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In Community We Trust: A Collective Impact
What exactly is a Collective Impact Partnership, and how does it work?
The first thing that Dr. Samino Scott wants us to know about the Collective Impact framework is that it’s not focused on creating new initiatives. “Pontiac has generations of civic leaders and community builders who have been working diligently for decades to make this a better place to live,” he explains. “We’re not here to reinvent the wheel, or to start something new; we’re here to bring all of the different initiatives together, to bring our common goals into focus and collaborate together to achieve them.”
It’s also a very data-based approach to determining outcomes and how different community projects might work together more efficiently. By tracking specific metrics that relate to larger outcomes, such as Thriving Neighborhoods or Cradle to Career Education, the Collective Impact Partnership serves as a clearinghouse of ideas. The approach also encourages more efficiency across programs.
“We have a lot of resources and investment, and many projects that are currently in the works, which might benefit from a more cross-functional approach,” Dr. Scott notes. “What can we learn from each other? How can we build off of the work that has been done before, or is occurring now? We’re growing the networks that exist, we’re developing that connective tissue between our different organizations, and sometimes we’re refocusing them.”
The internal team may be small, consisting of Executive Director Dr. Samino Scott, Community Engagement Manager Anisha Hannah, and Executive Assistant Breana Teamer, but its primary goal is to enhance existing relationships and help build bridges across the community. “Our Executive Council guides us, but we’re driven by the Community Advisory Council—they keep us honest! Their input is key as we work to connect different initiatives while maintaining a community-first approach,” Dr. Scott says. “It was through their feedback that we identified our Quality of Life focus, which has been further defined by tracking specific outcomes related to education and neighborhoods.”
Make sure your voice is heard! Join our Community Advisory Council to share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas for how we can make Pontiac a more vibrant place to live.