CHCS Tenant Academy

Posted on August 13, 2019

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Strategies to Strengthen Your Apartment Community

The Tenant Leadership Academy has been created to provide tenants in Greensboro with an opportunity to learn the skills necessary to discover their leadership abilities and strengthen their apartment communities. By organizing apartment communities, tenant leaders will create the conditions necessary to advocate for better quality housing, reduce evictions, find resources to improve their communities and have a voice in government policy-making. Empowered communities can also use the same techniques to work on other issues, including health outcomes, crime, improved educational facilities and lack of retail options as well as build neighborhood social capital through encouraging the interaction of residents with events such as festivals and block parties.
The curriculum of the academy has been written to emphasize skills such as leadership development, how to envision a better community through the input of residents, how to create a functioning organizational structure and the creation and implementation of action plans. A sampling of the workshops within the academy are “Who are you?: Leaders and community organizers,” “Tools for mediation: Landlord/tenant disputes” and “Reframing grievances into action.” To provide a broad curriculum that covers as many aspects of leadership and organizing as possible, we’ve contacted potential instructors from diverse backgrounds to conduct and facilitate the workshops, including Jeremy Rinker from UNCG’s Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Ed Whitfield of the Fund for Democratic Communities, Jodie Stanley of the City of Greensboro’s Human Relations Commission and International Advisory Committee, and Susan Taaffe of the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress. With the instructors we’ve chosen, tenants will leave the academy with the skills they need to create positive change in their communities.
The Tenant Leadership Academy will be held at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church located in south Greensboro. Prince of Peace is known for its history of hosting community programs, including the Out of the Garden Project which provides healthy meals to school children as part of their “Operation Backpack.” The church is accessible to the populations who we are targeting for recruitment, and as we plan future tenant academies we will be reaching out to other religious and community institutions to provide spaces that are both easily accessed by attendees as well as rooted in the communities that we are working with.



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