From Ashley Craig at Opportunity Lives:
Kansas Initiative On Wednesday Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback, met with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) staff and Robert L. Woodson, Sr., the President and Founder of The Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE) to discuss the year long project. The project is called Kansas Community Leadership Initiative (KCLI) and will work with community leaders to address concerns such as poverty, violence, and absent fathers.
CNE is a national non-profit based in Washington, DC with a 33-year old track record of helping neighborhoods identify and address the problems of their communities. The Center works to transform communities from the inside out. They provide training, technical assistance, and support to other community and faith based organizations. CNE has led to many improvements in low-income neighborhoods in cities such as Indianapolis, Washington, DC, and Milwaukee. They have a Violence Free Zone program that has successfully reduced violence and made classrooms safe in public schools in Baltimore, Chicago, Hartford, Milwaukee, and Washington, DC.
Governor Brownback said, “I’m excited to see this nationally-recognized, successful initiative come to Kansas. Government doesn’t have the answers, our citizens know the problems plaguing their communities; and I look forward to working with Mr. Woodson to help our towns and neighborhoods address those social issues at a grassroots level.”
Kansas’s DCF has given CNE the funds for this 12-month pilot project. The process takes place in three phases. In the first phase CNE will select 270 community leaders from 17 different communities to participate in a community assessment process. They will help identify solutions to top community issues and develop plans that help improve the community welfare by increasing community involvement. In the second and third phases CNE will provide leadership training and assistance to strengthen their ability to serve and sustain themselves at a grassroots level across the state.
“I’m pleased by the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to this project,” Woodson said. “Communities have the power to turn things around. I’m excited to lead this process so that children and families are no longer living in poverty and in crisis. I’ve seen first-hand how this model can work. And I know it will be successful here in Kansas.”
March 2, 2015