Office of the Mayor
March 15, 2019
Contact: Evan Raleigh, 336-397-7701; email@example.com
Partnership for Prosperity to Tackle Poverty in Winston-Salem
Mayor Allen Joines and N.C. Rep. Derwin L. Montgomery today announced formation of The Partnership for Prosperity, a new non-profit initiative that will work to implement the recommendations of the Poverty Thought Force.
The partnership will work to create and implement an action plan for reducing the number of city residents affected by poverty. It will be guided by the recommendations of the Poverty Thought Force, formed by Joines and Montgomery in 2015 and tasked with finding local solutions that would be both impactful and feasible for reducing poverty. After studying the issue for 15 months, the thought force members came up with 56 recommendations and suggested that the community designate a person to work on this effort full-time.
Accordingly, The Partnership for Prosperity will have an executive director and a community engagement associate, both of whom will work full-time, Joines said.
“The issues that underlie the enduring persistence of poverty are complex and require a concerted effort to address,” Joines said. “By designating full-time staff, we hope to provide the comprehensive approach that will help us reduce poverty in our community.”
Montgomery noted that in addition to implementing the recommendations of the Poverty Thought Force, the partnership will collaborate with the existing framework of agencies and programs that are working to reduce poverty. “There are numerous programs already working on this issue,” Montgomery said. “What the partnership can do is help us integrate these efforts so that they can have the maximum impact.” Montgomery said he is excited at the work the partnership will accomplish. “This is just the beginning.”
John Railey, the former editorial page editor of the Winston-Salem Journal, will serve as the partnership’s executive director. Chanel Nestor, an adjunct lecturer of Rural Sociology and Sociology at N.C. A&T State University and a Winston-Salem native who grew up in the Happy Hill neighborhood, will serve as the community engagement associate.
Railey said, “Chanel and I are thankful that the mayor and the Poverty Thought Force had the vision for this crucial initiative. We’re excited about starting it from the ground up: by listening to those living in poverty and aligning with them in the fight.”
Support for the partnership is being provided by the city, BB&T, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, the United Way of Forsyth County and Wake Forest University.
As an initial step, the partnership will hold a series of “listening sessions” with those who are living in poverty. The meetings are open to the public and will solicit input on the Poverty Thought Force recommendations and which of them the partnership should focus on implementing.
Listening sessions will be held:
· Monday, April 1, 1 p.m., Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, 7820 North Point Blvd., Suite 100.
· Thursday, April 4, 1 p.m., Cleveland Homes Community Center, 1135 E. 15th St.
· Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m., Skyline Village, 1528 Bruce St.
· Friday, April 5, 2:30 p.m., The Community Mosque of Winston-Salem, 1419 Waughtown St.
· Monday, April 8, 2 p.m., (Meeting of The Homeless Caucus) Central Library auditorium, 660 W. Fifth St.
· Wednesday, April 10, 1:30 p.m., Crisis Control Ministry, 200 10th St. E.
· Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m., Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1075 Shalimar Drive.
· Wednesday, April 24, 1:30 p.m., Lloyd Presbyterian Church, 748 N. Chestnut St.
· Wednesday, April 24, 8 p.m., Open Arms Community of the United Methodist Church, 437 E. Sprague St.
· Thursday, April 25, 2 p.m., Experiment in Self-Reliance, 3480 Dominion St. NE.
Imagine being a single mother of three children, earning $13,000 a year, and learning that your oldest son has cancer. For Israel Suarez’s mother, struggling to make ends meet and trying to ensure your children have food, becomes more than second nature, it becomes a crisis and a matter of life or death. Fortunately for Israel, United Way funded programs paved the way for his family to overcome their circumstances. Learn more as Israel tells his story here
February 12, 2019- WINSTON-SALEM, NC : Weston Award for Nonprofits to Increase to $50,000
The Joel and Claudette Weston Award has honored and recognized leadership and excellence in nonprofit management at local organizations for more than 30 years. Joel A. Weston, Jr. was a senior executive at the Hanes Companies and an active member of the Winston-Salem community. He served as president of the United Way of Forsyth County Board from 1980-1982. Joel believed strongly that nonprofit organizations should be well run and efficient and he introduced many innovative programs designed to strengthen charitable organizations and the community. He passed away unexpectedly in 1984. The Weston Award Endowment was founded in 1985 at The Winston-Salem Foundation by family and friends of Joel A. Weston as a way to honor his vision and dedication to the community. In 1985 the Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence was established to recognize local human service agencies that are performing at peak efficiency. Today, Joel’s widow, Claudette Weston, continues the family tradition of community involvement and philanthropy through her efforts on numerous boards and organizations and as a member of the Weston Award Committee.
What is The Weston Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management?
Every other year any nonprofit agency in Forsyth County can submit an application to win the Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence. An agency that wins the award must wait five years to apply again. The application is a rigorous evaluation of all aspects of nonprofit management: financial and personnel management, program development and effectiveness, long range planning, marketing, fund-raising, board development, etc.
