Greater Fulton: A Community Rising

The best part of my job happens when other people talk. Last week's session with about 50 residents of the Greater Fulton community is a good example – a diverse group representing as many as 50 years of residency and six weeks came armed with passion and ideas for the three Richmond neighborhoods. Giving voice to an often-forgotten community in Richmond is inspiring.

Our work with Fulton is a partnership between Virginia LISC and Fulton's home-grown Neighborhood Resource Center. Our goal over the next 60 days is to engage the 5,100 residents of Fulton, Fulton Hill and Montrose Heights in a community visioning process. Along the way, we'll work to connect the vision to residents and local officials who can make it happen, train community organizers and put a local communication and PR process in place.

The session on October 9 was just the start – we have additional sessions planned for regional community and business leaders, as well as more sessions just for residents. In November, we turn the ideas into a picture-perfect document – a community vision and strategic plan that paints a vivid picture of Fulton Rising.

Our visioning work in Greater Fulton is a collaborative – and fun – effort. NRC is leading the organizing component under the leadership of Annette Cousins and Jason Sawyer. Designer Peter Fraser and I are leading the visioning process with huge support from Beth Coakley, Lauren Stewart and Tina Pearlman.