INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday was a day to inspire, engage and celebrate the people who focus every day on making the city's neighborhoods better places to live.
The Neighbor Power Indy event, which was hosted Saturday by the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center at Marian University, is in its ninth year. The group works with neighborhood associations and neighborhood-based organizations across the city by providing training, resources and support with the goal of helping communities improve their quality of life.
"It's an opportunity for everyone in the city to come together and talk about some of the ways they are combating some of the things going on in their neighborhoods. How they are uplifting voices. How they are connecting and engaging," Ashlee Weaver of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center said. "We take what is already working and figure out a way to share that with other people so they can a duplicate of those efforts."
Attendees chose from 20 different workshops throughout the day. One of the presenters who focused on getting youth involved in community projects said an emphasis is on making people aware of their problem-solving skills.
"It's our responsibility to create space for them to be at the table we have to be intentional about reaching out to you when we are talking about transforming our communities because they have just as much steak as we do," LaShawnda Crowe Storm of Neighbor Power Indy said.
Michael McKillip is the executive director of Midtown Indy works in 17 different neighborhoods on the near north side.
"I can learn what is on the mind of the people we serve and how best to serve them we can get best practices from other organizations that have made mistakes that have figured things out it's a learning network on the best practices of how to really truly improve the community," McKillip said.
This year's theme was "Celebrating 200 Years of Community." The event's organizers said they hope each person left feeling inspired and reading to continue working to improve neighborhoods in Indianapolis and then lives of the people living in them.
The objectives of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center include increasing neighbor engagement throughout the city, leadership skills in neighborhood leaders and community building activities.
"It really helped me think about how we can be more intentional about involving younger folks and decisions that will impact them as adults," Emily Scott of Local Initiatives Support Corporation said.