All applications are reviewed by a 16 member Weston Award committee. In addition, the committee hears an oral presentation by representatives of each applicant agency. Site visits are included in the review process if necessary. The winner is presented with the prestigious and much coveted bi-annual award, and beginning in 2019, a grant award to the organization of $50,000.
What does the Weston Award Accomplish?
The Weston Award recognizes, affirms, encourages and financially supports the best- run charitable organization in Forsyth County as selected every other year by the Weston Award Committee. The Award is a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of nonprofit management. In filling out the award application, nonprofit organizations can assess and receive feedback on how their agency measures up against best practices in human service agency management. The award promotes efficiency, competence, fiscal integrity, innovation and program effectiveness. Nonprofit management excellence in turn equates to a community that can better help its most vulnerable citizens, maximize philanthropy and enhance quality of life for all.
“Joel and I always believed in giving back to the community. The spirit of this award is to honor non-profits or social services organizations that enhance lives, but do so with the most efficiency,” said Claudette Weston.
“The Joel Weston Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management had a tremendous impact on me as a leader and on the agency that I represented. I can’t say enough about the good that it has accomplished.” Richard Gottlieb, President emeritus, Senior Services
For more information: Noelle Stevenson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nonprofits — along with many business and political leaders — have spent the past few years trying to heal the political, social, and economic divisions that were made more visible to all after the 2016 election.
Yet today people remain frustrated, marginalized, and worse off. The third federal government shutdown in a year and the roller-coaster stock market increased the need for nonprofits, in particular, to take a leadership role in reshaping how America works.
While many nonprofit, business, and political leaders are holding cross-cultural and community conversations to discuss what communities need, others continue to successfully exploit people’s fears for their own purposes.
One reason for the success of the latter group is the pocketbook concerns facing many American households. While U.S. gross domestic product is growing and unemployment is low, a lingering dissatisfaction reigns in many middle- and lower-income homes. At its heart, much of this discontent stems from people’s anxieties about the future of work and society.
I grew up in northwest Indiana in the 1960s and ’70s, when families could make a good living in local steel plants, oil refineries, and factories. Employees made a respectable, steady salary and believed that if they worked hard, they could provide for their families and find opportunities to advance.
Biggest Income Gap in Nearly a Century
That’s less and less the case. In the United States, the income gap is the largest since the 1920s, just before the Great Depression. Wages are stagnant, and we’re less economically mobile. Today, millennials have just a 50-50 chance of earning more than their parents did. In the 1940s, almost everyone was better off than the previous generation.
Where do people fit in as the world of work continues to change? It’s not simply a question of money but also dignity. Those Indiana steel workers possessed a strong sense of self-worth. They found purpose in what they did and believed they were powering their communities. With their job and personal security, they drove out bigots and fear-mongers who tried to sow racial and ethnic division. Today, we’re seeing a rise in ethno-nationalism and hate crimes. What will happen when more people lose work and the dignity it brings?
Solutions for All
To tackle these concerns, our society needs to redefine success. Instead of zeroing in on GDP growth rates or stock-market indexes alone, let’s focus on income inequality, access to good health care, and economic mobility. Let’s examine our education and training systems to make sure we are preparing young people — and all people — for the future of work. Let’s also not confine ourselves to standard thinking if new ideas and programs show promise, such as advanced vocational training, guaranteed basic incomes, or opportunity zones – which were recently created to add incentives for private investment in economically distressed areas.
We must develop solutions that give all individuals greater opportunity, purpose, and self-worth. Critical to this effort will be a new success index that focuses on more than just macro-economic growth. It will weigh broad-based income distribution, personal economic and social mobility, and people’s sense of personal security and hope. Let’s call it the “Personal Prosperity and Satisfaction Index.” The Alice Project, which local United Ways use to find community data to address their most pressing social issues, can serve as one example.
A “we” culture once dominated U.S. society. Today, we have sunk into an “I” culture, placing too much value on what we earn or where we vacation –— and not whether more of us are happy, safe and prospering in strong communities. To defeat hate and build stronger communities, we must put people first. The dignity of work and equity must take top priority. And nonprofits must lead the way in restoring community connections by listening to people’s needs and pushing forward the best ideas.
It will take more than one election, one action, or one moment to solve this challenge. Solutions will come from a concerted and sustained effort to help more people succeed and an embrace of a new common good prepared to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.
Brian Gallagher is CEO of United Way Worldwide.
The end of the year is traditionally a time of giving to relatives, friends and charity. To help you with the charitable part, Forbes presents a special package of advice on how to make the most of your donor dollars.
