SPEAC (Sustainable Progress through Engaging Active Citizens)

SPEAC leaders organize a first-time collaborative event in Peavey Park. Photo: Bruce Silcox

SPEAC Mission Statement

SPEAC provides a means of cultivating and channeling the power of citizens in the Twin Cities. Through Hope Community, SPEAC promotes effective models of community organizing and leadership.

Projects

Peavey Park Civic Action Project
SPEAC gives community members knowledge and confidence to contribute to civic revitalization and change. Because Hope Community’s mission is focused in the Phillips area of South Minneapolis, SPEAC leaders chose Peavey Park (just two blocks from Hope) as their civic action project. The park has a troubled history, very limited facilities, and few resources. In 2008, the attention SPEAC brought to the issue of facilities for youth in the Phillips community helped to convince the Park Board to staff the building formerly occupied by the Boys and Girls Club in the community. SPEAC leaders continue to work on the issue.

Neighborhood Listening Project 2010-2011
In 2010-2011, Hope staff and SPEAC members facilitated Listening Sessions with more than 150 neighborhood people. Sessions were held at low income housing organizations, Peace House, other community organizations like Lutheran Social Services and Waite House. Sessions focused on Peavey Park, safety, skills needed in the community, and community involvement. Core themes that emerged out of the Listening sessions: people want to know how they can be part of shaping the future for their community and Peavey Park, but often feel powerless, education and job opportunities are critical issues, and there is significant concern about safety in and around the park. The information and relationships from this process will feed Hope’s work in the area for some time to come.

Youth Listening Project 2007-2008
Hope staff began the listening project in 2007. The project involved engaging partner youth organizations who gathered groups of youth to participate. The SPEAC youth participated and then organized and ran the last 10 of 20 sessions. They built partnerships with participating organizations, planned and implemented the listening session and recorded the input. The SPEAC group compiled all the input, developed themes and wrote a report which was published. They also organized a “report back” meeting attended by 125 youth and adults who had participated in the project. View the Hope Community Youth Listening Project Report on our Publications page.

Questions? Contact Chaka Mkali, Director of Organizing and Community Building at cmkali@hope-community.org or call (612) 435-1677.