Our Communities of NW Stokes
Our Communities of NW Stokes is a community-driven, community-built all-volunteer initiative dedicated to revitalizing our area and to building programs and partnerships that benefit the county.
To accomplish our objectives, we created a unique organizational structure designed to center decision-making power in the hands of the community. Annual Community Assemblies make community-wide decisions regarding allocations of resources. Teams develop and implement projects based on particular areas of interest to the community identified during the Assembly sessions. A small organizing group provides direction to the efforts and collaborates with the Our Communities of NW Stokes Foundation, non-profit created to assist with fundraising and grant-making. This organic operational structure allows us to respond quickly to both opportunities and challenges.
All the initiative’s activities are guided by its mission of revitalization. It’s organized around the conviction that, at least in our area, the first step toward revitalization is building a community that is strong enough and capable enough to achieve its goals. The initiative evolved from community planning workshops and now has a core group of more than 30 volunteers. Teams of volunteers produce programs and events that bring people closer together and strengthen the community.
In the Francisco area, the absence of a place that knits a community together is seen as the single greatest threat to the survival of small
farming communities like ours. The long-range goal is to mitigate that threat by developing a village hub in Francisco. Our priorities include expanding community outreach and increasing support for local
businesses and entrepreneurs.
We are proud of the meaningful and diverse contributions our initiative and foundation make to the county. The impact of our work reaches far beyond Francisco where the initiative is based.