Celebration held for graduates of People's Academy for Community Engagement
October 26, 2012 (Seattle, WA) - Last night 28 up-and-coming community leaders celebrated their graduation from the People's Academy for Community Engagement, a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Known as PACE, the 7-month program provides leadership training in community involvement, empowerment, and civic engagement to emerging leaders interested in serving their community. More than 100 family members, friends, civic leaders, and city staff attended the celebration at Montlake Community Center.
"Since April the participants have been learning about community organizing, outreach techniques, and community building from some of the leading experts in the city," said Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith. "After participating in PACE's intensive program and learning from the best in the field, we know great things will come from these new leaders. I look forward to partnering with them as they work to improve our city's neighborhoods and the community at-large."
In addition to attending classes, the participants had monthly homework assignments and worked as teams on community -based projects which were presented at the celebration. The 2012 class represents all sectors of the city and more than half are from historically underrepresented communities.
The participants also learned techniques on how to involve and include all community members so that cultural and ethnic communities have the opportunity to participate in the civic process. "Engaging all communities is important to the city and the role of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods," said Bernie Matsuno, director of the department. "When these graduates work in the community and apply the skills that they've learned through PACE, I know they'll ensure that all voices are heard. I look forward to seeing them in action."
At the ceremony the graduates received congratulations from Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, along with civic leaders Chas Redmond, Citywide Neighborhood Council chair, and Ben Hunter, Community Arts Create executive director. One of the graduates, Bridgett McGinnis from the South Park Neighborhood Association, spoke at the ceremony on how PACE has affected her and its influence on her community work. She stated, "I plan to apply the skills that I learned in PACE to communities around Seattle, encouraging emerging leaders to learn to stay involved.
Details about the PACE program in 2013 will be available later this year. People interested in learning more can contact Wendy Watson at 206.684.0719.
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2012 PACE Graduating Class
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