Across the country, National Night Out provides a wonderful opportunity for neighbors to connect with each other and build community. This year, CommonBond senior residents at Garden Terrace Commons and Apartments in Little Canada wanted to make their event extra special.
With a resident-chosen theme of “Night to Unite,” three residents co-chaired the event and helped raise more than $400 in donations. Many residents and staff members volunteered their time. About 60 people attended, including paramedics, Little Canada city officials, and a Ramsey County sheriff. Gifts were provided for children who attended the event.
“This evening was a great example of CommonBond’s focus on community building and engagement among its residents. We support residents in taking on leadership roles in their housing communities and within the broader community,” said Wanda Anstett, the onsite Advantage Services Coordinator
Perhaps most notably, the community building focus of the evening extended beyond the event itself. Residents collected donations of school supplies, which the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office distributed to children in the surrounding area. “Night to Unite” in Little Canada is a wonderful example of CommonBond residents coming together to build new connections and vibrant communities.
CommonBond Communities is thrilled to welcome Jamal Adam and Lakeisha Lee as its inaugural Board Associates. CommonBond created the Board Associates initiative out of a belief that having a diversity of perspectives on our Board of Directors is vital to understanding and working with the people and communities we serve. This belief is a key component of CommonBond’s Inclusion Council charter. CommonBond also wants to expand the opportunity for influence, network building, and leadership experience to people who may not traditionally be considered for Board membership.
“We believe this program will benefit both our organization and the Associates, and will ultimately increase the nonprofit leadership talent pool in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest,” said CommonBond CEO Deidre Schmidt. “These two individuals stood out from a pool of excellent candidates because of their life experiences, their commitment to serve, and their eagerness to work with a Board mentor.”
Jamal Adam (left) is a public ally and a Dr. Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy Fellow. He works at the University of Minnesota on CORE2025, an early outreach and cohort program focused on building a larger pipeline of academically prepared, college-ready students from multicultural backgrounds. Previously, Jamal was an associate teacher at Sankofa Underground North Academy in Minneapolis. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.
Lakeisha Lee (right) has worked at Hiway Federal Credit Union since 2008. She is also a mentor at Brittany’s Place, a shelter that provides a supportive environment for girls and young women, empowering them to achieve their goals and lead healthy lives. Lakeisha is also a criminal justice major at Metropolitan State University and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in May 2018.