|Community Initiatives Story|
Community Initiatives (CI) was initially formed in 1997 as a learning network for community change practitioners. Working with communities across the country, CI helped develop innovative collaborative strategies to improve health, well-being and quality of life. Over the years the CI network has taken many forms, but its commitment to building healthy and whole communities has been constant.
America is experiencing a renewed interest and emphasis on community-based approaches to achieve the change required to revitalize our health and wholeness. These efforts go by different names: “healthy,” “sustainable,” “livable,” “active,” “inclusive” or “caring” communities. While some target increasing physical activity and healthy eating, others focus on the relationship among the economy, the environment, and social equity. Still other efforts focus on youth and family issues or increased civic participation. Regardless of the names or focus, at the core of all of these collaborations is a determination to discover new ways of bringing community members and organizations together to solve vexing issues – those issues that no single sector of society, institution or program can reasonably expect to address alone.
Fundamentally, this is a local phenomenon – mobilizing local creativity and resources to spark and sustain positive change. And like any successful social movement, it has no real centralized leadership or hub, but instead finds spontaneous expression in a multitude of forms. Members of the CI network have had the privilege of working directly with and learning from these various local and regional change efforts. In fact, CI members have been in the unique position to facilitate and help guide the sharing of experiences, ideas and lessons across this broader “communities movement.”
Today the CI network is building on its vast experience in working with a wide range of communities on a broad set of issues. Like our community partners, we endeavor to continue learning and adapting. Our commitment and vision are largely the same as they were 11 years ago. However, the resources and expertise we offer for improving community health and well-being have evolved to match new opportunities and challenges. Specifically, Community Initiatives offers proven expertise to: