Community Impact–”Change Happens When Ordinary People Get Involved”. (Barack Obama)


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President Obama sits with community leaders and discuss community impact at the White House Iftar dinner 2015

Letter from the CEO & Chairman

Neighborhood & Economic Development, Inc. was founded on the premise that; real change happens when ordinary people get involved at all levels–including the higher levels. If we want to deliver on our promises of high-quality programs and sustainable community impact–we don’t have to look to government to solve our problems. The answers are with us–we will have to find better ways to lead more inclusively and run our companies and programs more effectively.

One big way of doing this is creating an ecosystem of leadership where our constituency’s direct experience with social injustices is valued as pre-qualifying criteria to begin carrying out a number of our different objectives. We don’t realize how damaging it is to have so few of our constituency involved in the work of community impact, especially at the higher levels. They bring an understanding of current conditions. Local leadership who treats their constituency as anything less than their No. 1 they’re missing out on untapped talent that could strengthen research and community impact.

I find that disengaged low income residents may meet their expectations of paying taxes and voting but do not expend discretionary energy on their community. Common drivers community engagement is the sum of direct experience with social injustices. A good place for us to start is by leveraging our leadership to influence personal development and career opportunities relative to experiences with injustices and the desire for change. Incorporating community ideas, and connecting their involvement with our programs to the city’s overall goals.

A good place to start with this is mentorship. While this solution isn’t necessarily expensive, it would entail some investment from both parties. The key requirement is to exercise the courage and vision to intentionally create a highly engaged culture in every corner beginning in the cities and neighborhoods that needs it most.

Wayne Rucker

CEO & Chairman

Neighborhood & Economic Development, Inc. 501 c 3


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