Heeding the Call for Community Partnerships


In this episode, we discuss the power of community partnerships, and how necessary they are when working to support better outcomes for the whole community.

In this discussion, we learn about the community partnership work of JumpStart, a service organization that focuses on supporting folks re-entering society after incarceration. Partnerships are a critical factor to support JumpStart’s participants in finding what they need so they can more fully rejoin their communities, including employment, housing, and healthcare.

To share about their partnership journey and what they’ve learned so far, we hear from Don Williams, who is a co-founder of JumpStart and Director of Community Relations. Don shares about the long road JumpStart has traveled to provide a whole eco-system of partners to support their participants, and how important it was that even when they faced negative biases, they never gave up trying.

Ways to listen: You can listen below or on your preferred podcast streaming service, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Simplecast, iHeartRadio, Amazon, and other podcast apps.

Please find a transcript of this talk further down this page.

Resources and Footnotes

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The Intro music, entitled “Running,” was composed by Rafael Krux, and can be found here and is licensed under CC: By 4.0.

The outro music, entitled “Deliberate Thought,” was composed by Kevin Macleod. Licensed under CC: By.

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Podcast Transcript

Welcome to the Collective Impact Forum podcast, here to share resources to support social change makers working on cross-sector collaboration.

The Collective Impact Forum is a nonprofit field-building initiative that is co-hosted in partnership by the nonprofit consulting firm FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.

In this episode, we’re discussing the importance of community partnerships, and how necessary they are when working to support better outcomes for the whole community.

In this discussion, we learn about the community partnership work of JumpStart, a service organization that focuses on supporting folks re-entering society after incarceration. Partnerships have been a critical factor to support JumpStart’s participants in finding what they need so they can more fully rejoin their communities, including employment, housing, and healthcare. To share about their partnership journey and what they’ve learned so far, we hear from Don Williams, who is a co-founder of JumpStart and Director of Community Relations. Don shares about the long road JumpStart has traveled to provide a whole eco-system of partners to support their participants, and how important it was that even when they faced negative biases, they never gave up. Moderating this discussion is my colleague Courtney W. Robertson, who serves as Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Collective Impact Forum. Let’s tune in.

Courtney W. Robetson: Welcome to the Collective Impact Forum podcast. My name is Courtney W. Robertson, director of programs and partnerships with the Collective Impact Forum, and I’m your host. This episode features a conversation about community and partner engagement efforts at JumpStart in South Carolina. Joining me today is Don Williams, director of community relations at JumpStart.

Welcome, Don, and thanks for joining us today. I’d love to start by having you introduce yourself and your role and telling us a bit about JumpStart.

Don Williams: Thanks for having me, Courtney. Yes, my name, as you stated, is Don Williams. I am one of the co-founders as well as the director of community relations here at JumpStart. My role consists of going out into the community, bringing awareness about JumpStart and that’s in relations to volunteers, potential donors, employers, as well as leaders in the community, just sharing with them about the importance of community, forming community partnerships for men and women that’s returning back to our community from incarceration and how it takes the whole community, not just one organization to assist these individuals to go from prisoner to productive citizen.

Courtney W. Robertson: Awesome. Thank you, Don. My apologies. I didn’t know you were also the co-founder, so that’s really great to hear and know. So going more into the programmatic side of your work, I understand that you all have mentorship programs. If you could tell us how those programs got started and what you’ve learned through its growth.

Don Williams: OK. So initially we started out, myself and two other gentlemen, we started out just by going into the prisons. We just had a few that was right here in the local area, and we went in ourselves as mentors to work with some of the men and women that was within two years of being released, and began working with the chaplain’s office and they were able to help us identify those that were kind of on that track of wanting to change because it’s a lot of dynamics back behind the wall. You have some individuals—everybody want to get out, but everybody is not willing to change. We started just meeting on a weekly basis in the chapel at each individual prison. We started out at about three different prisons, and then as the program grew, and as we started to formulize it and structure it, we had more and more institutions that, you know, other wardens and chaplains that saw the impact that we were having at those few prisons began to give us invitations to bring our program to those institutions as well.

