June 2018 Newsletter

posted Sep 30, 2018, 8:01 AM by Andrew Mueller
Development with Dignity
June 2018

People's Congregational Church Provides Support for Barrio Nuestro project!

With an $1,800 "Blessing Fund" grant from People's Congregational Church in Bayport, MN, Building Dignity's new community-based development initiative called Barrio Nuestro ("Our Neighborhood") continues with a boost of additional resources. The goal of Barrio Nuestro is to use community participation as a tool for identifying and addressing neighborhood improvement opportunities, namely, to revitalize the central park of La Encantada.
To facilitate the first stage of the diagnostic and planning process (between March and May), Building Dignity staff partnered with Maria Eugenia Maguiña, 
a social psychologist who oversaw a similar neighborhood revitalization project between 2012-2014 led by Susana Villarán, our Executive Director, while she was mayor of Lima.
Neighborhood leaders gather for one of the preliminary meetings in March led by Maria Eugenia Maguiña to review the map of La Encantada as a starting point for the visioning and design process.

Voices of Youth: Creative Visioning

Voices of Youth participants are engaged in the community-wide needs assessment as a part of the Barrio Nuestro project. Young people are using the creative outlet of photography to document and identify opportunities for improving the neighborhood. These photographs along with neighborhood mapping by adult leaders are informing the visioning and design phase of the project.
With the help of the youth-led photography activity, neighborhood leaders identified development opportunity areas on a lot-by-lot map of La Encantada. The main park and soccer pitch photographed above is labeled with a letter "V". 

La Encantada Family Festival 

On May 20th, Building Dignity hosted a family festival in La Encantada's central park to promote the reclaiming of public space and highlight what is possible when the community gathers around a common cause. In a community where recreation is often limited by time, resources, and a lack of accessible and maintained public spaces, the success of this event was not only apparent in the turnout but in the opportunity to engage and educate families about the Barrio Nuestro process.

Final Notes

We are excited to announce the addition of new Advisory Board members joining the Building Dignity team! As an Advisory Board member, the individuals below have generously volunteered their time and talents to support the Building Dignity mission:

Alexis Alvarez Franco
Annie Virnig
David Smeath

Emily Franks
Michale Ángel Vásquez
Nicole Epps

Get to know the Advisory Board by visiting the Building Dignity website: