Reflections on a Powerful Community Action Convention

By Rae Tamblyn, Research and Communications Analyst, NASCSP


NASCSP was so pleased to be part of the CAP 2015 Annual Convention. What a powerful conference! The energy and passion was practically electric as the welcoming session unfolded. Robert Garcia of ACF, and Jeannie Chaffin, Director of OCS, welcomed us all along with representatives from our host region. Head Start Director Dr. Blanca Enriquez told us how Head Start and Community Action impacted her life and set the mood as we all danced to “We are Family”. Susan Nall Bales of the Framework Institute opened our eyes to a paradigm shift in the way we tell the community action story.  Her opening remarks discussed a critical issue in how we tell stories about social issues—often there are structural problems in the stories we tell and people do not hear what we describe as causes and deterrence of poverty.  Susan Nall Bales urged us to use a “wide angle lens” on our communities to show the rest of the story surrounding the family or individual and move from “narratives of choices” to “narratives of structures”.

With session track topics ranging from Advocacy and Communications to Data Analysis and Management, the idea of shifting the focus from the individual to the institutional and systemic underscored so many sessions during the next few days, we lost count. NASCSP was pleased to lead sessions on re-framing and expanding NPIs and community measures to better capture the impact of our work in local communities, and to discuss how to use our data to manage performance and drive outcome-based decisions at the local, state, and national level.

We’re excited to keep the momentum and conversations going at the NASCSP Annual Conference in Sacramento, September 15, 2015 – Friday, September 18, 2015. Make sure you check out the Storify Recap of #Partnership15, and get set to follow along and join in at #NASCSP15 in just a few weeks! Let’s keep this energy going!