How can Marshalltown, Iowa sustain and build on the Not In Our Town efforts launched in 2012, so the community can achieve lasting change?
That was the big question a group of more than 20 civic leaders gathered to discuss at their first-ever retreat held at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Marshalltown.
The group invited speakers from three areas their campaign to stop bullying was working to address: Schools, Home, Community and Workplace. Non-profit and advocacy organizations from Immigrant Allies, Domestic Violence advocates, the school district and chamber of commerce presented needs to the group for support and action.
Not In Our Town Executive Producer Patrice O'Neill and evaluation coach and consultant Grace Carroll were there to observe and told the group that their efforts would be watched and shared with communities nationwide. They presented ideas for benchmarks that are particular to Marshalltown, but also universal for other towns who may want to strive for Gold Star City status on the NIOT.org map.
After the reports and discussion, a group brainstorming session followed. Key ideas and action steps that emerged include: a call for a communitywide summit, neighborhood block parties, the need to diversify the leadership to reflect all in the community, and a call to refine a positive mission with a clear set of goals.
We'll be cheering you on, Marshalltown!