July 2016 Newsletter
The following content was originally distributed through IMPACT Silver Spring's July e-newsletter.
Message from the Senior Network Coach
Welcome to the July 2016 issue of the IMPACT Newsletter. This edition is devoted to sharing highlights from our first ever Annual Network Meeting held on June 8th. More than 90 network members and friends joined us for the event at the Silver Spring Civic Building. We know that one of the most important aspects of building and sustaining robust community-based networks is good communication and exchange of ideas among network members. Networks are more likely to thrive when information flows freely and people are learning from and sharing with each other.
At the Annual Meeting, during what we called “Network Action,” members of six IMPACT Circles shared their stories of collective action from the past year: the Gaithersburg Circle, the Micro-Entrepreneurs Circle, the Family Asset Building Circle, the East County Community Circle, the English Language Circle, and the Grandview Circle. The entire Annual Network Meeting was simultaneously interpreted in English and Spanish to encourage full inclusion and sharing.
We hope that you will scroll through the entirety of this newsletter to enjoy some of the pictures from the evening, read a few of the insights shared by Circle members during “Network Action,” and to make note of upcoming IMPACT network events listed on our calendar. Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of IMPACT’s work.
2016 Annual Network Meeting in Words and Pictures
“Not everything is about leaders. Community work also just needs people there to help. It’s important for people to know that they don’t have to take on some huge role, they can just be a contributor—with their voice, their time, their talent. Encourage other people in your community, as we work to broaden our Circles, to remember that all aspects of being on a team are important."
–Tia Taylor, East County Community Circle
“So many people who come from different places arrive here wondering what to do and are intimidated by the language. There are always the questions of what to do, where to study, where to work. The purpose of the Gaithersburg Circle is to continue to enlarge the Circle and amplify the voices of others. We open the doors to those who want to be active in their community and share their gifts.”
- Myriam Vargas, Gaithersburg Circle
“I have seen how people work hard day after day while only being paid a pittance. There are some people who are not even paid the minimum wage. I saw this when I came to this country so I challenged myself to start my own business.”
- Selvyn Vasquez, Micro-Entrepreneurs Circle
“Some people say, ‘why not just keep your money in the bank’ instead of using the Ekub [an Ethiopian traditional financial cooperative]. But, I say no. There are many advantages associated with the Ekub. Because there is no interest with the Ekub, the psychological effect is very helpful because people know that they can get interest-free money when they need it.”
-Elias Abdullah, Family Asset Building Circle