Hilary Larsen, Barclay Downs & SouthPark
How has working together with neighborhood leaders from across the City positively influence your own ability to serve your home community?
Listening to how others have built coalitions and engaged residents gave me renewed energy to continue to stitch together our part of Charlotte. I would never have come up with our idea for a neighborhood event without input from others on the steering committee.
Has your participation in Stitch Together CLT broken down any misconceptions you had about other parts of Charlotte or other communities?
I have lived in Charlotte for over 25 years, but had never been to some of the neighborhoods that held on-site Stitch events. I was amazed at the diversity of housing, the new developments and the small businesses that were flourishing in these diverse parts of Charlotte. Participating in this program gave me a chance to meet other neighborhood leaders from parts of the city that I was previously unfamiliar with. While we might be separated in terms of geography, ethnicity or race or our life stories, I found enormous similarities between us in terms of our shared passion and commitment towards building resilient neighborhoods and connecting our residents to one another.
What have you accomplished and achieved by coming together with other leaders?
I have connected with other neighborhood leaders looking for help or information on how to manage growth and change in their neighborhoods due to redevelopment and new construction. I was able to engage five new volunteers to help me continue to build connectivity within SouthPark neighborhoods.
Have you developed a relationship with any other leaders on the Stitch Together CLT Steering Committee or other influencers?
Working with the steering committee on the initial kickoff event and on-site workshops was challenging both in terms of the time commitment required and the various expectations that each one of us had going in to this project. The comradery that grew as we worked through the various issues and obstacles created a bond between us that was unexpected. I am grateful for the opportunity that this project provided to be able to work with others and connect in such a fun and meaningful way.