As summer begins to wind down, many of us are beginning to plan our calendars for the fall. As you begin to do this, you will want to make sure that you include the MACDC Convention and Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 29 at Polar Park in Worcester (and online via Zoom).
The MACDC Convention (which happens just once every four years!) is always a special event. It is not only the biggest community development event on the calendar in Massachusetts, but it is also a special opportunity to advance our theme for the day: United Communities Building Together!
Given the challenges of the past two-plus years, the need for unity and collective action within the community development field has never been greater. That is why this event will bring together everyone in our field - CDC board members, community leaders, tenants, community development professionals, public officials, private sector allies, and others for day of celebration and collective action. It will offer a unique set of opportunities:
An opportunity to pause and celebrate
Notwithstanding the challenges and heartaches of the past two-plus years, indeed because of them, the Convention offers an important opportunity to pause and celebrate. And thankfully we have many exciting things to celebrate, including MACDC’s 40th anniversary as the policy and capacity building arm of the community development field. We will recognize the extraordinary resiliency of our field and our communities in the face of unprecedented challenges. We will celebrate outstanding individuals and organizations that have made a difference in people’s lives. And we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Community Investment Tax Credit – an example of what we can accomplished when we come together as a field to shape state policy.
An opportunity to build power and shape state policy
While we have much to celebrate, we also have much to left to do. So, this Convention, like our past events, will also focus on the future and taking collective action to shape it for the better.
One of the key elements of our Convention will be the Gubernatorial Candidate Forum. The winner of the Governor’s race has attended our Convention for each of the past four election cycles and each time we have engaged those candidates with specific questions about their policy agenda and requested their support for specific policies. In response, the candidates have embraced key MACDC priorities such as the Small Business Technical Assistance program, the Community Investment Tax Credit, and closing racial homeownership disparities. We will be inviting both of this year’s candidates to come and speak with us and to answer specific questions about their proposed policy agenda. This will be our chance to demonstrate the power of United Communities, Building Together to the next Governor.
An opportunity to build your network
Regardless of your connection to the community development field, this event deserves a spot on your fall calendar because the Convention is always fun, inspiring, educational, and most importantly, impactful. The MACDC Convention will offer something for everyone:
CDC Board members can connect with fellow board members across CDCs and learn about how they are addressing various challenges and opportunities in their organizations and communities.
Tenants, community members, and other neighborhood activists can network with and learn from others doing similar work, while also joining with the broader movement to build power and push for major policy change.
Community development professionals can connect with longstanding colleagues and expand their professional networks
Private sector leaders from foundations, financial institutions, small businesses, real estate firms, and others can re-connect with colleagues, get to know more CDCs and community development professionals, and demonstrate support for the CDC field.
MACDC Alumni, including former board members, staff, and interns, can rejoin the movement and see the results of their hard work at MACDC.
An opportunity to pay it forward
Of course, none of this happens without you and others making the trip to Worcester or joining us on-line. The magic of the convention is the scale and diversity of who is there. Your presence will make the networking and relationship building more impactful for everyone who attends. Your presence will help us honor our award winners and give meaning to the 40th anniversary celebration. Your presence will help us build momentum for our racial equity work. Your presence will help drive our policy agenda and make a powerful impression on the next Governor. Your presence will demonstrate the collective power of United Communities, Building Together.
We look forward to seeing you!