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craigslist foundation boot camp

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Lynn Luckow, President & CEO, Craigslist Foundation

On June 2, 2011, hundreds of people who are passionate about their communities – from local government to neighborhood activists to nonprofit leaders – will gather for Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp to connect with one another, grow their skills and expand the tools and resources they use to strengthen and enrich their neighborhoods.
Boot Camp includes keynote presentations, more than 20 workshops and discussions, and interactive sessions where attendees get to learn not just from session leaders but also from one another. Two workshop themes that will be explored this year are collaboration and storytelling:



The current economic crisis drives the demand for workshops that address collaboration, facilitation and the skills to successfully lead collaborative organizations. With ever more limited funds and resources, we have to work better together. But working together presents new challenges and requires new leadership skills. In addition to a NEN-led workshop on “Community Engagement 2011” we’ll offer workshops on Courageous Leadership,  “Using Collaborative Consumption and the Sharing Economy to Strengthen Neighborhoods,” as well as hands on skills for facilitation and collaboration and “Creating a Shared Vision for Your Community.â

In a session led by Joe Lambert of Center for Digital Storytelling, attendees will learn to craft and record meaningful stories from their lives or their organizations and share these stories in ways that enable learning, build community, and inspire justice. Several other workshops will demonstrate how to identify and utilize opportunities to tell their story, easy ways to use digital images and video to bring the story to life, as well as platforms for discovering and sharing best practices.

This year we are also excited to publicly present our new online program, LikeMinded, an innovative community storytelling platform generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Like Boot Camp, LikeMinded is all about connection and collaborative learning, and serves to help success stories travel better between communities throughout the country.

We should all live in great communities. Strong, healthy, democratic, sustainable, collaborative places. We built LikeMinded to make that happen, and make it possible for good ideas to travel from your block to every block. Take a look at www.likeminded.org,  and share stories of your good work for others to learn and get inspired by today. And as a friend of NEN, save 25% on Boot Camp through Friday, April 15.


Lynn Luckow

Craigslist Foundation,

President & CEO


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Daniel Homsey, Director, Neighborhood Empowerment Network

As you’ve probably seen, we at the NEN have been more than a little busy recently. With my imminent departure for New Orleans, the recent Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp, NENfm’s big launch, and more, it’s been another action-packed month.

Here’s the highlights…

Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp 2010

The NEN was proud to be a partner at this year’s Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp, which featured dozens of speakers, workshops, a resource fair, live jazz, networking, and much more – all on the theme of community building.

We at the NEN were a big part of the action. Pre-event, we captured exclusive NENfminterviews with many of the event’s speakers, including Craigslist Foundation CEO Lynn Luckow and SF City Treasurer Jose Cisneros. 

On the day of Boot Camp, I hosted two workshops entitled “Building Resilient Communities through Multi-Sector Collaboration” and “Community and Schoolyard Gardens”, the former being partly an explanation of the core principles behind the NEN and the latter being a growing area of interest in the Bay Area right now.

Check out the NEN’s Christoph Zepeda’s biggest takeaways from the event in this NEN Blog.


NENfm Joins the Audiowaves

In July, we launched the NENfm podcast. The show interviews the best thinkers and doers in our neighborhoods. Most recently, we were thrilled to interview President Obama’s ex-mentor John McKnight on his thoughts about community-organizing (hear that show here). If John’s advice worked for the President, maybe it’ll work for you!

NENfm is a unique presence in the podcast circuit. Check out the complete list of NENfm shows and check back soon for more.


NENpics: A Feast for the Community’s Eyes 

A picture can be worth a thousand words, especially when it says something about a neighborhood’s uniqueness or the power of uniting a community through a common project. That’s why we’ve launched the weekly NENpics. So far, we’ve visited the Excelsior’s blue tower and Sunset Heights’s Moraga Stairs. NENpics updates are every Friday.

