Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Future is Emerging Now. . . In the Circle!

The Future is Now!

On Thursday, April 25th, IMPACT Silver Spring held its annual event, IMPACT Now! 2013.  The theme of this year’s event was Dream, Build, & Act, in the Circle.   For an event like this we had three primary goals:  1.  To celebrate the unsung sheroes and heroes who are doing the work of building a thriving multicultural community in Montgomery County, Maryland.  2.  To highlight our newest network building innovation--The Opportunity Circle; and 3.  Raise a little money!!!

Each of this year’s 3 honorees received an IMPACT Momentum Award.  We use the word momentum to describe the energy and the dynamism that the recipients are creating, often with limited financial resources, to make our community more livable and sustainable.  Each of them was selected as a result of a rigorous nomination process and the scrutiny of an august panel of evaluators.  We’d like to thank the Montgomery County community for offering 31 nominees this year!  We’d also like to thank the awards selection committee for bringing forward such an exciting and worthy group of honorees.  This 2013 Momentum Award Winners are:

Agbegnigan Amouzou, "Coach Fofo"- Social Momentum Award Winner

Ben Simon- Economic Momentum Award Winner

The Opportunity Circle at the Fields Apartments- Civic Momentum Award Winner

To read more about the award winners and their work, click here.

Something else wonderful happened at IMPACT Now! 2013.  As a matter of fact many of you in the post-event survey reported that it was the highlight of the morning.  At the end of the ceremony, just before an impassioned appeal and challenge by Seth Goldman, TeaEO of Honest Tea, a parade of members who have been working in our newest network-building venue--the IMPACT Opportunity Circle—paraded into the room.  In one word, it was breathtaking!  

The folks in the Parade of Circles represent the first fruit of 12 Opportunity Circles that have emerged over the last 18 months in the network.  They are working on projects that build social, economic, and civic momentum that contribute to inclusive local economies and vibrant communities.  A summary of their work can be found at our new website

Flags flying high and with the work of their hands, hearts, and minds on display, these folks, our neighbors, came to make their own declaration:  

Do not define us by what you think we need. We are not your tired, your poor, or your huddle masses.  Do not define us as wretched refuse from a previous teeming shore.  We are far more than homeless, hungry and tempest tossed.  We are powerful, we are creative, we are dreaming, we are building, and we are already acting our way into a better, more inclusive and prosperous future for all of us.

Won’t you join us?!  

There is a Circle for You!

How do you join?  Glad you asked.  The price for entry is to share your answer to this question:

What is the dream that you have for your own life or the life of your community—a dream that is too big to achieve by yourself?  A dream that perhaps you have been waiting your whole life to activate, but you haven’t because it isn’t practical, people will think you’re crazy, or the timing isn’t right?  Whatever the answer I need you to pursue it—we need you to pursue it.   You’ll be the better for it and so too will our community.

--And we have just the space and the people who will walk along side you.  You can find them in the Opportunity Circle.  Learn more here (and see the video below).  

See you in the Circle!