What drives our work to build vital communities?
Most people in the three states and 23 Native nations we serve don't have to look far to notice that their communities are changing. Their neighbors speak different languages, what their paychecks cover is shrinking and there are more people over age 65 and fewer youngsters. In some rural parts of the region we serve, there are just fewer people, period. We're sicker longer, our kids are struggling more in school and the public systems we used to rely on for help are running out of money. At the same time, trust in our elected and appointed leaders is eroding.
Welcome to the "new normal." These economic and demographic shifts are not short-term conditions, but rather a new long-term reality that will affect the vitality of communities and the people in them for decades to come. Adapting to this new reality will pose tough problems that are complex, challenge the status quo, will not be solved with business-as-usual approaches and will require change by whole communities. That is why we help community members work together to identify and solve their shared problems.
- Build leadership capacity.
- Engage communities in understanding and solving their tough problems.
- Provide access to tools for innovation.