The nonprofit Foundation for Community Driven Innovation, in partnership with Grow to Greatness Ventures, is spearheading a Forward Cities (forwardcities.org
) initiative out of AMRoC Fab Lab in Uptown Tampa. The goal of this effort is to engage with the heart of our community, the residents and businesses of Uptown, to truly understand needs and challenges, and provide meaningful resources, services and programs in the service of real economic and educational equity. We've already begun some of that work - through our STEM education programs, workforce skills development efforts and Equity in Entrepreneurship program. But we can't and shouldn't do it alone.
People cannot be what they cannot see. So we invite you – Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ, People of Color and varied national origins – to be seen, to share your stories, your time, your expertise, to inspire others and help give Uptown residents ownership and authorship of the community they live in. A community's success is not just good for the community, but for our city and our county and our state and nation.
To that end, we are reaching out to find organizations, business and individuals authentically interested in generating positive change through active engagement in the community to come together to be part of the Uptown Community Collaborative Work Group. The operative phrase here is "Work Group" . This is not a social club, nor a shell association for people to feel better about joining without doing the hard work required to effect meaningful change. While headquartered at AMRoC Fab Lab, we are calling this effort the Uptown Community Collaborative to keep the focus where it belongs - on the Community.
Members of the Uptown CC are invited to:
*Provide mentorship for youth and adult STEM and workforce education programs, youth robotics and Equity in Entrepreneurship program, as well as each other's programs;
*Volunteer at events and programs representing their organizations and speaking to issues of equity and access;
*Organize at least one meaningful program or project annually at AMRoC Fab Lab that expand access and opportunity for community residents;
*Share skills and expertise to help teach and inspire others;
*Provide some level of fiscal, material or equipment support for youth and adult programs at AMRoC ;
*Participate actively in quarterly Uptown CC meetings;
*Participate in the Forward Cities equity in entrepreneurship ecosystem roadmap development.
In return, FCDI/AMRoC Fab Lab will:
*Provide meeting and classroom space for active members, include online gathering spaces;
*Promote member organizations or businesses on our website and social media;
*Include member organizations or businesses in program planning opportunities;
*Invite member organizations or businesses to be part of grant and funding efforts.
If you feel you can be an active part of the Uptown Community Collaborative, share your information here and we'll be in touch soon with information about our inaugural meeting.