IMPACT Silver Spring is a community-building organization founded in 1999 by a group of resident leaders concerned that the voices shaping the redevelopment of downtown Silver Spring did not reflect the community’s diversity. While the economic revitalization of the downtown brought life back to vacant streets and storefronts, it did not address the underlying social challenges facing Silver Spring’s extremely diverse communities:
- Local schools are not equipped to support and nurture their diverse student bodies so that all students can achieve.
- Many civic associations write out multi-family buildings from their membership.
- Property managers face daily challenges supervising multicultural apartment complexes.
- Businesses experience difficulty and conflict when hiring and managing people of different backgrounds.
- Civic life sustains a variety of public forums that are unwelcoming and uninviting venues for residents of different races, classes, and cultures.
IMPACT’s vision is a thriving, multicultural community where all people are engaged and have the power to bring about the changes they need to live a full and quality life. IMPACT’s mission is to create the environments and capacity needed to build and sustain a thriving, multicultural community.
IMPACT’s values and core beliefs are:
- Interdependence: Our individual well-being is connected to that of our neighbors.
- Networks: A thriving community can emerge from an engaged web of diverse people.
- Trust across differences: Relationships of trust are the core ingredient in building an inclusive and thriving community.
- Self-determination: A thriving community inspires and encourages all individuals to seek changes to achieve a quality life.
- Power of small acts: Small acts can have large impact when connected through a web of relationships.
- Power sharing: Personal power is infinite and can be shared for the good of all.
IMPACT’s long-term goals are to:
- Build a thriving community network among diverse voices
- Engage and empower new voices and established leaders in the long-term process of improving quality of life
- Support new voices and established leaders in developing leadership and power-sharing skills
- Spark and sustain collaborative action among diverse community members
What IMPACT hopes to achieve in the community:
- Relationships across lines of race, class, and culture: Genuine, trusting connections that create a sense of well-being and inspire action for the greater good.
- Welcoming and inclusive community rooms and institutions: A civic infrastructure that has alternative spaces for coming together, engaging people in ways that honor our community’s diversity of thought and experience and compelling them to contribute their time and commitment.
- Diverse civic engagement: People of all backgrounds engaged in civic life and in collaborative decision-making.
- Diverse leadership: Leaders at all levels who represent the diverse communities that live in Silver Spring.
- Shared power: Breaking down barriers through practices that honor each person’s potential and their contributions
For more information on IMPACT Silver Spring and how to get involved, take a look at their web site and contact Ronnie Galvin, the Executive Director. www.impactsilverspring.org