhood leaders; the two facilitators, Bill Murrah and Ron Davis; and Office of Neighborhoods staffer Jackie Clay. Course topics included leadership styles, how to run an effective meeting, making controversial decisions, strategic planning, recruiting and retaining members, and building community by focusing on assets rather than problems.

The Office of Neighborhoods expects to offer the course at least annually.

"The City of Knoxville offered this course because we believe in the importance of strong, vibrant neighborhoods," Massey added. "Strong neighborhoods depend on strong neighborhood organizations, and this course is aimed squarely at helping these organizations survive and thrive through their own initiative."