The North End Community Improvement Collaborative, Inc. (NECIC) held their quarterly Faith Based Advisory Council (FBAC) breakfast meeting last week, bringing 2018 to a close and announcing new ventures for 2019.

The event was attended by representatives of local churches and faith-based initiatives, as well as representatives from area organizations, including Richland County Children’s Services and Idea Works.

Heather Tsavaris, representing Idea Works, announced the Core City program, which will launch locally in 2019. Information sessions will be held in January for the 10-week program.

Tsavaris said entrepreneurs often need some help. “We are going to inundate them, give them so much information about marketing, leadership, and management, and access to mentors,” she said. “The idea is to surround them with all kinds of support to see how we can get folks from wherever it is they are now to that next spot.”

Carla James of Faith Temple announced an upcoming event, Minority Mental Health Awareness, which will focus on how minority history affects mental health and how churches can help healing, featuring speaker Dr. John E. Queener, Jr. The free event will be held Monday, December 3 from 11 AM to 2 PM at UMADAOP, 215 Trimble Road.

NECIC Community Organizer Kay Smith addressed the growing number of suicides in the area, and said the topic would be discussed at the upcoming North End Neighbor Up Night, Wednesday, December 12, 5 to 7 pm, at NECIC, 134 N. Main Street.

She also announced a Nonprofit Capacity Building Workshop. The workshop will be held Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon, beginning Jan. 5, and continuing for up to 8 weeks. This workshop is for those interested in founding a nonprofit and discusses the many ins and outs of nonprofit building, led by Deanna West-Torrence, founder and Executive Director of NECIC. The workshop is free, and those interested should contact Kay Smith at 419-522-1611, extension 113.

NECIC Executive Coordinator Leona Smith announced the upcoming launch of AALI, the African American Leadership Initiative. “This is something that NECIC is really excited to launch,” she said. “Our area has tons of resources and opportunity, but that can be different for a person based on the color of their skin.”

She said the group would focus on repairing relationships in the community and building resources and leadership for African Americans. A page on the NECIC website will offer more information in the near future.

Also launching in 2019 at NECIC will be an urban microfarm, one of 16 in the city as part of a partnership with The Ohio State University.

Additionally, NECIC will launch Open Table. The Open Table uses a community-based, bottom-up, grassroots model to draw together the relational, intellectual, and social capital of communities to transform the lives of participants.

NECIC Executive Director Deanna West-Torrence said the project licensing has been funded by the SN and Ada Ford Fund.  “Say you have a youth aging out of foster care that may not have family support. Open Table is a model that brings together 6 to 8 community members to surround that youth with resources and support.”

Those interested in serving as Open Table mentors should contact Kay Smith at 419-522-1611, extension 113. More information will be available soon.

The next NECIC Faith Based Advisory Council breakfast will be held Friday, February 22, 2019, from 8:30 to 11 AM, at NECIC, 134 N. Main Street, Mansfield. If your organization would like to take part, please call Kay Smith at 419-522-1611, extension 113.

Source: NECIC

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