Manchester Community Transformation: Repurposed Schools

Meraj Consulting will lead a community engagement process to capture input for effectively repurposing three decommissioned schools (Nathan Hale, Washington, and Robertson). We aim to capture this input through equitable and co-created processes that center the most marginalized and representative voices and invest in the three school neighborhoods and the larger Manchester community.

Based on initial feedback from community members in these three neighborhoods we will be utilizing the following approach:

  • Surveys and larger event participation to broadly capture community voices
  • Host events that center and invest in the most marginalized communities in Manchester:
    1. 3+ events hosted in Spanish and Bangla to ensure language justice within the process
    2. 3+ events that are hosted by and for Black community members
    3. 1+ event that is hosted by and for BIPOC Queer and Trans voices within the community
  • 1 on 1 conversation through coffee hours, during community events, zoom, in person, or various other forms
  • Virtual and in-person community forums hosted by the Board of Directors
  • Other approaches as directed by community members

To ensure this work is equitable, all of our work is built on the following principles:

Language Justice

  • Hosting events in Spanish and Bangla, and ASL for web-based programming
  • Translating all materials into Spanish and Bangla, and any other requested languages

Intersectionality and Assemblies

Every event recognizes the existence of intersections between all identities, including but not limited to:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Orientation
  • Ability
  • Age
  • Class
  • Education

For more information about intersectionality please watch the following video by Dre. Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term about its use and what it means. The video is available with English and Spanish subtitles.

Economic Justice

To honor community voices and show our appreciation for your contributions we will be enacting the following compensation pathways:

Stipends and/or consultant exchange for community leader/organization support

  • 1 in 3 raffle for all survey participants to win gift cards from local businesses
  • Stipends for event participants to cover attendance expenses
  • Coffee and snack on us during coffee hours

To learn more about our principles and approach please refer to our presentation made to the Repurposing School Committee during the hiring process here.

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