We knew that that would spread us three too thin, so we began to go into the community to find volunteers. We would go to churches and speak about what we were doing to kind of rally up the community and get volunteers that we could train that can go inside the institutions.

Now, fast forward to now, we have over 250 volunteers that either go inside of the prison on a weekly basis, or they work as mentors on the outside because what that allowed us to do by having those volunteers to come in to assist us to grow more institutions, then we were able to focus on, OK, so these individuals are going to be getting out one day. We need to have some form of after care for them and that relates to housing, employment assistance, and a few other services that I’m sure that we’ll talk about later. It enabled us to begin to grow the program.

Having that mentorship on the inside was huge for us because it helped us to grow and scale. Now, we have every participant in our program has a mentor. We have 50 participants in our program now. Everyone has a mentor, which is essentially a volunteer, and then we have mentors that go on the inside of the prisons on a weekly basis. It’s usually about five to six mentors per prison, and we are currently in 19 of the 21 institutions throughout the state of South Carolina.

Courtney W. Robertson: So not busy at all.

Don Williams: Not at all.

Courtney W. Robertson: That’s impressive. What you talked about, Don, in terms of how you started, that was just something it sounds like you and the other two gentlemen just were personally invested in, and you saw both the need and the opportunity for growth. That’s how a lot of this work, particularly as we think about nonprofits, right. It started with just one person doing something, right, out of the genuineness of their heart, and then seeing the opportunity for growth and other people gravitating to the work that you’re doing.

I want to stick to a little bit around the partnership piece. You’ve started to talk about some of this, right, and you all are providing direct service, you’re doing mentorship programs. You’re also doing work in the community as well. So would love to hear more about how you’ve gone about building those connections more specifically, and thinking about like both the connections that you had earlier on, and some of those connections and relationships that you’ve both sustained to date and new ones that may have come on board as well.

Don Williams: Well, in the beginning, it was a hard row because especially for me as I was going out talking to different employers, it would be many times that I would leave employer’s offices and it would take everything in me to make it to my car just so I can cry. And the reason why is because as we began—and even in some churches, if I can just be completely honest, as we began to expand and go out to bring more and more awareness to the community, it was astounding how many people felt like do the crime, do the time. They’re where they deserve to be.

I’ll never forget sitting in front of a pastor in one of the low-income neighborhoods, and just talking—because a lot of those, the participants that we were serving, that was coming back to the area was from that particular community. And I remember sitting and talking to that pastor and just sharing, pouring out my heart to him and extending opportunity for him and some of his congregation to be a part in helping to change a life. He looked me dead in the eye and told me, said, “We don’t do that.” He said, “You do the crime, you do the time.” I just ended the meeting at that point.

I’ve had numerous conversations with employers that kind of was along the same wavelength. If I say that the first five years, that was the kind of conversations and the kind of feedback that I was getting, but I never gave up because I know just personally that behind every no is a yes somewhere. So began to those that was already involved with us, I began to leverage relationships that they had and that’s kind of how we did it over time.

Like I said, it took about five years. We started in 2008, and it was probably about 2013 before we really got our first breakthrough with an employer that—usually, this employer, after working with us for a couple of months, went and changed his policy as it relates to hiring men and women coming out of prison, and that employer got on board with us and began to go to different awareness campaigns and speaking engagement to speak as an employer.

We had those that worked with us already from the beginning as mentors that can go out and speak as a mentor perspective, how they came into to be a blessing but wind up being blessed. Then we had an employer, and then man, we just took the road and just kept pounding the pavement and tried to seize every opportunity that we could until finally we’ve kind of almost hit that tipping point because I can honestly say that we have individuals that’s involved with our organization, whether they’re volunteers, donors, or ambassadors for our program, pretty much from every walk of life, you know what I mean? People with high status in the community, wealthy individuals that you wouldn’t think would even take the time out to hear the JumpStart story, has now began to bend their ear towards what we’re doing and then they’re sharing it amongst their social economical group.

