Lifespan Local will support a range of community-driven activities that promote neighborhoods where all of us want to live.
Working Towards A Front Porch in Southwest Denver
On front porches in various communities across this country, people feel comfortable spending time together, listening and learning, and building relationships of trust. When institutions desire to build partnerships with historically marginalized groups, conversations can be most meaningfully invited on a welcoming “front porch.” At Lifespan Local, we address major social issues by taking direction from the people most affected by the challenges, but we cannot take direction we have not heard. Lived experience, best practices in the diversity and inclusion field, and community participatory research methodologies affirm the importance of genuine connection; communication crosses cultural, linguistic, and economic barriers best in familiar and safe gathering spaces. Inspired by the success of Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being, we plan to establish a front porch for community partnership, wherein Lifespan Local will establish ourselves as neighbors and service partners with community residents, for the common good.
More Than a Year of Listening to Community
During 2018, Lydia Prado, Lifespan Local’s Director, has connected with more than 100 individuals and groups in Southwest Denver— a vibrant region, characterized by ethnic diversity and a long history of resilience against the odds. Dr. Prado has heard repeated concern about gentrification and safety, and need for affordable housing, mental healthcare, and childcare supports. Local activists are busy addressing these complex social issues and Lifespan Local can help by establishing a neighborhood presence and offering shared space.
At this proposed Front Porch, we hope to have a space for community partners, a kitchen, childcare space, meeting rooms, produce gardens, and a playground— amenities that demonstrate everyone is welcome. Throughout the week, we would expect a variety of pro-social trainings, meetings, forums, and events. These activities would serve both their own ends— education, service delivery, coalition-building—and inform Lifespan Local’s continued community partnership work.