Equity and Inclusion
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When? Sunday, March 10 from 1-3 pm.

Full details here.

Over the past several months more than 50 people in our community just like you have been involved in a discussion of the book, White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, by Robin J. DiAngelo. Almost every day we hear about or see some public figure involved in racist conduct. In our discussions we have been learning that the day-to-day experience of people of color here in our community is made difficult by micro-aggressions and white privilege.

We care about racism and white supremacy.

What can we do?

Join the discussion. Bring a friend.


Dr. Gregory A. Jones will present
the framework for our discussion

Space is limited, please reserve your spot soon. This is a FREE program, though donations are welcome.


ValpoNEXT Asset Based Community Development Training

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ValpoNEXT will be partnering with George Terrell to create a workshop around Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) here in Valparaiso. Rather than organizing people and communities around
needs, asset-based community development seeks to identify assets. Everyone in our community has unique gifts that they would like to give to make the community better. All we have to do is to invite them.

Date, location, pricing and other details to be determined. Check back soon for details or make sure you are subscribed to our email list to get updates as soon as they are available.


ValpoNEXT Civic Reflection Training Update

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Civic reflection is a discussion model that uses readings, images and video to engage people in productive conversation about issues that impact their communities and work, as well as build bridges of understanding in the midst of differences. This training gave citizens of Valpo the tools to facilitate difficult dialogue in a variety of contexts.

This took place on April 1st at 6:30PM. This was a FREE program, though donations are welcome to fund future programs like it.

This program is made possible by a partnership with Valparaiso Unversity’s Institute for Leadership & Service Civic Reflection Initiative.


Podcast: Elizabeth Lynn on ValpoNEXT’s Start

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Elizabeth Lynn

ValpoNEXT Coordinator Kathy Sipple speaks with Elizabeth Lynn, Founding Director at the Center for Civic Reflection at Valparaiso University and outgoing Director at VU’s Institute for Leadership and Service.

Lynn and Sipple discuss the initial issues that formed the foundation of the ValpoNEXT planning process. After hiring an outside organization and organizing a variety of methods to hear public opinions, the developed and in-depth set of recommendations for the city. This plan is to carry Valparaiso through the next several decades and help it become the most engaged city of its size. The nonprofit group ValpoNEXT was formed to connect and guide volunteers in the community to focus strengths towards these common goals. The necessity of the community board meetings is emphasized, as well as the need for volunteers (as well as details to get involved).

Elizabeth Lynn Background

Dr. Lynn teaches in the field of philanthropic leadership and service, conducts research on the role of the humanities in American civic life, served on the Valparaiso Board of Zoning Appeals, the governing board of Indiana Humanities, and the advisory board for the Lake Family Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University.

She holds a PhD in Religion and Literature from the University of Chicago and is the Co-editor with Adam Davis of The Civically Engaged Reader. Most recently she authored An Ongoing Experiment: State Councils, the Humanities, and the American Public (Kettering Foundation, 2013).

Transcript Notes

  • Elizabeth Lynn was the co-chair when ValpoNEXT was being planned. She is also the founding director at Valparaiso University’s Center for Civic Reflection, as well as the director at the Institute for Leadership and Service.
  • There is a decline in civic engagement in the United States as a whole, but members of the Valparaiso community were still healthily engaged.
  • The community hired an organization called Planning NEXT to craft a broad vision for Valparaiso’s future.
    • Organized summits, small group focus sessions, and other meetings to get advice and recommendations for Valparaiso citizens.
  • This created the nonprofit ValpoNEXT to form community boards in order to connect interested individuals within the city.
  • Recommendations in the plan focus on being a welcoming community, celebrating diversity, and encouraging interactions between people of widely different backgrounds within Valparaiso.
  • All Together Valpo (ATV) was a task force formed by the mayor based on ValpoNEXT’s vision plan. It was made up of three subcommittees working on different issues related to diversity and inclusion.
    • Hiring a more diverse workforce within the city (schools, public works, administration, etc.), affordable housing, how to become more welcoming and inclusive in general.
    • Welcoming Valpo committee was together till 2015 and put forward a report of recommendations that helped lead to Maggie Clifton’s hiring as the Director of Community Engagement.
  • Community board meetings allow citizens to meet one another, learn what community boards have been working on, and engaging new people in the overall process of ValpoNEXT.
  • ValpoNEXT helps connect people in and catalyze the civic energy that exists in Valpo.

The relationships built when people connect at community board meetings will run for a long, long time. This plan is a long-term community vision.

ValpoNEXT could use note takers, documenters, and more! Contact at info@valponext.org

Getting Involved!

Economic Vitality

Transit Oriented Development RFP Opportunity

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The Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development of property at and around 260-360 South Campbell Street Valparaiso, IN 46383.

The RFP is attached and is best viewed with an online connection to view all accompanying resources. The RFP can also be viewed online at: https://ci.valparaiso.in.us/DocumentCenter/View/6379

The RFP is accompanied by a website that includes maps, property descriptions and environmental reports: https://ci.valparaiso.in.us/1583/RFP-Parcel-Information

The Commission has also prepared a “virtual walk-through” including pictures and maps of buildings and parcels: https://ci.valparaiso.in.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/4435

Please be aware of the following timeline:

March 5, 2018:
A walkthrough will be hosted at the Redevelopment Area from 2pm-4pm CT. Alternative tour dates may be arranged by contacting Lauren Orchard at lorchard@valpo.us; however, there is no guarantee that alternative dates can be accommodated.

April 5, 2018:
All requests for clarification must be received at least one (1) week before the opening date to allow for the issuance of any addendums determined by the Commission to be necessary.

April 12, 2018: Any Respondent wishing to make a Proposal to purchase any or all of parcels of the real estate offered for sale must submit their sealed, written Proposal no later than April 12, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. CT. The Proposals received will be opened in public by the Commission’s Executive Director on April 12, 2018 during the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting, which begins at 4:00 pm CT.
Interpretations or clarifications determined necessary by the Commission will be issued by addenda mailed, e-mailed, or otherwise delivered to all Respondents recorded by the Commission as having received the RFP and requesting to receive updated information.

Please note that to receive addendums or other information updates, Respondents must email Lauren Orchard at lorchard@valpo.us to register their email contact information. Only questions answered by formal written addenda will be binding. Oral and other interpretations or clarifications from any other source will be without legal effect.