The centerpiece is our 20th annual list of the 100 largest U.S. charities, compiled once again by William P. Barrett. This elite group together received $49 billion in gifts, a whopping 12% of the $410 billion taken in by the country’s 1 million-plus nonprofits. We evaluate each on several financial-efficiency metrics. In a separate story, Barrett describes Forbes’ methodology and how it can be used to evaluate any charity, large or small, as well as how to check out those organizations that make cold-calls to your home asking for money. Rather give to the little guy than the charitable powerhouses? In this package, Kelly Erb begins her annual series—The 12 Days of Charitable Giving—highlighting small, reader-nominated organizations doing good work. First up: a Los Angeles not-for-profit that helps low-income women deal with tax problems and the IRS.
In addition to picking worthy charities, you can maximize your charitable impact by making Uncle Sam your partner; after all, if you get a tax break for giving, you can afford to give more. The new tax law makes it tougher to benefit from the itemized deduction for charitable giving, but in a separate story Erb offers 14 tips on how even ordinary taxpayers can still qualify. Meanwhile, Ashlea Ebelingand Martin Shenkman describe smart strategies for wealthy donors who want to make large gifts—now and in their estate plans.
Read more here
There is a lot of troubling news in the world today. Terrorism, inequality and distrust are just a few that come to mind. But when you dig further, you also see encouraging signs.
I recently came across a blog from Ben Carlson on his site, A Wealth of Common Sense. Ben and I share a similar perspective, and his blog highlights many good examples that remind us how far we’ve come.
- 200 years ago, 85% of the world population lived in extreme poverty. 20 years ago, it was 29%. Today, only 9% live in extreme poverty.
- The average American now retires at age 62. One hundred years ago, the average American died at age 51.
- The U.S. high school graduation rate was just 9% in 1910. It jumped to 52% by 1940 and 83% today.
If these figures blow your mind, I’m not surprised. These examples don’t fit into the narrative broadcast by those who believe the world is spiraling out of control.
Of course, there is a lot of truth to concerns about growing inequality, our readiness for the jobs of the future, and the increasing failures of government – particularly at the national level. As a result, optimism and trust are declining in many parts of the world.
Surveys today typically find that only a small fraction of Americans trust the federal government to do the right thing. Yet more than 70 percent trusted their local government as of a couple years ago.
These numbers make me optimistic, because they present an opportunity for a bottom-up, community-based approach to improve our society.
It’s an approach where people stop shouting past one another and instead listen and attend town council meetings to discuss improving schools and public safety.
It’s an approach where people connect and find common ground that leads to real, scalable impact.
And it’s an approach where our newfound trust and progress creates opportunities for change at higher levels of society, including the national level.
If that sounds a lot like United Way’s model, that’s because it is. We’ve been bringing people together in communities around the world for more than a century. Today’s environment, where trust in local organizations is greater than in national institutions, offers a critical moment to make an impact.
There is still a lot of work to do. The richest one percent of the world controls half its wealth. American millennials today are far less likely than previous generations to out-earn their parents. And our education systems continue to leave too many young people behind.
But it’s graduation season. A time to believe in what we can achieve, both individually and together. So let me end with these reminders:
Let’s continue to believe in the power of communities and the progress we’re making.
Let’s continue to understand the work left to do on behalf of people and communities.
And let’s remain optimistic that people can – and will continue to – come together to change the world.
According to the beautiful images on Instagram and Facebook, a plump new baby and a well-rested, smiling mother enjoying every minute of motherhood is the norm in the early days after giving birth. But real life does not always play out like it does in curated posts and choreographed photos. Every new mother I know is familiar with the roller coaster that accompanies the first few weeks and months after welcoming a new baby. For many, the days just after giving birth are marked by restless nights in the hospital, an uncomfortable recovery from labor, the learning curve of how to care for a newborn – all while attempting to catch up on sleep.
For some mothers, that’s not where the stress and anxiety ends. Some new moms are grappling with their newborn’s health issues. Some mothers could be jobless, homeless or plagued with an addiction, while others deal with a partner who is deployed or not in the picture. Some new moms are teenagers and may have a minimal support system in place. With all of those factors in play, in addition to recalibrating post-pregnancy hormones, it is no wonder that many mothers feel overwhelmed.
The American Psychological Association says postpartum depression afflicts approximately one out of seven new mothers and can start anytime after giving birth, from a few weeks to a year. With almost four million births reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016, that means over half a million new mothers are suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety in the U.S. alone. Symptoms and severity range from mood swings, to difficulty sleeping, to feeling overwhelmed to the more serious thoughts of hopelessness or self-harm. A full list of symptoms can be found here. What all new mothers and those around her need to know is that help and support is available to them.
United Way believes that children deserve a strong start in life and that having a healthy mother or caregiver is the first step in that direction. If you or someone you know is a new parent (mother or father) and experiencing any symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety, reach out for help. Talk to your partner, doctor, pediatrician, other moms, friends or relatives about what you’re going through. You can also call 2-1-1 for immediate assistance.
This Mother’s Day, let’s ensure every mother gets the support and care she needs to be the strongest advocate she can for her new child.