It was a hard row, but we knew that what we was doing was first and foremost all needed. It was important to us, and we knew that we were called to it, and it just goes back to what I said earlier, behind every no is a yes. Even now, you know, we still fight that battle of we have some of those conversations with people that say, pat you on the back and say, “That’s a good little work that you’re doing,” but that ain’t they thing, and it’s OK. So we still run into that, but we continue to press forward to bring awareness to the community and form those partnerships that’s going to be beneficial for the overall good of those that serve.

Courtney W. Robertson: What you just shared is so powerful and I think it’s a reverberating theme that we hear throughout these types of conversations, just around the work that it takes. One, to like shift how people think, right, about certain populations of people, and who deserves what and who doesn’t, right?

And we have this framework at FSG called the Water of Systems Change, and it essentially talks about the different conditions that you have to focus on in order to shift systems and reimagine systems, and so a couple of other things that you touched on, Don, one is around the piece that’s kind of the base of that. It’s a triangle, and inverted triangle, but at the tip of that triangle is around like mental models and mindsets, right, so like how do people even think about the populations that are being served. So your point there, folks who are like, “They did this. There’s nothing we want to do to support them.”

So just being persistent in how you support people in thinking differently, and some of that just comes through the work that you’re doing is what it sounds like. Like people are able to see over time that like this work is important and people deserve a second chance or even a third chance in some instances.

Then this piece around relationships and it not being a one and done thing. I think people think about, often think about relationship building is like this very linear and stagnant thing, and that’s something that’s continuous. Even if we think about our personal friendships and like relationships that we have like with our partners, we don’t just like establish a relationship on the front end and then we never work on our relationship again, right? So sort of this idea of doing that as well.

And then with the continuous improvement is the philosophy that like when you introduce change, it’s kind of the 20-60-20 rule. You’re going to have 20 percent of people who are on board and ready to like go forward with you. You’re going to have 60 percent of people who are in the middle, and not sure which way they want to go, and then you have 20 percent who just aren’t interested in what you’re doing, and so you—what it sounds like is you work with the willing, one, and then you leveraged those folks to expand the network, the partners and folks that you were engaged with.

So kudos to you, one, for like persisting through that because I know those can be very difficult conversations and not easy conversations to have.

So talking a bit more about partnerships, would love to hear more about sort of how you’re working together across like all the partners. Are you all meeting? If so, how often are you meeting? What do those meetings and conversations look like? Are there formal or informal governance structures or agreements that you all have to help guide those relationships and partnerships? So if you could give us a little more insight into that.

Don Williams: OK, yeah, so with our community partners but I want to back up one second just to talk about in bringing that awareness to establish that relationship with partners because you mentioned something that was very important about having to shift the mindset of those that we were talking to to come on board and support us, and that was one of the wins I would say that we had is because I had to always drive home that the person that—because we spend—our class starts while they’re still incarcerated so we have a two-years’ worth of relationship with those participants before they even get out so the thing that I used to drive home when sharing the program is that the individual that you’re going to meet is not the same person that committed that crime that you see when you pull their SLED report or their background check, and that was the hardest mindset shift for a lot of individuals to make because they had that do-the-crime, do-the-time but not really realizing that transformation is real, and it does happen. So that began to kind of give us the breakthrough that we need and have others just to ease up and realize that they had been watching too much TV.

So now to go on to your question that you just asked me, we have community partners and like I told you, we take a holistic approach so the third Wednesday of every month we meet with all of our community partners, and those community partners are one organization called Access Health and what Access Health does is they provide health care for all of our program participants until they are gainfully employed, and their benefits kick in from that employer. OK, we have a department of mental health that’s there because every program participant when they come to us, they get that full physical from Access Health, they get a full mental health evaluation from the department of mental health. We have vocational rehabilitation that comes to that meeting as well because they do an assessment on each program participant’s workability skills so that we can identify the right employers that matches up with their skillset. We’re not just going to thrust you into just an employer, and you don’t have the skill level to meet that because we want you to find meaningful employment so they’re at the table once a month.
We have probation, pardon, and parole at the table once a month, and then we also have Goodwill at the table because they provide other little services in conjunction with what we provide.

