Mansfield, Ohio - North End Community Improvement Collaborative (NECIC) will celebrate their tenth anniversary on Sunday, August 27, 2017 from 3 to 6 p.m. at North Lake Park. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature games, food, music, and more.
“This is an opportunity for the community to come out and celebrate our ten years with us,” said NECIC Executive Director Deanna West-Torrence. “We’d like to see past small grantees, interns, employees, and residents who have engaged with us, donors who have supported us, organizations across the board. It’s just kind of a big family picnic for NECIC.”
NECIC was founded in 2006 by a group of concerned residents as a way to improve Mansfied’s North End by focusing on the community's assets, bringing them together through transformative convening and transformative organizing.
“The big push for the first ten years was to have a community development plan that we all developed together,” said West-Torrence. This plan, she noted, was supported legislatively by Mansfield City Council in 2011.
NECIC has grown over the past ten years to include workforce development through its staffing agency, Temp2Higher, as well as youth mentoring, an elder program, a monthly citizen action meeting to address community concerns, a teaching garden, a farmers’ market, and support for 28 community gardens throughout the county.
“As we look toward finalizing the second iteration of the plan, we can see how much value there was in bringing all these different people, these stakeholders, together to plan the future of our community together,” added West-Torrence. “We can definitely see where we have made progress.”
NECIC and the North End community will continue to improve over the next ten years, she said. “We’re much more familiar with the assets in our community and we are looking toward where we can build further and move ourselves toward our ultimate vision statement: ‘As a result of our efforts over the last 20 years, the North End in 2028 is a community of significant prosperity and innovation. While in 2008, we were considered a drain on the local economy, today we are the leading engine of economic vitality, arts, and positive youth and civic engagement within the city of Mansfield.’”