The Fort Wayne UNITED initiative is continuing proactive efforts to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and help ensure the safety of all residents with a focus on black men and boys.
More than 200 youth and young adults as part of Fort Wayne UNITED took part in the recent Global Leadership Summit at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Participants learned about leadership concepts, conflict resolution, communication, and many other components of effective leadership. The young men and women also had lunch with several community leaders as part of the Fort Wayne UNITED Leaders Luncheon.
Fort Wayne UNITED places two national efforts, Cities United and My Brother’s Keeper, into one program to make a meaningful difference with an emphasis on listening, input, letting voices be heard, and engagement.
The vision is for every black male in Fort Wayne to be respected and valued with an opportunity to reach their full potential. The mission is to advocate for and implement policies, practices and procedures to ensure equity and opportunity for black fathers, brothers, and sons at home, work, school, and community through collaborative efforts.
Goals to lead to positive outcomes include engagement of black men and boys, the community, policymakers, philanthropic community, and data gathering.
Criminal justice, non-profit, clergy, health, and education leaders, along with representatives from the Fort Wayne Police Department are part of the Fort Wayne UNITED Steering Committee that’s working to make Fort Wayne the best community possible and move Fort Wayne UNITED forward.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate artist Linda Howard. Her sculpture known as Convergence has been chosen to be the visual anchor of the Promenade Park entrance as part of riverfront development phase one. The sculpture is expected to be installed in June 2018.
Originally from Evanston, Illinois, Linda has studied at several prestigious universities, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Denver and the School of Architecture in New York. She currently lives and works in Bradenton, Florida. In her 42-year career, she has created and installed sculptures in 18 states and Australia.
Convergence suggests the flow of Fort Wayne’s three rivers coming together, which has unified this region and our residents. As you move around the sculpture, you’ll never see the same view twice. The sculpture creates a space for contemplation, introspection, solitude and peace. The completed sculpture will weigh approximately 2,400 pounds and measure 19 feet high, 28 feet wide and 28 feet deep.
In January 2016, the Waterfield Foundation donated $100,000 through the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. for the creation of the entryway sculpture. The donation, combined with a 50 percent match from Lilly Endowment, Inc., brought the total value of the donation to $150,000. The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department partnered with Arts United to ensure that the final piece of art would represent the rivers and the growing vibrancy of downtown Fort Wayne through an unbiased selection process. Arts United assembled a volunteer committee of art experts and community members to review and recommend best practices for public art selection.
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