And the cool thing about that and having that partnership and that formal meeting is that we receive participants once a month. So say for instance it’s June now, on the third Wednesday of June, we’re meeting and we’re doing a checkup on everyone that you’ve met with throughout the month of June but we’re also letting you know who we have coming at the beginning of July and schedule appointments for them then. You see what I’m saying? So it’s a constant checks and balances. We’re checking in to see how our previous participants that came to you from last month is doing and then who we have coming this month so say for instance, with Access Health, if we have someone that’s coming in July that’s a diabetic, nine times out of 10 the department of corrections is not going to give them medication when they leave. If so, it’s only going to be for one to three days. Well, with Access Health and them knowing that, they already have everything lined up so that when Johnny come and he go after that first or second day here, within that first 72 hours here, he’s going to meet with Access Health and then going to pick up his prescription. You see what I mean? So there’s no lag time so that’s the importance of those community partnerships for those that provide those services.

Now, for employers it’s pretty much informal/formal because whenever we engage or identify an employer that we consider a second chance employer because believe it or not, every person that raise their hand and say, hey, I’ll hire some folks really don’t always have the best intentions in mind. Sometimes people just want prison labor, and that’s not the opportunity that we’re looking for for our program participants.

So when I’m meeting with the employers the same way that they’re vetting our program, I’m vetting their organization to make sure that they understand that they are an extended arm of us in the workplace. You see what I’m saying. We’ve been able to build some fabulous relationships with over 40 employers here in the community. Some of large, national, and international manufacturing companies, construction companies to where the men and women when they get out, they’re making almost 20 bucks an hour just to start fresh out with room to grow.

So as the formal side of that relationship with the employers is, OK, when I identify that you are a second chance employer, there’s an agreement that we enter into, a written agreement saying that, hey, if Johnny—let’s say for these first 90 days you see—because we do résumés for each program participant so you see Johnny’s work history and his skill level so let’s map out a plan, our organization and your organization, let’s map out a plan for Johnny for these first 90 days as a working interview to offer room for growth for Johnny but it’s going to be Johnny’s responsibility to step up to the plate.

So that’s what we do, and that’s the structure that we put in place, and then from there, then about every 60 to 90 days I usually go out and meet with those different employers just as a progress report or just a check-in to see, hey, how Johnny doing, and we’ve had a lot of our program participants over the years that started out with a company and now here they are four or five years later up in leadership. Those are the kind of agreements that we enter into with our partners that provide services as well as for our employers, and then on top of that for all of our mentors and volunteers, we have a training that all of our mentors and volunteers go through whether they’re going to be mentors on the outside or whether they’re going inside of the prisons. We have a formal training for them as well.

Courtney W. Robertson: Sounds like a well-oiled machine over there.

Don Williams: We try.

Courtney W. Robertson: You’re trying. We’re all trying. You touched on, and I appreciate a lot of the benefits of having that network of community partners, and to some extent you started touching on some of the challenges so I would love to hear more specifically what have been some of the challenges that you’ve experienced in bringing these partners together, and how you navigated that with them.

Don Williams: Well, as I stated earlier, one of the challenges was with, you know, do-the-crime, do-the-time. Some of the other challenges that we ran upon is even with when we’ve had some individuals that were mentors—I’ll say it like this. We just have to be careful when we’re connecting mentors to mentees to make sure that they’re energy matches so to speak to make sure that we’ve created the right opportunity which is the same way that we have with employers because we match up program participants with the mentor but then they didn’t get a good vibe from that particular mentor and put a wall up, and now there was friction in the relationship, and then we’ve have to kind of wiggle around to find them the right mentor. Then the same way with employers. During that first 90 days, we’ve had some individuals that employers will come back and say, you know, Don, I don’t think they’re a fit for us. I’ll give them a good recommendation but they’re not just a fit. They have the skills on paper but when it come down to on-the-job training, they’re not making the cut, and that’s just the beast of what we do.

