Raleigh Convergence receives grant funding for New Neighbor Project

It started with a question. How can Raleigh area newcomers learn more about the places we live and become active residents, civically and culturally?

There are about 62 new neighbors moving into Wake County every day. The New Neighbor Project will provide them information they need to know, in a smart way. 

That means actionable info from updating voter registration and free family events to historical context of their new hometown. 

The New Neighbor project will work with existing community members to create connections between neighbors, through content, online and in-person social groups. 

The scope of this project, which will be delivered over email newsletter, in Facebook group and in events is significant. It was an idea I didn’t think was possible until further down the road.

But then, Raleigh Convergence received a competitive national grant for community journalism.

The New Neighbor project from Raleigh Convergence is the recipient of a Community Network grant from the Facebook Journalism Project and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

This grant includes a budget to pay four community ambassadors for their community reporting work as well as a Facebook group moderation stipend.  

So, beginning today, Raleigh Convergence is seeking community ambassadors for four communities: Knightdale, Cary, Southeast Raleigh and Raleigh at large. 

On being a community ambassador/contributor:

Community ambassadors should be knowledgeable members of the specific community we’ll serve as part of this project.

Community ambassadors don’t need a journalism background but will be trained on journalism as a process. 

Community ambassadors should share Raleigh Convergence’s values.

Please share your interest no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11. 

[fill out form here]

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COMMUNITY LIVE STORYTELLING: Converging Stories brings community members together to tell their stories. Our first event is Feb. 10.

Updated on Feb. 4: More details on the community ambassadors

These four neighbors in the communities of Cary, Knightdale, Southeast Raleigh and Raleigh at large will be paid to tell the stories of these communities in four parts and given a monthly stipend to take on moderating duties of a corresponding Facebook group for newcomers. 

Who is a good fit for this: 

  • Someone with a welcoming personality. Someone who seems to know everyone and truly delights in the place they call home.
  • Someone who cares not just about the lists we’re on but is willing to thoughtfully examine ways we can do better. 
  • Someone who, like our values statement says, believes “y’all means all: We believe in celebrating the diversity of our community and examining ways we can make Raleigh safer and more welcoming to all.”
  • Someone with a community organizing background could thrive at this work, as would an active volunteer.

What isn’t required:

  • A journalism or writing background. Community contributors will be taught journalism as a process. 
  • A certain level of education. 
  • Always availability during the traditional 9 to 5. This is flexible to do on your own time for people with a variety of different roles at work or in caregiving. 

If this is something you’re interested in, please fill out the interest form! If you have more questions, send me a note! 

Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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