Prince William Study Circles Strengthen Communities and Earn Top Honors
In community centers, schools and churches throughout Prince William County, residents are gathering together to improve their neighborhoods.
The Prince William Neighborhood Study Circles were formed collaboratively in 2007 by George Mason University, Unity in the Community and City of Manassas Neighborhood Services as a forum for community members to better understand all sides of various issues, build relationships across groups and develop action plans.
According to Charvis Campbell, assistant dean of Prince William University Life, the study circles were initially started to focus on immigration issues within the community. However, they quickly transformed into forums for discussing broader issues that affect neighborhoods, many of which are home to Mason’s faculty and staff.
“We realized that folks weren’t really talking about immigration but talking about how immigration impacted their community − whether it was loud music or miscommunication about trash pickup or miscommunication about language differences,” says Campbell.
“We decided to get the community talking and to have a respectful, honest and productive conversation about neighborhood issues. The whole point of the circles is to empower the community to take the initiative.”
To learn more, visit http://gazette.gmu.edu/articles/15658.