For 25 years, a five-state consortium of local government and neighborhood leaders has come together for the Regional Neighborhood Network Conference. This year, Cincinnati and Covington jointly host the conference making literal its 2011 theme: "Building Bridges, Making Connections."
The RNNC is a three-day event aimed at strengthening neighborhoods and fostering community engagement. Founded in Louisville in 1986, the network includes Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee. This year's conference marks its 25th anniversary and the first time that either Cincinnati or Covington has sponsored it.
"The grassroots value of the conference is learning from one another and growing your own communities based on examples from other successful initiatives," says Covington city spokeswoman Angela Cook. "This sets an example of what the conference it all about, two large communities working together and becoming successful."
The conference is Sept. 22-24 at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. Events and workshops will be held in both cities, with TANK buses providing transportation. About 500 people are expected, representing grassroots community groups, government, nonprofit organizations, corporations and foundations. "We have a lot of great neighborhood tours and local workshops planned," says Cincinnati city spokeswoman Tiffaney Hardy. "We'll also be visiting the projects going across the city outside of the traditional workshop setting."
Among the more than 50 sessions planned sessions are those on social media, communicating through technology, leadership development, historic preservation, violence prevention, recycling and economic inclusion. Keynote speakers include Corey Dade, Washington, D. C. national correspondent for NPR. In addition to sessions at the Hilton, sessions in Covington will be held at The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center.
"There is a benefit for us to showcase our region in hopes that we interest people, and they come back and visit us," Cook says.
Find out more about the conference or register.
By Feoshia Henderson