Most meetings have new locations throughout the summer as the schools are closed for construction during this time. All are welcome to join — an event RSVP is appreciated but not required. Additional details available via Facebook.
ValpoNEXT Coordinator Kathy Sipple speaks with Jeff Lewis, a member of the Executive Board and leader of the monthly Equity and Inclusion Community meetings. Lewis discusses the Equity and Inclusion Community Action Committee in depth. Some of its initiatives include “engaging our citizens” and “embracing our diversity,” which has translated to pushes for affordable housing and publicizing social services in Valparaiso. Diverse community members are asked to attend meetings if interested in order to bring together a wide variety of voices on each topic.
The Equity and Inclusion group’s connections to Valparaiso’s Advisory Human Relations Council are explained in depth. Lewis then goes on to discuss Project Neighbors, of which he is the acting president. This organization has formed several spin-offs to provide housing for vulnerable individuals, childcare, healthcare, and a variety of other services. Finally, they “call out” several individuals who have been active in the Equity and Inclusion community action committee, discussing their roles in the community and how they bring their own skills to help ValpoNEXT (as an example of how every volunteer is a tool for good).