10 Jun

angela

Pictured above: Angela Rye, CEO of IMPACT Strategies. Angela is also a Political Commentator for CNN and a Political Analyst for NPR.

k

Our AmeriCorps VISTA members, PULSE Fellow, and staff attended the People & Places 2017 Conference in Arlington, Virginia this month. People & Places is the only national peer-learning event specifically for community leaders dedicated to improving the lives of others and strengthening their communities. Community leaders from different regions, cultures, and professional networks were brought together for the conference to explore challenges and solutions that we all face. National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) co-hosted the event with the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Urban League, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development and the Network for Developing Conscious Communities. Here are some of the highlights from the conference,

“It was great to meet people from all over the country working on similar problems to me. I also got the opportunity to go to a forum at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during a gap in the conference schedule, which was a great opportunity to hear directly from the people who making housing policy.” – Sarah Slater

“I attended a session titled, “How Messages about Community Revitalization and Poverty-Alleviation Backfire and What You Can Do About It.” The presenter shared tips and examples of how we can change our storytelling and outreach methods to begin fighting the antipathy so many people feel towards impoverished communities and the families that live there. It was great to leave this session with tangible action items that I could immediately implement in my personal and professional life.” – Roaslie Evans

“One of the last sessions we attended was titled, “Racial Equity and Community Development.” One of the presenters, a professor of sociology from Georgia State University, spoke on issues faced in Atlanta, GA on community development and the negative effects it has had on minorities throughout the city. We then talked in groups about what racial equality means and what we can do to get there. It was really fascinating to see how after attending the previous sessions in the conference already was helping us to come up with more appropriate and effective ways to help our communities. I really enjoyed meeting people from around the country and learning from them about racial equity and community development.” – Brigid O’Hara

Caley Yakemowicz

AmeriCorps VISTA Leader at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
Caley Yakemowicz is a Pittsburgh native who has just returned after years of living away in Atlanta, Georgia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She studied Political Science and International Studies at Penn State Behrend and she is currently serving her second term with AmeriCorps as the PCRG VISTA Leader. Caley can usually be found in the Strip District eating Primanti Brothers or running around the city in her Steeler poncho with a Terrible Towel in hand.