The 0-21 Task Force: An Open Invitation
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending two worthwhile events. The first of which was a panel I was invited to speak on for the NJ Office of School Linked Services. The title of the panel was “Collective Impact: Building Communities that Survive and Thrive.”
The second was an educational conference aimed at nonprofits, held in Princeton, NJ named “Community Works.” At both events, the diversity of ideas, the abundance of perspectives, the synergy in the room, there were so many bits of insight I walked away with. Among the most memorable, the undeniable power of the collective. There are very real limitations to what we can accomplish as individuals. From resources to capacity, to downright “know how”, when we try to go it alone, we may be able to go fast, but seldom, if ever, are we able to go far. It inspires me and excites me to know that educators, advocates, and community organizers all around the state of New Jersey come together, sometimes for no longer than what may be considered “moments” to participate in an exchange of ideas in hopes of bettering the communities where they live, work, and play.
Reflecting on these two events I asked myself what more could I be doing to advance the spirit of collaboration here in New Brunswick? The answer came in the form of a suggestion from one of my colleagues. She offered, “Why don’t you extend an open invitation to the next 0-21 task force meeting?” It was brilliant. Of all the important work that we do, among the most critical is the ability to convene relevant stakeholders, whether that means other city agencies, teachers, parents, students, or community members, in the youth space around issues most challenging to the 0-21 population in the city. At New Brunswick Tomorrow, the 0-21 Task Force is the vessel with which we do this. We host Task Force meetings approximately every 6 weeks to 2 months. The time between meetings allows us to secure relevant and engaging presenters for the following meetings and to implement some of the strategies that we discuss, in hopes of reconvening to see just how well they are working.
Let this be an official and open invitation to all those who care for, root for, and stand for New Brunswick’s youth. We welcome you wholeheartedly to our dialogues, discussions, and discourse. We enjoy new voices around the table and fresh ideas that complement our efforts to improve the quality of life for every resident in the city, by moving the youth forward.
The next 0-21 Task Force Meeting will be held on March 26th, 2019 at 1000 Somerset St. New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Room J116 (School Based Office) from 11am-1:00 p.m. (New Brunswick High School)