Jury presentations began yesterday for the All-America City Awards. As always. Twelve communities from all over the country told their stories of positive change to a jury of 13 civic experts, including leaders from city government, nonprofit groups, philanthropy and business. The focus what on communitywide efforts to engage and support vulnerable young men and boys. The projects ranged from innovative juvenile justice program to education to groups that empower young leaders.

The day began with Marana, Arizona delegates talking about their local school-based focus on improving student behavior with positive reinforcement instead of punishment. Carson, California touted their gang diversion team and their Male Success Alliance. Salinas presented its Community Alliance for Safety and Peace and its Steinbeck Innovation Foundation, which is expanding opportunities for researchers, students and entrepreneurs. Stockton, California has a web of nonprofits and public agencies working together to keep young people safe and support young men who get in trouble with the law.

Orlando, Florida is collecting data for a year-long conversation on how to create a collective action plan as part of the national My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Orlando cares in an innovative volunteer to focus on the needs of local young people. Tallahassee’s Neighborhood REACH program bring together a myriad of community resources to improve the quality of life in low income communities.

Somerville Massachusetts’s Center for Teen Empower engages young people as leaders in local efforts to turn their peers away from violence, gangs and drugs toward positive community involvement. Tupelo, Mississippi’s faith-based Eight Days of Hope organization helped the community recover from a devastating tornado. The Geneva (New York) 2020 collective impact process focused on improving schools and building a stronger community. Asheboro North Carolina’s Dream Center was created to provide after school, weekend and summer academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low performing school.

Today Marshall, Texas; Petersburg, Virginia; Spokane, Washington; and Yakima, Washington present their stories of positive change. Then the AAC jury will deliberate and choose the Ten 2015 All-America Cities. We’ll be announcing the ten winners around 7:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

 

Bunny