The Right Kind of Recovery on NENtv

It’s likely that, sooner or later, San Francisco will experience a major earthquake. And when that happens, only the right kind of recovery will ensure that residents stick around to help get the city back on its feet. In this two-part talk, recorded exclusively for NENtv and part of the NENtalks series, I explain what we need to do now to get ready. Watch part 1 (“the challenge”) here and part 2 (“the solution”) here.

NEN Kiosk Hits “The Real World” 

We’ve been getting so much wonderful feedback about the Blogs, videos, and podcasts here on empowersf.org. At the same time, there’s still a special place in our hearts for something we can hold in our hands.

That’s why we’ve just launched “NEN Kiosk”, our hardcopy newsletter. In this NEN News announcement, Christoph Zepeda, Kiosk’s editor, explains why NEN Kiosk is important. Oh, and a PDF version of the newsletter is included for you web-lovers.


The NEN Heads Out to New Orleans 

My visit to post-Katrina New Orleans in 2007 deeply influenced my community work and the ethos I’ve brought to the NEN. So, I’m excited to head off today back to the Big Easy to speak at the August 26th Resiliency Summit about the NEN model and how we can prepare our cities for external shocks, such as natural events. I’ll beblogging, Twittering, Facebooking, and recording audio diaries during my five-day stay to bring you the best of the Summit. So check back daily here on empowersf.org for the latest.

But Wait, There’s More…

Of course, I can’t go into detail on everything, so look around empowersf.org and discover, for instance, Potrero Hill’s Annie Shaw’s guide on how to keep volunteers excited about your community project; my exploration of Visitacion Valley Greenway, one of SF’s best-kept secrets; and much more.

Thanks for joining us on this month’s edition of NEN Ketchup and I’ll be back in touch soon, all the way from New Orleans.

I’ll see you in the neighborhoods,


Daniel Homsey is Director of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network. He can be contacted at daniel.homsey@sfgov.org.


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Christoph Zepeda, NEN Kiosk Editor

Neighborhood organizers get a real energy boost when they come together. In fact, it’s essential to community work. That why, on Saturday August 14th, we at the NEN were so excited to be part of the 2010 Craigslist Foundation Bootcamp, an event that focused on capacity building within communities in the Bay Area and across the nation. The event united hundreds of activists, together with dozens of speakers, workshops, resources, and more. It was quite a day.

Although this was my first experience working with the NEN in the public sphere, I found myself fueled by high energy as everyone worked hard to elevate, educate, and celebrate the work of local community members and stakeholders.

By the end of the day, not only did I come away from the event feeling empowered, but also ready to take action, equipped with a different lens of imagination.

What was the element of this event that I found to be most remarkable? It was the synergism I witnessed by organizations coming together. Whether or not someone was involved in community gardens or literacy programs for underprivileged youths, anyone could see the purpose of bringing together so many individuals and organizations and letting them share their knowledge and resources. While I have been to some “competitive” conferences, what made this experience different was that the air was friendly and team-work oriented.

Authors John McKnight and Peter Block address a breakout group

What touched me was that every organization advocated civic engagement, was open to possibilities, and was ready to exchange ideas. I was reminded of the capabilities that can emerge when seemingly different organizations join forces.

Take, for instance, a moment I had with Kary Schulman, the director of San Francisco Grants for the Arts, who was open to finding a project that combined civic engagement with the Arts; or Mike Rocco, the program director of San Francisco City Hall Fellows, who was open to working with NENu.

Thanks again to the Craigslist Foundation for giving the NEN a chance to help steward the event to success, as well as to all of you who joined us at the event. Great things happen when we come together.

Christoph Zepeda is earning his Masters degree in English Literature with a certificate in teaching post-secondary reading. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling, yoga, movies, and creative writing. He hopes to one day publish a novel, memoir, and collection of poems.


