The Power of Collaboration
Muncie Action Plan believes in the power of collaboration.
In 2010, the Muncie community reported in the first Action Plan (MAP1) that poor health, poverty, unemployment, crime, and low educational achievement were formidable barriers against the development of our community. MAP collaborated with organizations including the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance and the Ball Brothers Foundation to launch the BY5 initiative. Research shows that 90% of brain development happens by age 5. As described on their website, a vital way to combat the obstacles facing our community is through early childhood development programs that are both accessible and of high-quality. Providing our children the best opportunities within the first 5 years of life propels them forward in school and eventually in the workforce. BY5 is now its own registered 501(c)(3) and is transforming our community.
Collaboration is an especially important part of MAP’s Task Force 2, “Fostering Collaboration.” The annual IDEA Conference is a collaboration between MAP, Building Better Neighborhoods, and Shafer Leadership Academy. This free conference brings together over a hundred community leaders to discuss ideas and translate them into actions and skills that strengthen the Muncie community.
MAP initiated the Neighborhood Leadership Council (NLC), a group that equips neighborhood residents to change their communities through leadership. The NLC meets on the third Tuesday of each month, generally at Maring-Hunt Library. Visit MAP’s Facebook Page for more information on each month’s meeting.
MAP encourages collaboration in facing Muncie’s health challenges, too. MAP board members Carrie Bale, Donna Browne, John Craddock, and Jenni Marsh are participating in a broad-based coalition of Muncie organizations that are discussing current initiatives surrounding the presence of lead in the community and ways to collaborate in further research, education, mitigation, and project funding. BY5 received funding through the City of Muncie’s Community Development Block Grant to pilot remediation attempts for one owner-occupied house in a specific geographic location whose young child had high blood lead level results. Multiple partners are collaborating on this pilot project in an attempt to understand the remediation process of possible home hazards.
The responsibility to collaborate rests with every member of our Muncie community. MAP collaborates with community members and organizations that line up with MAP’s strategic vision. In this way, Muncie Action Plan continues to help Muncie achieve its aspirations for the future.