Transform Your Practice: Community Engagement Strategies for Trust, Impact & Civic Pride

Realize the powerful potential of engagement for your community.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

1:00pm EASTERN


When community engagement is at its best, community members, professionals and designers collaborate to create locally inspired solutions, and project plans, once realized, become a source of joy and pride.

But all too often, the reality of community engagement does not live up to the ideal. On the ground, engagement tends to involve familiar tactics (like public meetings), the same few people showing up and the same intractable conflicts arising – resulting in project plans that leave few residents satisfied and do little to build trust.

If you want to realize the potential of community engagement, this webinar is for you.

Join Reimagining the Civic Commons to learn about promising new practices in community engagement – and how you can bring these powerful strategies into your work. Public participation experts from across the country will share insights on building relationships with a diverse range of community members, navigating complex dynamics and developing inspired, beloved solutions.

The webinar follows the release of Transform Your Practice: A community engagement card deck, a practical tool that highlights impactful strategies while challenging misconceptions about what outreach can and should achieve.



Gia Biagi is Principal of Urbanism & Civic Impact at Studio Gang, where she leads the office's urban design and planning work. This practice unites revitalizing cities with an emphasis on ecology, mobility, and community, and focuses on how to reimagine public assets, infrastructure and institutions to be more relevant, connected and responsive to the people and places where they reside. Gia’s career spans private practice and public service and has established her as a visionary leader in city planning, urban design and infrastructure management. She recently served as head of Chicago’s Department of Transportation and has held various other private and public roles across the fields of housing, parks and transportation. She serves on the board of directors for the Shared-Use Mobility Center.


Jamal Boddie is the Executive Director for Bloom, Inc., a park advocacy nonprofit in Memphis that focuses on creating stewards and parks friends groups for neighborhood parks. As a native Memphian, Jamal cares deeply for Memphis and seeing it grow and improve. Jamal was a co-chair of the working group of practitioners from across the country that developed the Transform Your Practice card deck.


Daniel M. Rice is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. Since 1994, Daniel has worked with over 150 community partnerships, raised over $75 million in development funds for the 101-mile multi-use Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, and received numerous regional and national awards. The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition serves as the convener for Akron Reimagining the Civic Commons, a $40 million investment in public space, park and trail improvements along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Akron, Ohio. Daniel was a co-chair of the working group of practitioners from across the country that developed the Transform Your Practice card deck.



Alexa Bush is a program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s Detroit Program. She supports investments in transformative public spaces in the city of Detroit that promote greater understanding and inclusion, as well as strategies that advance the interconnections between sustainable urban development and economic equity. Before joining the foundation in 2021, Alexa served as Urban Design Director-East Region at the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department. She was involved with planning and developing inclusive economic recovery efforts in partnership with residents and led Detroit’s Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative in the Fitzgerald neighborhood in northwest Detroit.


By registering for this webinar, you agree to receive important updates about Reimaging the Civic Common’s work.


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