It gives us—that I would say is considered a challenge to us but it’s also an opportunity for us to grow too because we’ll take that feedback and then figure out, OK, what additional training does this individual need to be more work ready. Do you see what I’m saying? So then that’s when we lean on one of those community partners that can provide those additional soft skills or if they’re lacking in their technology knowledge, we can get them the services that they need so that they can be more employable or if there’s something to where they can’t stay off their phone on the floor, then that’s something else that we have to address. Those are some of the challenges. Those are some of the ways that we work around those challenges because it’s always something when you’re dealing with a multitude of individuals, but we look at them not so much as challenges but opportunities to grow.

Courtney W. Robertson: Absolutely.

Don Williams: I hope that answered your question.

Courtney W. Robertson: It does. You actually just made me think of something else, Don, and I hadn’t heard you mention this formally so I’m going to make sure if this is a part of that ecosystem of supports that we can capture that but what relationships do you have, if any, with community colleges or I guess institutions of higher learning in general if folks are coming out, and not just higher learning, right? There might be folks coming out who would like to get a GED or who want to pursue postsecondary opportunities. Do you have partners in those spaces, and what do those relationships look like, and how have you built and maintained those?

Don Williams: OK, the answer is yes, and over the years that component of our program has kind of evolved. A couple of the technical colleges here in the area has—a lot of colleges now provide a kind of free education, so we have one gentleman—I’ll tell you a story in particular. We had one gentleman that he did 33 years on a life sentence so he was way behind when he got out but we were able to get—he wanted to learn computers and we were able to get him into a technical college, and the college trained him and had him qualify—got him certified in really learning technology because the kind of work that he wanted to do was technology-based, and we got him an entry-level position and he worked his way up to a lead within that company.

We’ve had individuals, we’ve built relationships with CDL, individuals that may have had their CDLs prior to going to prison but of course when they were convicted, all of those licenses were revoked. We have a few CDL companies that are CDL academies that we partner with that provides that additional training so that they can go back and get recertified.

It’s the same way with welding as well, and we also had one other individual that was interested in just going back to college for business management because they had a business previously but was gone for a while, and we were able to get them connected to one of the local colleges where they could go back and brush up on their skills so that when they graduated the program here that they can get back in place to relaunch their business.

Now as far as GED, one of our community partners have an adult education component so anyone that don’t have a GED that’s interested in going back to get their GED, then we refer them to that particular community partner but one thing that I will say is within the department of corrections they have a GED program so if you really serious about getting a GED, you can actually get that on the inside while you’re there because the institutions in the state of South Carolina, they literally have their own school district within the prison system but for different trades and if you want something specified, then we have relationships with some of the technical colleges here in the area that provide that particular certification.

Courtney W. Robertson: Awesome, so really true wraparound and really thinking about what are you interested in, where do you want to go, we’ll try to make that match and make that connection for you. Awesome. So, Don, it sounds like—I know of course no organization is perfect. Nothing that we’re doing in our work probably is perfect but it sounds like you all are near perfect in a lot of ways in terms of the relationships and connections that you’ve been able to build and maintain over the years in this work.

So we work with a lot of collective impact initiatives as you know, and what we’ve been hearing lately is a lot of people are struggling with this connection to and engagement with community, and community in a lot of senses so community in terms of the people who literally live within those cities, neighborhoods, etc., community in terms of the partners that you’re working with, etc., but we hear people often say like either they’re struggling to try to figure out sort of what’s the right mix of engagement and building relationships particularly as you’re thinking about building relationships, building trust, being able to demonstrate progress, and quite frankly accountability, like how do we hold ourselves accountable to the community and vice versa.

