Community Voice crafts solutions that are community-rooted and equitable. Equitable solutions are best designed by people who have direct experience with or are most affected by an issue. Solutions also promote equity for people of color and other marginalized groups.
When neighbors are engaged and well-organized they can identify issues and craft solutions in 6-8 months. Designing and launching a new youth program, for example, can take a year. Pursuing a policy change can take several years.
The pace of implementation is driven by access to resources and power. Marginalization occurs when groups are not involved in decision-making, and are therefore cut off from resources. Moving from ideas to action can take longer in divested neighborhoods than in affluent and well-connected neighborhoods.
Virginia Community Voice accelerates this process by bringing allies such as nonprofit partners to the table during the craft stage. We leverage in-kind resources and tap into financial resources from private and public funders.
In addition to resourcing and equipping neighbors, during the Craft stage we work with institutions and key decision-makers to help them engage differently. Through trainings and coaching, we prepare institutions to respond more effectively when neighbors approach them with their vision for their community.