Isles, the Trenton-based community development and environmental nonprofit, is hosting its first-ever virtual forum from Monday through Saturday, June 7 through 12. The free event explores community development topics such as urban agriculture, lead safety, youth-violence prevention, healthy housing, and green jobs in a series of webinars, panels, and workshops.
The event is part of the nonprofit’s “40 Years of Impact” celebration marking four decades since the organization’s founding in 1981. “Over four decades, we’ve tested different approaches to family self-reliance and healthy communities, learning what works, trying new things, and sharing with others,” Isles CEO Sean Jackson said. “This forum is a way we can bring together folks from around the country to tackle a range of topics critical to fostering healthy, sustainable communities.”
The forum’s schedule is broken down into daily themes.
The topic for Monday, June 7, is “Sustainable Cities.” Sessions include “Climate Change, Environmental Hazards, and the City: What’s an Organization to Do?,” presented by Isles founder Marty Johnson; “Advancing Equitable & Clean Transportation for All”; and “Urban Agriculture and Climate Change.”
On Tuesday, June 8, attention turns to urban placemaking. Events include an update on the redevelopment of Donnelly Homes and the surrounding North Trenton Neighborhood; discussion of a region-wide housing coalition established by Isles and Trenton Health Team; and information on the Social Profit Center at Mill One.
Also on Tuesday is a panel titled “Creative Arts and Economic Development: Sparking and Sustaining Downtown Trenton,” with participants including Lauren Otis of Artworks Trenton, C. Ryanne Domingues of Passage Theater, and artist Leon Rainbow as well as Meaghan Singletary of the Trenton Downtown Association.
Wednesday, June 9, is all about lead safety. Sessions feature a discussion of tenant and homeowner protections with regard to lead hazards in the home, including pending new state lead safe legislation; and two sessions focused on information and initiatives for preventing lead poisoning in children.
Thursday, June 10, is titled “Building the Future” and includes an Isles Youth Institute open house; panels on New Jersey YouthBuild and violence prevention; and a discussion on “Challenges and Lessons in Developing Anti-Racist Organizations.”
Friday, June 11, returns to topics in public health, specifically regarding safety at home. Sessions include “Healthy Housing/Healthy Families”; “Opportunities for Future Focused Green Jobs for New Jersey”; and “8 Keys to a Healthy Home.”
Housing remains front and center on the forum’s final day, with Saturday, June 12, dedicated to a “Welcome Home Fair” for first-time home buyers. Those looking to purchase their first home can learn about down payment and closing cost assistance; the professionals involved in making a home purchase; and credit and how to access your credit report. Additionally participants can make an appointment with a housing counselor through Isles, which is HUD certified.
All events are free and open to the public. Register individually for each session you wish to attend by visiting www.isles.org/forum.