Round River Consulting has worked for the past several years with the Cleveland Museum of Art on a community engagement initiative with the Cleveland neighborhoods of Collinwood, Hough, and Glenville. Three Community Conversations were organized in each of three neighborhoods. The conversations were held in locations familiar and accessible to residents and outreach for participation was driven primarily by organizations and individuals who were interviewed by Round River Consulting earlier in the Fall of 2013.
Based upon the interviews and web-based research, a Neighborhood Voices report was written to capture the historic context of each neighborhood, its current assets and priorities, potential projects each neighborhood seeks to establish or grow, and initial suggestions for how the Museum might offer its resources and services to complement each neighborhood’s priorities. Community Conversation Discussion Guides, that included the report for each neighborhood, were created to support the dialogue at each meeting.
Community Conversations in each neighborhood included welcoming remarks from neighborhood leaders and the Museum, a brief presentation on the Neighborhood Voices Report and on the Museum resources, and a small group table discussion focusing on the following two questions:
-- What would you imagine is possible for your neighborhood when it comes to incorporating arts and culture more fully?
-- If you could choose two projects and/or collaborations between the community and the Museum, what would they be?
Tables shared ideas that resonated with their group and common threads among all the tables began to emerge. A report was written that captured ideas for potential areas of collaboration that were generated at each meeting and suggests specific projects based upon those ideas. Each idea was assessed based upon a set of criteria designed to maximize the potential for building capacity, adding value, and generating sustainable relationships and partnerships.
Round River Consulting continues their work with the Museum; facilitating, strengthening and building relationships between the Art Museum and it's surrounding communities.
Round River Consulting served on the management team for the Talking Transition Town Hall Meeting held in New York City. Talking Transition was a two-week long, open conversation about NYC’s future, designed to begin to change the city’s culture - to one where residents engage meaningfully on issues that affect their lives, and take on a sense of shared responsibility and stewardship for improving the city. Talking Transition engaged 60,000 diverse voices in sharing their hopes, concerns and suggestions for NYC. Street teams, armed with ipads, fanned out across neighborhoods in all five boroughs to ask residents about their ideas. A heated tent was erected in mid-town Manhattan to engage thousands of people in discussions, policy forums, “soap box” videos and entertainment. In the tent, 48 ipads captured survey responses from 20,000 individuals.
The Town Hall meeting was the culminating event of the two-week process. The goal of the meeting was to provide the Mayor-elect and all City elected leaders with informed, value-added input from citizens regarding their high-priority issues related to important policy options under consideration, particularly in the early planning/decision-making phase of the new municipal administration. Three elements of the Mayor-elect’s agenda, ones that affect the lives of almost every New Yorker in profound ways, were the focus of the conversation – education, housing affordability and police-community relations. Participants were given factual information about these issues and then engaged in facilitated, in-depth, small group discussions. The conversations were supported by various cutting edge meeting technologies, designed so participants could weigh in as a group and as an individual. In the evaluation, 90% of the participants were satisfied with the conversations and 92% were committed to sustained citizen engagement. The final meeting report will be used to sustain accountability and follow-through on the election promises the Mayor-elect has made to change the values of the city. View the website and video highlights of the meeting.
Working with United Way of Summit County and other partners, RRC is supporting a shared measurement process as part of the collective impact model of Bridges Summit County’s Getting Ahead initiative. RRC is providing professional oversight and guidance in the creation of new assessment tools that more fully capture the stories of Getting Ahead participants and provides a collective narrative of the initiative.
Round River began by working closely with the Bridges Summit County coalition, staff, facilitators, and participants on identifying interim questions. Qualitative data has been collected through interviews and focused group conversations. Firmly founded in the interviews and focused group conversations, a set of interim instruments were developed. The interim instruments provide initial tools for more deeply capturing the Getting Ahead narrative and individual participant stories. These interim tools will be piloted at two of the Getting Ahead sites.
The data collected from the interim tools will also be utilized in the construction of a more long-term Getting Ahead toolbox of instruments and a Getting Ahead scale. Once constructed, the Getting Ahead assessment toolbox and scale will be piloted and shared with all Bridges Summit County Getting Ahead sites. Periodically, the toolbox and scale will be evaluated for changes needed to reflect the evolving Getting Ahead initiative.
RRC is also providing data analysis support and report writing utilizing data collected using the original assessment tools, helping Bridges Summit County tell the story of Getting Ahead to funders during this interim period.
Round River Consulting works closely with the leadership of the Neighborhood Network in University Park to facilitate a design to build a resilient community by stabilizing and strengthening the current resident base, creating a strong sense of place and attracting new business and residents. Relationship-building, quality affordable housing, safe streets, economic development & jobs were identified as key priorities at a 2012 neighborhood summit that drew over 300 people.
Significant progress has been made to build neighborhood-based organizations and leadership teams that are developing a network of community gardens, addressing vacant housing, and implementing community-building events. The Round River team worked with faith and neighborhood leaders to design a six month leadership training program that is equipping almost 100 residents, faith and social service community members to lead an asset-based community development strategy.
The Round River team facilitates and guides the Neighborhood Network in University Park implementation of asset-based community development strategies with the support of the United Way of Summit County. The Neighborhood Network was highlighted in a recent Akron Beacon Journal article by Betty Lin-Fisher, illustrating what Network leaders have done to build upon existing strengths to create a sense of community; establish safe, welcoming streets; and lift up the economic well-being of University Park families.
Round River Consulting has worked for nearly five years with Community Support Services (CSS) to design and facilitate a comprehensive inclusion culture change initiative. As a result of RRC’s work with the board of directors to develop a strategic plan and subsequent engagement with CSS’s staff to develop a tactical plan, the need to transform the agency’s culture to exhibit more inclusive behaviors was identified.
The development of a strong agency committee, the design and delivery of a two-part inclusion training for every staff member, meeting facilitation, senior and middle management leadership capacity-building, and program evaluation support have been at the heart of the agency’s success to produce concrete results.
The RRC team worked closely with the committee, as well as the HR and IT departments, to design and execute a 360 Degree Inclusion Behavior Assessment that serves as a professional development tool. A pilot instrument was developed collaboratively and tested on three Agency teams. Following the pilot, edits were made to the assessment tool. RRC also worked closely with the HR and IT departments to increase Agency capacity in the modification of a database providing rating assignments. New IT capacities were developed that position CSS to market those capacities to other agencies.
Sue Lacy and Katie Fry lead a workshop for the Conflict Management Practices and Possibilities Conference Friday, March 7, 2014. This conference celebrated 40 years of peace and conflict studies at Kent State University. The workshop highlighted the ability of Round River Consulting to engage a wide range of constituent groups to positively impact thousands of lives through two exemplars: our work in New Orleans post Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike and our recent work on Hope & Resiliency: Older Adults & Their Families Mental Health Challenges.
Building on the strong foundation AxxessPoint (API) has already established, Round River Consulting facilitated a day long strategic planning retreat guiding API through a commitment to vision and mission, key discussions around the role of an FQHC in the present health care environment, review and evaluation of goals & objectives, and making some key decisions grounded in the mission, vision, and strategic direction.