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Beautification: An Important Part of Safe, Cohesive Communities

· Englewood,Community Psychology,Social Cohesion

For the 2nd Englewood Clean & Green Day I talk about the impact of community engagement and beautification on our communities. My friend and colleague, Dr. Nataka Moore and I continue to partner with the Englewood community on various projects in solidarity to their mission. This was originally posted on The Socially Responsible Practitioner blog.

The Greater Englewood Alliance is a group of over 20 organizations and residents that works toward the goal of beautifying the Greater Englewood community. Last year, more than 200 volunteers participated in the first Greater Englewood Unity Day, part of Chicago’s city-wide Clean and Green Day, and organized by partners including the Adler School, Teamwork Englewood, Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E) and Imagine Englewood If (IEi).

Greater Englewood Unity organizers built on that success last year with this weekend’s Clean and Green clean up event on Saturday. As Asiaha Butler, President of R.A.G.E., explains,“The goal is to recruit our neighbors to clean and beautify their community.”

Community beautification is an important step in creating a neighborhood that feels safe and cohesive. The alliance itself and the Unity Day event came out of a January 2012 summit hosted by the Adler School and Illinois Sen. Mattie Hunter. At that event, Englewood community organizations came together to discuss and examine a solutions-based action plan to strengthen the struggling community’s economic development, improve education opportunities and lower crime. The alliance of community organizations and constituents now meets regularly to review neighborhood improvement opportunities and progress.

 

For more than two years, the Adler School’s Institute on Social Exclusion has worked with officials, researchers, Englewood community leaders and residents, and public and private officials on a number of projects for more than six years. Among them is ongoing Mental Health Impact Assessment (MHIA) work examining how proposed public programs and policy changes will affect the collective mental health and well-being of Englewood residents.

Community beautification is an important step in creating a neighborhood that feels safe and cohesive. The alliance itself and the Unity Day event came out of a January 2012 summit hosted by the Adler School and Illinois Sen. Mattie Hunter. At that event, Englewood community organizations came together to discuss and examine a solutions-based action plan to strengthen the struggling community’s economic development, improve education opportunities and lower crime. The alliance of community organizations and constituents now meets regularly to review neighborhood improvement opportunities and progress.

For more than two years, the Adler School’s Institute on Social Exclusion has worked with officials, researchers, Englewood community leaders and residents, and public and private officials on a number of projects for more than six years. Among them is ongoing Mental Health Impact Assessment (MHIA) work examining how proposed public programs and policy changes will affect the collective mental health and well-being of Englewood residents.

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