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When community groups examine their neighborhoods for valuable resources, libraries and museums are often overlooked. But Marsha Semmel, Acting Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services – and a speaker at the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp on August 14th, explains to NENfm how local library/museum branches can be leveraged to start a new chapter in your neighborhood.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Show Information

Guest: Marsha Semmel, Acting Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Related Event: Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp
Related Organizations: Craigslist Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Host: Adam Greenfield
Additional Credits: Moontan (music)


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As more community groups start improving their neighborhoods, many feel they lack the resources to do the job. Our guest on NENfm, Dr Gerald Eisman from the Institute of Civic and Community Engagement at San Francisco State University (and a speaker at the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp on August 14th), explains how the academic community could make a massive impact.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Show Information

Guest: Dr Gerald Eisman, Director at the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement
Geographical Area: San Francisco Bay Area
Related Event: Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp
Related Organizations: Craigslist Foundation, Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, San Francisco State University
Host: Adam Greenfield
Additional Credits: Moontan (music)


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Embracing Web 2.0 tools, the City of San Francisco has started making its data more open to the public. NENfm interviews Adriel Hampton, web specialist and speaker at the upcoming Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp, about the potential of this move and if it’s actually possible to make sense of so much data.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Show Information

Guest: Adriel Hampton, investigator with the SF Attorney’s Office and co-founder of Gov 2.0 Radio
Subject Area: San Francisco Bay Area
Related Event: Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp
Related OrganizationsCraigslist FoundationGov 2.0 Radio
Host: Adam Greenfield
Additional Credits: Moontan (music)


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NEN Director, Daniel Homsey

Over the last few years the Craigslist Foundation has produced a series of popular “boot camps” across the country. The focus of these events has been to build capacity within the non-profit community and increase its ability to achieve its missions.  Over time, the Foundation determined that, while of the highest quality, the boot camps were in some respects duplicating the work of a variety of organizations that were equally committed to helping the non-profit community.

In the last year the Foundation has shifted its focus to empowering neighborhood residents across America to take a leadership role in stewarding their community towards a sustainable future. When the NEN learned of this new focus, we reached out to the Foundation to see how we could help.

Two weeks ago, a team of NEN members met with Lynn Luckow, the new Executive Director of the Foundation, and Paige Buck, Director of Events, to learn more about each organization’s respective mission and how we could collaborate.  It turned out to be more of a reunion of old friends than a procedural “get to know.”

Out of that meeting came an immediate action plan which included the NEN becoming a community partner to the upcoming Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp to be held on Saturday, August 14th 2010, at the UC Berkeley Campus.

Specifically the NEN will be doing the following: 

Host a Panel Discussion Entitled “Building Resilient Communities through Multi-Sector Collaboration.” The panel will include City Administrator Ed Lee, Director of the Institute of Civic and Community Engagement Jerry Eisman, and Dawn Trennert of the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association (hear Dawn’s NENfm interview here). I will moderate the discussion and provide a short presentation of the NEN model.

The NEN will host a second breakout entitled “Community and Schoolyard Gardens.” The panel, also moderated by myself, will include Mohammed Nuru of the SF Department of Public Works, Barbara Wenger of Community Grows and Barbara Finnin of City Slicker Farms. The breakout will focus on the positive influences a community garden has in a neighborhood.

Leveraging Empowersf.org to Promote Boot Camp Content. The NEN’s will utilize its website to host blogs and audio interviews (see here for Lynn Luckow’s NENfm interview) of panelists and speakers in advance of the Boot Camp to raise awareness of their work and help attendees pick the right breakouts to attend.

NENtv to Provide Gavel to Gavel Coverage! Yes, it wouldn’t be an event without NENtv providing coverage in its direct and empowering way. Watch for a steady stream of content after the Summit concludes.

Hosting a Resource Fair Booth. The best events always have a resource fair and the NEN is going to be there in full force getting the word out about the amazing work being done in San Francisco.

And that’s just the beginning.

In the coming months we hope to announce new and impactful ways the NEN can partner with the Craigslist Foundation to make a difference in the lives of the residents of San Francisco and beyond.  For more information on the Boot Camp and to learn how you can attend, please visit the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp website.

Daniel Homsey is Director of the Neighborhood Empowerment Network. He can be contacted at daniel.homsey@sfgov.org.


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