For over 10 years, Casey has invested in a group of Atlanta neighborhoods rife with poverty. This brief shows how community building — the practice of working with residents and community-based organizations to strengthen civic life and develop community-driven action to address challenges — has transformed the work. The paper shares key principles, strategies and tactics that the Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site team used for its community-building framework.
Community building must include a framework for managing expectations, results and change
Findings & Stats
By 2001, the NPU-V community of Atlanta had a poverty rate of 59% with a 28% graduation rate at the local high school.
Public and private institutions have a track record of poor community engagement, which has created distrust in the process.
Place-based funders are mission-driven with significant flexibility in defining priorities, and have power and influence with public and private partners.
Casey's Atlanta team acts as a grant maker, resource partner and technical assistance provider to strengthen the civic infrastructure.
Statements & Quotations
As an outside entity coming into neighborhoods that had experienced significant economic and social trauma, Casey knew its first job was to learn from residents what challenges families and children were facing; work with them to identify assets to help address those challenges; and support institutions and networks that contributed to a strong, healthy community.
Over the last decade, the Foundation has supported innovative programs that are improving outcomes for NPU-V children and families. These programs intentionally serve kids and their parents in a coordinated manner, providing high-quality early education while also helping adults connect to jobs and other resources that enable them to better support their family’s needs.
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