IMPACT Silver Spring is a non-profit organization which works towards supporting andempowering all members of our community to work collaboratively across lines of race, class, and culture on challenging community issues. Growing out of the Montgomery County Executive's Silver Spring Redevelopment Advisory Committee, a group of concerned citizens from the general and business community met for over a year to develop a common plan towards ensuring that the diversity of the community's population would be reflected in the life and leadership of a newly revitalized Silver Spring. Incorporated in March 1999, IMPACT Silver Spring's work centers around four primary program areas:
Community Empowerment is IMPACT's centerpiece leadership development training program offered to existing and emerging community leaders. The curriculum interweaves three key components---leadership development, community action, and relationship-building. Key to the training is the awareness and skill-building that is the foundation for successfully communicating and working with people across lines of race, class, and culture. To date, nearly 90 Silver Spring community members have participated in the training program.
Lasting IMPACT is the continuing support network initiated by and for graduates of the training program to support their continuing work on personal and community action plans. Through meetings, gatherings, educational workshops, and information resources, Lasting IMPACT provides the infrastructure for Community Empowerment grads to work together in pursuing community reforms.
IMPACT in the Schools is an initiative committed to examining the impact of race, class, and culture on the growing achievement gap in the public schools. Growing out of the study circle initiative in 2001, which included partnership with MCPS and other community organizations, IMPACT has now implemented a pilot program at a local elementary school to bring minority and immigrant parents more fully into the public education reform process.
Neighborhood IMPACT provides leadership development and diversity awareness training and support in the context of existing community endeavors on a case-by-case basis. Serving as a catalyst and technical assistance provider, IMPACT has most recently worked with a group of citizens on the Long Branch Redevelopment Task Force in their quest to broaden input and participation among the many diverse voices within this community.