The timeliness and significance of this year’s conference theme Collaborating for Community Change cannot be overstated. Foundations, governments, and individual donors at the local, regional and national level are more focused than ever on community impact and outcomes.
At the same time, all are coming to the realization that profound, systemic community change calls for deep collaboration, and not just between nonprofit organizations themselves. It takes a community to effect meaningful change and it’s never been more important to emphasize the value of collaboration between nonprofits, city and county governments, local businesses, and community members.
It’s no secret that affordable housing is a key issue here on the Olympic Peninsula, and one that bears a tremendous impact on quality of life and community health. Our Keynote Speaker, Marty Kooistra, was selected to lead this year’s conversation because of his expertise in affordable housing, and in bringing diverse people and organizations to the table to work on solutions to the housing crisis.
VALUE OF COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS
Marty heads up the Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County, a 170-member association focused on affordable housing. He has been a champion of community revital-ization, strategic alliances, and affordable housing for 30 years.
In the early 2000s, Marty worked with a kindred spirit, Harvard University Professor Jane Wei-Skillern, whose research on networked nonprofits struck a chord with Marty. He has been sharing the value of, and the leadership principles for community collaborations ever since.
Similarly, our Panelists and Breakout Session Leaders represent examples of three unique partnerships making substantial change here on the Olympic Peninsula.
Jefferson LandWorks Collaborative:
Sarah Spaeth, director of Conservation and Strategic Partnerships at Jefferson Land Trust will represent Jefferson LandWorks Collaborative, a network of local nonprofit partners working to make “working lands” in Jefferson County productive and profitable, thus ensuring long-term viability.
Each of the LandWorks partners provide expertise in different areas to help farmers and foresters succeed in Jefferson County. As a group, LandWorks partners work closely with farmers, foresters and other landowners offering assistance in securing and preserving land, financial advising, marketing opportunities, educational training, and resource management.
Olympic Peninsula Healthy Communities Coalition:
Dr. Monica Dixon, co-founder and past president of the Olympic Peninsula Healthy Communities Coalition (OPHCC), will share the story of how a few passionate leaders in Clallam County grew to a 501(c)3 representing over 40 leaders from the non-profit, business, education, health care and government sectors, working together to make our county a healthier place to live. From its humble beginnings in 2015 using a small grant from Olympic Community View Foundation, a needs assessment was conducted with local leaders to determine interest in building a larger coalition to help reverse our county's negative health trends. Through resource and idea sharing at monthly meetings, OPHCC quickly grew to share the 5-2-1-0 health initiative to tens of thousands of local residents and trained hundreds of our leaders to expand their impact even more broadly. OPHCC has received awards at the regional and state level for its successful model of community-building and collaboration.
CELEBRATING OLYMPIC PENINSULA'S ARTS, SCIENCE AND CULTURE
The Port Angeles Waterfront Center and its site partners, Feiro Marine Life Center, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation,and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, will create a unique campus celebrating the arts, science and culture on the Olympic Peninsula.
Celebrating the Arts, Science and Culture on the Olympic Peninsula