It is important that social justice and racial equity are embedded in our community engagement strategies and that our leadership positions are more representative of the community members most impacted by systems change. We need to intentionally engage, educate, and empower community members, families, and youth. In order for real social and economic change to happen in Norwalk, community members must be part of the decision-making on how to improve their own lives and the lives of their neighbors. We must co-develop solutions ‘with’ community and not ‘for’ community.

The Community Advocate Program provides a sustainable framework for Norwalk volunteers of different ages with diverse backgrounds to lead advocacy efforts with other community members to break down barriers and improve outcomes for Norwalk’s children and families regardless of race, neighborhood, or by the conditions in which they are born.