100 Day Report
I am happy to share that I am settling into my new role as Executive Director of Renaissance Heights Foundation. My first 100 days have been filled with warm and enthusiastic reception and opportunities for many thoughtful conversations about the future of Renaissance Heights.
The future is promising, and Renaissance Heights residents are resilient and remain committed to their community — insisting that a place at the table be made for us. I am grateful to be serving in this role and at a time when many people want to increase their engagement and connect in new ways.
Over the past four months, I have enjoyed getting to know the dedicated staff and dynamic board comprised of senior level business and civic leaders that are deeply invested in the success of the initiative. They have worked tirelessly to advance our mission and lead our organization through a time of transition. I am grateful to stand alongside them and the residents, community partners, and funders who support the mission of Renaissance Heights Foundation; they are investing their time, talent, and resources to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and build bridges of opportunity for success.
I am encouraged by the hopeful conversations I’ve had with residents, community leaders, and
advocates who care immensely about Renaissance Heights. In our conversations, we talked about critical issues facing our community, including the immediate need to address housing security, success in education for our youth, and access to economic opportunities. We also talked about equity and how we must be willing to embrace new solutions if we want to achieve different
A highlight of recent months came when I visited the Renaissance Heights neighborhood site, the hub of our Purpose Built CommunitiesTM initiative, located in southeast Fort Worth. It is there that we partner with the ACH Child and Family Services, Child Care Associates, the City of Fort Worth, Columbia Renaissance Square, Cook Children’s, Fort Worth ISD Leadership Academy Mitchell Blvd Elementary, William M. McDonald YMCA, North Texas Area Community Health Centers Inc., Purpose Built Communities, The Shoppes at Renaissance, and Uplift Education to achieve meaningful results and improve outcomes for children and families.
During multiple visits to the Renaissance Heights neighborhood, I had the opportunity to support small businesses at the Tarrant County Harambee Festival, attend food distribution events, visit our new Senior Living Residence, interact with high school student volunteers and partner advisory council members. I even met a few parents of precocious early learners from Child Care Associates whose faces beamed with curiosity and promise. I also had the pleasure of greeting Renaissance Heights residents as they walked from their apartment homes to attend an event promoting financial wellness, and I struck up a conversation with a group of Black men who were studying to be architects. They talked about their hopes for their families and the dream of one day opening their own businesses.
Each of these moments of connection bolstered my hope about the promise of Renaissance Heights and crystalized my vision of a community that is fully activated and filled with opportunities, hope, and capacity for ALL.
For my role, I approach this work not only as Executive Director, but also as a member of Southeast Fort Worth Design Review, Uplift Education Board of Directors and team member that built and operated the new William M. McDonald YMCA located in Renaissance Heights. I am an advocate, a volunteer, and a stakeholder in this community. I am invested in ways that make this work extremely personal and fulfilling for me.
In the months ahead, we look forward to developing strategic partnerships, hosting lunch and learns, and holding community conversations to address issues of housing, education, community wellness, neighborhood leadership and development while working to address the root causes of racial inequities that are so prevalent in our community. This work, though challenging, will take all of us. It will also take courageous conversations, innovative thinking, and a significant investment of human capital and financial resources.
It is you; it is us; it is we that make Renaissance Heights a unique and culturally significant place to call home, raise our families, educate our children, build businesses, and practice our faith. We invite you to join us as we endeavor to continue our work, shape our future, and activate the power of Renaissance Heights together.
Onward and Upward,