Strong communities have good leadership, and we help develop those emerging leaders throughout the state. Through NeighborWorks America’s Community Leadership Institute program, we work with individuals on their ability to lead as well as work collaboratively. Past teams have developed leadership seminars and organized pop-up neighborhood markets; our 2016-17 team, including Fairbanks Youth Advocates, Facing Foster Care in Alaska, MyHouse, Kodiak Island Housing Authority, and Juneau Youth Services, has created a statewide network of service providers for homeless youth. They will continue to work together over the next year on building capacity in their network, and on making positive changes throughout the state.
Together with the Alaska Humanities Forum, we organize Step Up AK, an annual one day leadership workshop designed to empower local communities. This year’s event took place in Spenard, where local leaders, artists, activists, and neighbors came together to discuss some of their neighborhood challenges. Groups from the 2016 Step Up AK event are still working on sustainable solutions and future projects that will benefit their community.