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TAKING ON POVERTY: CREATING IMPACT AND OPPORTUNITY WITH A COMMUNITY PARTNER ORGANIZATION

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This session will explore how the Dubuque Circles Initiative has created deep, mutually
beneficial connections with colleges and universities to tackle poverty. Participants will
actively engage in exploring strengths and challenges of the Circles model, and explore
the benefits of incorporating similar approaches in their own communities.
Brad Cavanagh, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Loras College and Chair of
the Guiding Coalition for the Dubuque Circles Initiative, Andrea Helgager, Iowa
Campus Compact VISTA, Ann Mauss, Associate Professor Computing and Information
Technology, Ermina Soler, Circles Coach, Dubuque Circles Initiative, and Nancy Zachar
Fett, Associate Professor of Social Work

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TAKING ON POVERTY: CREATING IMPACT AND OPPORTUNITY WITH A COMMUNITY PARTNER ORGANIZATION

  1. 1. TAKING ON POVERTYCREATING IMPACT ANDOPPORTUNITY WITH A COMMUNITYPARTNER ORGANIZATIONErmina SolerBrad CavanaghAndrea HelgagerAnn MaussNancy Zachar Fett
  2. 2. THE CIRCLES® NATIONAL CAMPAIGN 70 member communities across 24 states and growing. Scott Miller from Albuquerque, NM is the founder of Circles® Think Tank, Inc. from Dayton, OH leads the national campaign The mission of the Circles® Campaign is to empower people fromevery economic class to solve poverty in their communities throughindividual transformation and community change.
  3. 3. ResourceTeamBig ViewTeamCommunityTeamEconomicStabilityTeamCircleLeaderTraining/GettingAheadAllyTraining/BridgesWEEK 1Individual Circles MeetWEEK 2Support GroupsWEEK 3Guiding Coalition MeetingWEEK 4Big View & Results MeetingSocial CapitalGreaterCommunityWEEK 5Family FunRecruitmentTeamCircleLeaderCoachSupport& LinksAllyAllyAllyCoordinatorGovernmentFaith-basedSocialServiceEducationBusiness &CorporateHealthCareTrainingGuiding Coalition – Leadership Team of CirclesMatchedCirclesWeeklyMeetingsCircles® Mental ModelConnectiontoCommunityCopyright 2011 National Circles Campaign
  4. 4. CIRCLES IMPACT2012Impact Reportwww.CirclesUSA.org
  5. 5. ResourceTeamBig ViewTeamCommunityTeamEconomicStabilityTeamCircleLeaderTraining/GettingAheadAllyTraining/BridgesWEEK 1Individual Circles MeetWEEK 2Support GroupsWEEK 3Guiding Coalition MeetingWEEK 4Big View & Results MeetingSocial CapitalGreaterCommunityWEEK 5Family FunRecruitmentTeamCircleLeaderCoachSupport& LinksAllyAllyAllyCoordinatorGovernmentFaith-basedSocialServiceEducationBusiness &CorporateHealthCareTrainingGuiding Coalition – Leadership Team of CirclesMatchedCirclesWeeklyMeetingsCircles® Mental ModelConnectiontoCommunityCopyright 2011 National Circles Campaign
  6. 6. AMERICORPS MEMBERS
  7. 7. SKILLS BASED VOLUNTEERISM
  8. 8. CONNECTING TO THE BROADER COMMUNITY
  9. 9. OVERVIEWCourse – Computing and InformationTechnology BasicsStudents learn basic computing skillsIncorporates Catholic Social Teaching into theCourseFocuses on the under-employed
  10. 10. PURPOSE
  11. 11. IMPACT Assumption Social Workers “get” poverty “It greatly changed my outlook on how I view poverty. Icome from a middle to upper middle class backgroundand had constantly been brought up to think thatEVERYONE in poverty cheated the system and wouldoveruse the government’s benefits or welfare. Once Iattended Bridges out of Poverty though, I learned a lot ofthings that would shoot my stereotypes right out thewindow”
  12. 12. “Living a life in poverty is a lot more than whatwe are taught in classes. It is not solely aboutfood stamps or government assistance. Yes,life in poverty is busy with juggling work,finding resources, caring for children, and somuch more.”
  13. 13. MOVIN’ THE ROCK UP THE HILL
  14. 14. LISTENING PAIRS
  15. 15.  Do you have examples of this kind of deeper communityconnection around an important social issue in yourcommunity? What are the strengths of this type of approach? What about challenges? Can you see this Circles approach working in yourcommunity?

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