Gov. Sam Brownback addresses a summit to discuss ways to contribute to economic growth, reduce crime and boost social revitalization in parts of Kansas. Submitted photo

Gov. Sam Brownback addresses a summit to discuss ways to contribute to economic growth, reduce crime and boost social revitalization in parts of Kansas. Submitted photo

Gov. Sam Brownback addressed a group of community leaders last week to encourage collaboration to address serious issues in the area, such as poverty, fatherlessness, crime and lack of education.
Brownback attended the Kansas Community Leadership Enterprise (KCLE) summit held at El Shaddai Ministries. The Topeka event is one of six summits taking place in Kansas this year.
The regional events are attended by community leaders who can contribute to a broad discussion of ways to stimulate economic growth, reduce crime and boost social revitalization in some of Kansas’ most troubled neighborhoods. A wide range of organizations are represented, such as family crisis centers, homeless shelters and religious organizations.
“We are looking to you, those involved in your communities, to learn what works,” Brownback told the group of 70 community leaders. “You pour your hearts into it, and you are probably frustrated we haven’t made more progress. We need your ideas of what will make a real difference.”
The KCLE summits are sponsored by the Kansas Department for Children and Families with instructional content and leadership provided by Bob Woodson, Sr., founder of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE), a non-profit headquartered in Washington D.C.
CNE has a 34-year history of helping cities and neighborhoods address the problems of their communities. It helps communities identify effective neighborhood leaders who can bring positive change to troubled neighborhoods. CNE provides training, technical assistance and support to leaders of community and faith-based organizations, ensuring that all sectors of a given city are represented in plans for social and economic revitalization.
“When it comes to fighting poverty, we lack imagination,” Woodson told the group. “In the market economy, most innovation comes at the smallest unit. We’re looking to you as experts—people who are doing it, already making a difference. You are the ones with the new ideas we need.”
Statewide, KCLE includes 240 leaders from 17 different communities in Kansas. Summits are being held in Kansas City, Wichita, Pittsburg, Topeka, Great Bend and Garden City.
The summits include transformational training, State of the Family research in Kansas, community assessments of needs, networking, leadership development, constituent panels and community-driven plans to address community needs.