The New Prosperity Initiative | Community Dialogue Series

June 15, 2010

I recently had the privilege of participating in The New Prosperity Initiative(NPi) Community Dialogue Series. NPi, was founded by Jeanne Dasaro andAlexis Schroeder with the goal to publicize the efforts of individuals and organizations working to build social and economic prosperity. NPi brought together four Boston based non-profits with missions focused on food systems and environmental sustainability.

We heard inspiring stories from:

Matthew Kochka, Farm Manager, “Victory Programs” ReVision Urban Farm, working to increase access to affordable, nutritious, culturally appropriate food for shelter residents and community members through community-supported farming.

Gene Benson, Services Program Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment, building the power of communities of color and lower income communities in New England to eradicate environmental racism and classism and achieve environmental justice.

Kimberly Guerra, Lead Teacher with “e” Inc. providing science education with community action in order to improve environmental health in urban communities.

The event was hosted by the NEXUS Green Building Resource Center, an organization working to mainstream green building design and practice.

I am always impressed with the work being done on the ground to build capacity in order to improve the quality of life of people and communities. I am also continually fascinated with the conversation of why this work is needed and where the challenges lie that impede progress. In this case we heard stories about inadequate and unmet basic human needs pertaining to food, education, and justice. I believe these are common stories that could be heard in many communities across the United States (and certainly across the globe). If this is the case (and with the hope of keeping the dialogue open) I offer this question – In what ways do we, as individuals, organizations and society as a whole, contribute to the conditions that systematically undermine our capacity to meet basic human needs?

I would like to thank NPi and my fellow panel participants for opening this dialogue. I highly recommend keeping up with NPi as they work to get the word out on future Prosperity for all!

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