So what would you say, and it could be based on something you’ve already shared because you shared a lot of great stuff already but what would you say has been most helpful for you all in making those connections and keeping community at the center of the work that you’re doing?

Don Williams: Well, two things come to mind. One is that we do a few awareness—we’re always doing awareness training, but we have four different events a year that’s kind of awareness/fundraising that’s open for the community to learn more, to engage more, but then also on a deeper level of community we provide housing, so we have to have housing within a certain community.

Now, I have some good stories and I have some horror stories about how those things have played out but one thing that I will say is that we have had—when we’ve moved in different communities, we’ve had pushback from the community. We’ve had many a townhall meetings but it also, as I said, any challenge, we take it as an opportunity to grow so like with the new community that we build in, just because of what we’ve learned previously, we went to that community, we had a townhall meeting. We went and knocked on every door in that community to personally invite them to the townhall meeting, and to invite them also to be a part of what we were doing because we were going to be their neighbor. Do you know what I mean?

So one of the ways that we continue to keep that particular community engaged is whenever we’re doing something or having an event because we’re building a subdivision within a community, then we always invite those that live in that community, and they have like I’ll say a straight hotline to where they can call with any questions or concerns that they may have. If someone new moves into the community, then there’s also someone there that let them know, say, hey, what are they doing across the street, there’s always someone there in that community that can enlighten them and then we gladly take the time out to answer any questions that that new resident may have in that community because we want a cohesive relationship.

We’ve been in other communities where it was tense at first but then after we’ve been there for a while and they saw that, well, these ain’t really like the inmates that I see on TV that tearing up the neighborhood. They come over here, they cut my grass, you know what I mean? So once they see that which it takes time in every community, then the walls let down and they become friends and neighbors more so than I’m peeking out my window to make sure you ain’t at my car at night trying to steal something. You know? It go back to that mindset shift, you know, so that’s how we engage community. We don’t just move into a place without making the community aware of what we’re doing, and giving them the opportunity to ask questions and we address their concerns, and then from that point it’s just a matter of keeping them involved with anything that we’re doing.

A lot of the individuals in the community came to the groundbreaking that we had. They came to the open house, got to tour the houses and have made friends with some of the residents that live there so they became neighbors and that’s just that deeper level of community, how we manage those relationships.

Now, as far as with our community partners and employers, I kind of shared our format on how we do that, but I just wanted to take it a deeper level for those communities that we actually live in. But it’s been some communities where we went through those channels and when it was time to go to the zoning committee, the whole neighborhood came out and be like, no, not here, you know? So we’ve ran the gamut on it all but like I said, we take every challenge as an opportunity to grow.

Courtney W. Robertson: Absolutely, and what I gather from what you’ve shared, Don, is like this idea of intentionality, like being really intentional about how we communicate with folks, how we listen to community as well, how we’re inviting them in and not just like plopping down so what you said like there are some communities who are very open to that or eventually become open to that and then there are some who aren’t there, yet which is such as our world, right?

And then also this idea of—and I meant to uplift this when you shared about the partners and sort of like leveraging existing partners to connect within their networks so this idea of ambassadorship or sort of like word of mouth. They always say word of mouth is the best form of like advertising or marketing, if people can speak to what you’re doing, I think folks are more willing to listen so even in this regard, you’re essentially building ambassadors by being intentional about your relationships and how you engage a community so when new people do move in, it’s like, no, this is something that we want in the community, this is what’s going on, and even how you can be involved if you’re interested so I really, really love that idea of like you’re essentially building ambassadors for the work that you’re doing by relationship building, and not just relationship building for the sake of or for a transactional purpose but to be true partners and in this instance neighbors to and with each other so I appreciate that.

Now, Don, you have shared a lot and we’re coming towards the end of our conversation but would love if there is anything else just around like engaging community, engaging partners in work that you’d like to share, and then more specifically if I could ask if there’s one thing—like if somebody listens to this conversation and they only take one thing away as they think about their work, what would be that one thing that you’d want to underscore for our listeners to take away with them?

