Samoy Smith grew up in Detroit, with a Jamaica-born mother who wasn’t comfortable letting her venture far from the family’s tight-knit Jamaican community. It wasn’t until a school friend invited Smith to her church’s youth group one weekend, during middle school, that she really saw just how fulfilling it could be to build one’s own diverse “chosen family,” to accept invitations from neighbors and then extend them right back out to the next person.
Wondering if your group needs to formally incorporate as a nonprofit organization before you can fundraise? Friends, we are here to tell you that the answer is a loud-and-proud: NOPE!
Crowdfunding large amounts of money on ioby is totally doable, but it does take some extra planning. If you have your sights set high, your budget — and fundraising skills—will just have to rise to the challenge.
Love music? Love working with young people? Interested in organizing a music program for youth in your community, but not sure what it could look like?
You’ve come to the right place. Over the years, we’ve worked with many leaders who have started creative initiatives in their communities that get young people involved in music, often in conjunction with something else engaging like the outdoors, visual arts, or technology. They’re all different, but they all have some common threads (such as, we’ll just say it, being awesome).
Dawn Glasco, a Community Engagement Coordinator who works with children, has lived on East 76th street, Cleveland, for the past 10 years. And right outside her window, across the street from her home, all those years, had sat a large vacant lot — run down, overgrown with tall grass that the city wasn’t mowing, and littered with trash. A couple of years ago, Glasco started to feel ready to do something about it, summoned her courage, and began going door to door, asking neighbors if they’d join a group effort to beautify the street and turn the lot into an outdoor classroom. She also called the city, asked them to come and mow, and got permission to improve the lot. Glasco’s neighbors were receptive, and so was the city. For her, a door had opened.
Hey urban planners and city officials!
Are you working with a local community on a planning process? Hosting a public meeting to gather input or feedback on a plan is a familiar part of the task. But if you’ve been doing this kind of work for a while, you’ve probably attended (or even, yikes, led) a community meeting that’s gone horribly wrong. There’s no worse feeling than being in front of a room full of angry people when you’re trying to build trust and work together to improve the community for everyone.
At a community meeting recently, in a Memphis neighborhood called The Heights, a white woman named Linda Burgess – a resident since the 70s – stood up and said that she’d had an answer to prayer. She’d seen her African American, Hispanic, and Caucasian friends and neighbors joining hands in service of their community. They were working together on the Heights Line project: a pop-up public green space on National Street, designed to bring people together and to connect the historically overlooked neighborhood to exciting nearby developments. “Linda said that we’ve been needing this in our community,” explains Jared Myers, Executive Director of The Heights Community Development Corporation (CDC).
Meet some of the amazing community leaders of ioby Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh neighbors gathered in October to share stories of positive neighborhood change and participate in a hands-on workshop led by James Rojas of PLACEIT! Check out photos of our convening here.
We’ve teamed up with the Cleveland Climate Action Fund and Resilient Cleveland to award $1:$1 matching funds to community projects that prepare Cleveland neighborhoods for the impacts of climate change.
When we saw Planetizen’s “100 Most Influential Urbanists” list last week, our reaction went something like: “Cool!” followed by, “Wait, we know a ton of influential urbanists who aren’t on this list…”