#CG2018 Stories: More Common Ground Resources

Outdoor Hike Common Ground

Follow our “#CG2018 Stories” blog series for updates, information and stories about Common Ground 2018 and related events. This guest blog from Nelson Beckford, Cleveland Foundation program director for neighborhood revitalization and engagement, announced additional trainings and funding opportunities for Common Ground’s second year.

By Nelson Beckford

An invitation is a simple but powerful gesture. It is the first step to any relationship; it is a precursor to community involvement and an antidote to social isolation and loneliness.

The invitation is the calling card of a community organizer and placemaker. It’s the beginning of storytelling and sharing- just like the tales you can find over at Our Sidewalk, a podcast that shows real life in three Cleveland neighborhoods. It’s time to invite more residents of Greater Cleveland to gather and share, to start a conversation.

Nelson Beckford, Program Director, Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement, Cleveland Foundation

Nelson Beckford, Program Director, Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement, Cleveland Foundation

With that in mind, we invite you to experience Common Ground 2018, a suite of activities including neighborhood walks, nature hikes (see photo above!), train rides, lectures and panel discussions, culminating in a region-wide day of community conversation on June 24.

At its core, Common Ground is an invitation from and to Greater Cleveland to dialogue, to learn, to explore, and to inspire action.

Translating Ideas into Action

This year, Common Ground is bigger and better. The Cleveland Foundation just announced a partnership with Neighborhood Connections and ioby to provide facilitation training, action clinics, fundraising workshops and match funds for project ideas that emerge from Common Ground conversations on June 24.

This includes a series of “action clinics” in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties to be scheduled after the completion of this year’s events. Additionally, one-on-one and group project guidance will be available free of charge through Neighborhood Connections, while crowdfunding trainings will be organized through ioby. The collaboration will provide match funding that will effectively double donations to help bring ideas that sprouted from Common Ground to life this summer.

Facilitation Trainings

After last year’s Common Ground post-event survey, we also learned that there was interest in pre-event facilitation training. So, this year,Neighborhood Connections, in conjunction with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, is offering free two-hour facilitation trainings for hosts, participants and volunteers who want to ensure productive conversations. The trainings will be offered on the following days:

  • Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. – Noon (at Mandel School, 11235 Bellflower Rd.)
  • Wednesday, June 6, 10 a.m. – Noon (Urban Community School, 909 Lorain Avenue)
  • Tuesday, June 19, 6 – 8 p.m. (at Neighborhood Connections, 5000 Euclid Ave., Suite 310)

Registration for the trainings is available at bit.ly/CG2018_Events.

If you or someone you know is interested in hosting a 2018 Common Ground conversation, find host resources and registration here.