Co-Facilitation workshop for Community Voices was held in February 2016 for CNI partners. The Community and Economic Development Specialist (Eley) worked with those that were trained as program co-facilitators so they could lead the Community Voices sessions. Between February and March 2016, fourteen (14) participants (most of whom lived in the two public housing developments) were trained in Community Voices program as part first leadership academy graduate class. An action forum was held at the conclusion of the training program.
Due to the success of the first class, CNI People Planning Lead (Lee), City of New Bern, NBHA, and Greater Duffyfield Resident Council wanted to host another leadership academy to extended the opportunity to other neighborhood residents who live and work in the Greater Five Points area so they can plan how they plan how they can make difference in their community and begin to work on the issues outlined in the Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan. The second leadership academy focused on branding. Graduates of the first class facilitated the sessions for the second class. They met for 8 weeks between August and October 2016 and at the conclusion of the program, twelve (12) individuals were trained in Community Voices program. They learned aspects of being a good leader, including project planning, community collaboration, effective communication, creating a shared vision, personal branding, and managing conflict. They were able to host an action forum at the end of the leadership academy.
The residents have continued to meet on a regular basis with the city officials and other organizational partners to work on the issues they discussed during the training program. Some of the leadership academy graduates have resumed new leadership roles in their community. The City of New Bern and members of training team are working to expand for leadership opportunities to other residents. They are planning to host a spring and fall leadership academy series for residents in 2017, using the Community Voices program and the Grassroots Leadership Program together.