When the Ruth Mott Foundation embarked on its new strategic plan for north Flint in 2016, we made a commitment to listen and to implement a renewed, vigorous, and all-encompassing approach to community engagement. Our goal is that residents of north Flint neighborhoods will create and sustain opportunities to contribute and thrive, and we know that to do this we must put the people we are serving at the center of our work.
The Ruth Mott Foundation held two community forums in December 2017 to solicit feedback from residents and community members about our work to date since shifting our focus to north Flint and adopting the four priorities that residents identified for us: youth, safety, economic opportunity, and neighborhoods.
Our query to participants was threefold: What are we doing right? What could be improved? What questions do you have for us?
Our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who participated. Across both forums there were about 170 attendees who engaged in earnest and provided thoughtful comments and concerns that we use to inform our day-to-day work. As promised, we compiled the feedback and reported back to participants, and we posted a more detailed summary of the results that can be found on our website.
We were gratified to learn that youth are still a priority for the community, illustrated by participants’ inclusion of youth under what we’re doing right AND what could be improved. We, too, recognize that while we have made great strides toward fostering interventions designed to improve outcomes for young people in north Flint, there is still much work to be done. We remain committed to continuing to serve youth as our top program area. We were also pleased that residents recognize that community engagement is critical to our work, and that we’re on track with our north Flint strategic focus.
At the Ruth Mott Foundation, we recognize that getting regular input helps us continuously improve our work and improve outcomes in our north Flint focus area.
As we continue to make grants here in the years to come, we pledge to connect with north Flint residents and use their ideas in our strategies. Our commitment to north Flint is a commitment to always listen to the people who live and work here every day.