C.H.A.N.G.E (Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment) Member Network recently received an ECHO Award from the Winston-Salem Foundation. The ECHO Award honors people and organizations that are building a stronger community by building connections among people. CHANGE is directed by Rev. Ryan Eller (MDiv ’07) and is based in Forsyth County, NC. The organization is committed to building a stronger community by developing relationships across racial, ethnic, economic, political, social, and religious lines, and strives to cultivate the skills of local leaders by identifying shared concerns and needs so that actions can be completed together for the common good.
In its new release, the Winston-Salem Foundation wrote the following about CHANGE:
CHANGE Member Network builds bridging social capital by living out its mission of bringing diverse members of the community together to build mutually enriching relationships and in the process, identifying common interests and values. CHANGE stands for Communities Helping All Neighbors Gain Empowerment. CHANGE is made up of 53 member organizations reflecting a diverse composite of our community. The member network believes that this process can revitalize democracy, strengthen our capacity to organize the civil society, and build coalitions with the private sector and government. Individuals, with diverse political, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds, are given a platform so that they can capitalize on their common interests for the betterment of the community. The CHANGE Member Network embraces social capital-building by seeing our diversity not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity to creatively deal with issues. The Network moves us from “our community as it is” to “our community as is should be.” Accepting the award on behalf of the CHANGE Member Network was lead organizer Ryan Eller; associate organizer Mustafah Abdullah; strategy team co-chair and leader at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Hobart Jones; and Janet Owen, leader at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
Read more about other 2012 ECHO Award Recipients here.
The Winston-Salem Foundation is a 91-year-old community foundation comprised of more than 1,300 funds created by charitable individuals and organizations. Since 1919, individuals, families, and corporations have used their expertise to improve the quality of life in Forsyth County, NC, its surrounding areas, and beyond.