Saturday, June 4, 2011

Community Roundtables & Non-Profit Showcases

This is a CALL TO ACTION for constructive dialogue!

Have you ever wanted to "take your message to the streets"? Have you ever felt constrained by the traditional methods of getting together in "informational meetings" or felt that a room with four walls is not necessarily the best place to be innovative or engaging? What if you could "meet people where they are at" rather than having them have to come to you?

Well, have you heard of these two amazing opportunities for bringing your organization's message to a new population?

[1] COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE AT THE FENTON STREET MARKET Saturdays mornings (time determined by you) The Fenton Street Market, held every Saturday on Veterans Plaza (downtown Silver Spring) makes available a couple of tables and chairs where you can enter into a dialogue with the folks that happen to be at the market - and, of course, you can also invite folks beforehand to make sure you have a good crowd.

These conversations in the marketplace have already demonstrated to be highly successful. Facilitators have included Senator Jamie Raskin discussing the new "B" Corporations; Regional Center Director Reemberto Rodriguez inviting people to volunteer; and Delegate Tom Hucker talking about Pepco and clean energy.

If you have an enticing topic that you want to bring to this space, please contact Hannah McCann at

[2] NON-PROFIT SHOWCASE Monday evenings (7-9) on Veterans Plaza (downtown Silver Spring) These experimental dialogues started as "Monday Evening Conversations", but soon it became evident that they are a wonderful opportunity for our robust non-profit community to connect with a population that may not normally know about them. The idea is simple: We have a wonderful 'public square' in Veterans Plaza. People from all walks of life 'happen to come by' at any given moment. Monday evenings at the Plaza provide as good opportunity as any to seize the moment and engage folks that happen to be there... And, of course, it also provides a great opportunity to be intentional about bringing people to join in the dialogue.

Non-profits are welcome to sign up to 'showcase' their organization. The idea is that non-profits would come by, be available to those on the Plaza, walk arond and engage them in substantive dialogue about mission, services, and/or volunteering opportunities. (More than one non-profit can be there at one time - it is a big Plaza!) NOTE: There is no staff support provided for logistics or equipment. While there are small tables on the Plaza, organizations are encouraged to bring their own table if they are going to display material.

If your organization wants to participate, simply e-mail Gwen Haney at Gwen.Haney@MontgomeryCountyMd.Gov

We hope you take advantage of these two opportunities!

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