Neighborhood leaders from 23 counties will meet at Saturday summit

By Maria Saporta

The fourth annual Neighborhood Summit will have representatives from all 23 counties when about 400 metro residents will convene Saturday morning, Sept. 22 at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta.

The summit, which is being put on by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, is themed: “Information: the Power to Transform Communities.” Participants will attend workshops on how to harness the power of information, including data, stories, maps and knowledge to better understand and transform their communities.

On the Neighborhood Summit website, it states:

Neighborhoods are the building blocks of the region. They shape its character. They impact the lives of its residents, businesses and organizations. Neighborhoods are where “community” begins. Creating and maintaining vibrant, sustainable communities requires ongoing attention. And for the last three years, the Neighborhood Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been working in concert with others to provide a forum for concerned citizens, neighborhood activists and other interested parties to gather, learn from each other, and share best practices.

The 23 counties that will be represented are: Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Morgan, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton.

For the first time, the Neighborhood Summit also will include “Curbside Consulting” with consultant Jack Beckford, who will share his expertise with interested communities.

Other folks who will be speaking at the Summit include Spalding County’s Regina Abbott, Gwinnett County’s Nicole Love and IBM’s Ann Cramer.

The break-out sessions will be as follows:

· The Voice: New tools for telling your story

· Bob the Builder: Pack your tools for building a better community

· General Hospital: A roundtable about community health

· Yard Crashers: Learn how a community turned their dilapidated park area into a nationally recognized KaBoom playground

· Law & Order

For more information at the fourth annual Neighborhood Summit, please click here.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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