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Young Residents Discuss Southside's Future

Tom Flanigan

Yet another event focused on improving the quality of life for Tallahassee's Southside residents took place on Saturday, Aug.19. The Neighborhood and Community Engagement Symposium took place at FAMU's Development Research School.

In the workshop led by the Tallahassee Food Network's Bakari McClendon, young people learned where the food they eat comes from. They also imagined setting up their own locally-grown food production and distribution networks.

"Opportunities for people to sustain themselves, either through saving on their grocery bills by growing their own food, or through selling what they grow to the community where access is limited," he explained.

And even though many Southside youngsters live in deprived conditions, they still have dreams. The problem, said another presenter Dr. Willie Williams from the City's Future Leaders Academy, is not knowing how to make those dreams come true.

"They knew they wanted to go to colleges and colleges that they'd heard of, but they didn't know how to get into them or what would be the first step, so that led us to talk about goals and objectives and how to achieve those things," Williams said.

This was the first symposium of its kind, made possible in part by a grant from NeighborWorks America. It was set up by congress more than three decades ago to promote community development.