When UHW neighbors, community members, and partners get together, we eat. We hula hoop. We Double-Dutch. We dance. We paint. We teach. We invite the police. We register to vote.
As the summer closed, North Minneapolis held FLOW - its annual arts crawl– one of the best in the cities (and the only one of its kind open to all artists interested). The UHW community engagement agenda has been to connect residents to each other and to the sweet opportunities that exist in and around our neighborhoods to unite, to engage, and build trust and bridges to civic engagement.
So, for the third year in a row, our team and POD Council Members organized a “stop” at the arts crawl for UHW families.
The idea began from one of our resident leaders and organizers, Jaime Wright, as a Double Dutch tournament; but, as they usually do, this party turned into much more.
We watched the momentum build yet again this year as over 180 neighbors flowed in. Kids went from art projects to hot dogs; parents stepped in to teach double-dutch basics; POD Council Members had conversations with residents about where to vote, what the issues are, who represents at what level, etc, and households registered to vote. The MPD was invited (as they are for every event we throw) and showed up with their dogs to every kids’ delight. Urban Homeworks residents reconnected and reaffirmed their commitment to the “We Neighbor” philosophy that continues to build among us.
And, while the hula-hoops, the painting, and doin’ the Nae Nae with Chuck Chizzle is a crucial expression of our desire to celebrate life together…the real fruit of this event is the trust that's been built. It’s the reminder to each other that we are the faces of the majority. That, after a difficult summer and as we entered into election season, WE (trainees, contractors, volunteers, residents, homeowners, staff) have power together to affect the positive change we want to see in our communities. We dare you to take a look at any of these faces (you won’t want to miss them) and tell us differently!
You are making it possible for intentional relationships like these to weave together a stronger community. This is one of multiple strategic events residents have been facilitating to knock down barriers to civic engagement. We need you to keep the momentum building!