Sandra Mouzon, LCW’s Board Chair, is an incredible woman. A full time nurse and single mom, Sandra relocated to Lawrence from North Carolina via Boston and has been a leader in many of the Networks initiatives over the years. She is now the Chair of the LCW Board of Directors. In Sandra there is no better embodiment of the spirit of BOTH hope and pragmatism that is at the heart of the Network. When Sandra addressed the 1st annual member convention in March of this year, her keynote theme – riffing on the convention theme of “Tomorrow:Powered by People” was that for many people, “there is no tomorrow without success today.” This sentiment is one of the driving forces for our Network. We must be action oriented and we must be building connections and value at ever step. Where many are comfortable talking of HOPE, we also talk of PROGRESS, and where there is a strong spirit of ASPIRATION, their is an equally strong imperitive for ACTION. Below, please read the text of Sandra’s speech to the convention.
Key Note Address: LCW Network Membership Convention
Board Chairperson Sandra Mouzon
March 14, 2009
Lawrence, beautifully situated in the Merrimack Valley along the Merrimack River. Even before these troubling times, this crisis of the economy, we in this city have weathered our share of disinvestment by business, institutions and individuals. But a new day has dawned on our great city and its due in part to YOU the diverse/committed adult and youth members, the staff and Board and the Partners/Allies of Lawrence CommunityWorks.
We have designed multiple ways of getting connected and staying connected (ie: Poder..NeighborCircles)in Public and private life for as long as you need or want in a network friendly and beneficial way without the barriers; chaos, fear disappointment that many of us have encountered before.
We are successful at doing these three things which are at the heart of what we are all about:
Maximizing the creation of Individual/Family and Community Assest, Providing mutual support = one to another, and that includes groups/institutions/partners, and Engaging in and actively pursuing collective action leadership opportunities to revitalize Lawrence even during our present economy
In our networking approach we have created an environment where hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month after month, year after year. Down every street, around every block, and through every neighborhood… We continually: prioritize our goals, make plans and get the job done. And then…we celebrate our accomplishments like today!
The theme for our New Convention and Annual Meeting is TOMORROW : POWERED BY PEOPLE – the key to our successful Networking approach utilizes our most important asset – YOU!! It’s us. It’s we the people who staying connected are successfully living affordably in Lawrence; Building careers/business HERE, Finding good entertainment HERE, Having a good life… HERE
Tomorrow is defined as – the day after today, as in – the next day in the course of time. Tomorrow is the future but I say there is no tomorrow without success TODAY.
When so many across the nation because of our grim economic forecast and their personal situations can’t or don’t want to think about today much less tomorrow, we here in Lawrence are not only thinking about tomorrow but have an action agenda/plan for how it will unfold…and we are working at it every day.
There is no tomorrow – no future without success today, and our Networking Approach has grown us many successes. In spite of this economy we are still celebrating accomplishments:
A growing membership of over 5000, up from 700 in 2004. Approximately 6 fold increase in 5 years
The successfull inauguration of Mill Cities CDFI to help those seeking homeownership and other asset investments as financial institutions across the nation are closing or merging
Successfully counseling home buyers with only 1% of those counseled falling into foreclosure
successfully hosting, with our Partners the largest Lender Fair in the State
Successfully purchasing our 1st Mill Building: Union Crossing – this project is still shovel ready and green!
Receiving a recent Fireman’s Fund Program Related Investment Loan when many projects near and far have been put on hold due to financial constraints.
Sent 14 Movement City seniors to college when many students can’t afford college education….
the list goes on
In closing – the workshops prepared/designed today are for you and they are Network focused! I encourage you to – seize the opportunity they offer today, and to provide the leadership that we – our city needs tomorrow and STAY CONNECTED!