October 2019 was the very first Urban Summit ever hosted. Featuring speakers from both the local Springfield Community and leaders in Christian Community Development, the goal of the event was to facilitate conversations and ignite dreams to make Springfield a better, stronger community for all people.
In its first iteration, the Urban Summit had speakers, followed by Audience Q&A’s, that brought their own unique answers to the question:
How do we, the people of Springfield build a stronger Springfield?
One of the key objectives was to bring people from all walks of life and positions (or lack thereof) together to have conversations in a safe space. We identified four key roles that are almost never together in the same place:
- Beneficiaries of different programs
- Volunteers/Entry-level employees who work directly with beneficiaries
- Program Coordinators and Directors who work to build/maintain/enhance the systems designed to help Springfield’s community
- Program Executives, responsible for designing and leading these programs.
Whether you understand a “program” as a church’s outreach ministry, a government agency, a business, or a nonprofit organization, because representatives are almost never seated together in the same room when members of our community come together, we almost always miss the whole picture.
We sought to bring people together while asking good questions, not necessarily to provide answers or pathways. We hoped to inspire people to dream bigger—or to remember their long-forgotten dreams. We believe that building a good and beautiful community must come from within the community itself.