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SUMMIT HELPS STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY TIES

3/22/2017, noon | Updated on 3/22/2017, noon
“The Woodlawn Community Summit and South East Chicago Commission (SECC) recently held their the Eighth Annual Woodlawn Community Summit, with ...
SECC Executive Director Wendy Walker Williams said there has been so much attention and extra excitement by residents in the Woodlawn area, especially with Former President Barack Obama’s Library coming soon. Williams recently discussed “What’s Going On,” and the 8th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit, which was held recently at the University Of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, 960 East 60th St. Photo by Christopher Shuttlesworth

SUMMIT HELPS STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY TIES

By Christopher Shuttlesworth

“The Woodlawn Community Summit and South

East Chicago Commission (SECC) recently held their the

Eighth Annual Woodlawn Community Summit, with a

community-driven theme “What’s Going On.” The event

was held on Saturday March 18, 2017, from 8 a.m. -12

p.m., at the University of Chicago School of Social Service

Administration, 960 East 60th Street. With the goal to

carve one path to a vibrant community, this summit brought

together residents, stakeholders and planners with a united

vision for the community.

SECC Executive Director Wendy Walker Williams

said there has been so much attention and extra excitement

by residents in the Woodlawn area, especially with Former

President Barack Obama’s Library coming soon. The Chicago

Citizen sat down with Williams to discuss the significance of

the 8th Annual Woodlawn Community Summit and what it

has meant to the community.

Citizen How significant has the Summit become in shaping the community? Williams

I think extremely. People really look forward to the Summit. People are excited to want to volunteer and plan it and participate in it. And people are very candid, open and honest. They aren’t too many communities where you really know your neighbors. So, this summit is like a family reunion.

Other community organizations have modeled their community engagement activities around the summit model. So, I think that’s definitely been a significant impact on shaping the Woodlawn community.

Citizen What is the best quality about the Woodlawn community? Williams

Definitely, that it’s by the residents and for the residents.

People in Woodlawn know their neighbor, their friend from across the street or their member from their church or somebody’s mama actually planned this. What’s unique and wonderful behind it is that it’s nobody’s agenda, but people.

Citizen What have been some of the outcomes of past summits? Williams

So, there has been 8 Summits and from every summit there are certain action items or there is something that is birthed from it. The Woodlawn Chamber was an idea that came out of a Woodlawn Summit a couple of years ago. So, the planning committee that was on the Economic Development Committee got together and took it to the next level. They filed for their 501c 3...There has been an increase in block clubs and an overall increase in civil engagement among the people in Woodlawn [because of the summits.]

Citizen Why is it important to contribute, help and be passionate about the growth of your community? Williams

If you don’t then who will? Seriously, if you’re not going to step up and actively engage in your community then your community is going to happen around you. You cannot begin to complain or you cannot begin to question or wonder why if you’re not going to take the initiative to try and find out and change something that you think needs to be changed. So, it’s extremely important for everyone to be active in their community....There are some communities that kind of run on their own. They have their resources in place and you don’t really have to be as concerned as you would have to be in other communities. So, you get out of your community,

what you put in.