Sarasota: June 14 – 16, 2007

11th_2007The 11th annual Florida Neighborhoods Conference was hosted by the City of Sarasota, in collaboration with other government and nonprofit partners, with 525 neighborhood leaders and volunteers, community-based organization and government representatives through Florida attending. The theme for this conference was “Neighborhoods, the Spirit of America”. The keynote speaker was Mary Nelson, President Emeritus of Bethel New Life, Chicago, IL who has pioneered in creative community-based development efforts to build healthier and sustainable communities. The conference featured a track specializing in Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and featured John McKnight, Professor of Education and Social Policy, Co-Director, Asset- Based Community Development institute at Northwestern University & Byron White, the Director of the Community Building Institute – a partnership between Xavier University in Cincinnati and the United Way. There were forty workshops presented by experts on topics relevant to building and sustaining strong neighborhoods and neighborhood organizations. Participants were able to select from ten neighborhood and community tours showcasing the areas neighborhoods its historic districts and other community and economic development initiatives. The Conference sponsors were: ABC7 – WWSB, Broward County, City of Hollywood, City of Jacksonville, City of Pinellas Park, City of Lakeland, City of Sarasota, City of Tampa, City of Tallahassee, Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, Manatee County, Publix, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Sarasota County, SCOPE, Southwest Airlines, The Observer, and Waste Services of Florida.