Don Williams: One thing that I would say is don’t give up because whenever we’re doing work where we are investing in the lives of others, it’s not easy. We’re not always going to be appreciated for what we do but in those darkest hours, in those darkest days when we feel like throwing in the towel, we have to pull back and go deep within and recommit to our why. Why are we doing this? You know what I mean? And essentially you don’t just wake up in the morning and say I’m going to start working in community and helping to rebuild lives. It’s a call.

So it’s no way in the world to—like for me, if I stop now what I’m doing because I enjoy so much helping and watching individuals tap into who they truly are, if I stopped it just because I had a challenge, I’d be completely miserable so I wake up every day knowing that I may have a challenge today, but I can’t stop because if I do, I’m going to get miserable because I’ve been called to this.

Now I do have to take some whew moments every now and then, you know what I mean, but I know that I can’t stop because I’ve been called, and so my encouragement would be is don’t quit, keep grinding, keep growing, and most of all, keep on going because there’s a number of people out there that’s waiting on you to cross their path and you have something to offer them that can literally change the trajectory of their lives for the good but if you quit, what’s going to happen to those that’s waiting on you?

Courtney W. Robertson: I have to call you Pastor Don after that. You just preached a sermon, but I appreciate that encouragement. We all need encouragement in this work like whether you’re focusing on reentry for those who have been incarcerated, you’re focusing on youth development, if you’re focusing on health disparities, whatever that looks like, the work can be very daunting because we are just quite frankly working within systems that aren’t designed for everyone to win, and so we’re working against systems. We’re also having to work within systems, and we have to think of ourselves, so I appreciate you offering that type of encouragement to just keep going and to not give in to the challenges because they are inevitably going to be there, so I appreciate that.

All right, Don, so how can folks remain connected to your work or even get involved with your work? What are some websites or where can they follow you?

Don Williams: OK, so our website is www.jumpstartvision.org, and then also my email address is don.williams@jumpstartvision.org.

Courtney W. Robertson: Awesome. We appreciate it so much, Don. Thank you.

So, one, as you may recall from our conversation a couple months ago, this is personal to me. I actually have an older brother who is serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison, nearing the end of that sentence but I often think about what does reentry look like for him. Fortunately he’s been doing a lot of work on the inside to get himself ready but also just like- I’m always like, “I want the community to be there for him” and so I know everyone doesn’t have that, everyone doesn’t have a family who may—even if they have a family- who may be able to support them to reenter into society if you will so I appreciate the work that you all are doing to make sure that folks have a smooth transition and the community truly wraps their arms around them so I want to thank you for your gifts of time, expertise, and knowledge today, and I also want to thank our listeners for being continued supporters of the Collective Impact Forum podcast.

(Outro) And this closes out this episode of the Collective Impact Forum podcast. If you are interested in learning more about what was discussed, you can find links to resources in the footnotes for this episode.

We would like to acknowledge that this episode was produced and edited on the unceded, traditional lands of the Coast Salish people, including the Duwamish, Suquamish, Stillaguamish, and Muckleshoot tribes. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the past, present, and futures of these tribes.

The Intro music for this episode was composed by Rafael Krux and our outro music is composed by Kevin Macleod.

In Forum news, we’re excited to share that registration is open for our fall workshop series titled “Essentials for Collective Impact.” This is a new series of online workshops focused on building practical knowledge and understanding around four key areas that support collective impact efforts. These focus areas are collaborative planning and engagement, facilitating results-focused meetings, strengthening trust and relationships, and avoiding common challenges that stymie the work of collectives.

If you would like join us, you can register for the full series of workshops or just the topics that interest you most. You can find out more about this online workshop series in the events section of our website at collectiveimpactforum.org. One note is that registration for the full series closes on September 8 so we recommend registering soon to save your spot.

This is Tracy Timmons-Gray, Associate Director here at the Collective Impact Forum, and your podcast producer. I want to say thank you so much for listening, and we look forward to connecting with you more in our next episode. Until next time, we hope you are safe and well.


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