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Focus Areas

Here are some things Opportunity Dekalb is working on

Advocating for Inclusive Action

Opportunity DeKalb was created so that the goals of the revitalization plan could be achieved. We seek opportunities for when, where, and how we can contribute to advancing the revitalization goals and track progress through an AGN Revitalization Progress Chart. Our advocacy mission includes being proactive in giving voice to everyone in the community. We embrace DeKalb’s commitment to belonging and rejection of othering. Opportunity DeKalb believes the future is in working together so that the quality of life in northwest DeKalb improves for everyone. Our role is to help build and maintain the bridges that will enable that to happen.

Next Action Steps

  • Continued collaboration and partnership with others to achieve all AGN revitalization goals. 

  • Executing an action plan with partners to increase places and programs for  children and youth informed by the results from an inventory of existing places and programs, interviews, and focus groups with parents.

  • Creation of an AGN/Northwest DeKalb Neighborhood Council.  

Developing the Future

Asset-Based Community Development

Isolation exists in many forms in northwest DeKalb and AGN. Many residents express lack of connection from one another and from the rest of the community. Most individuals who do not live in AGN spend very little time in the neighborhood. Opportunity DeKalb is advancing an asset-based approach to community building in AGN and northwest DeKalb that forms partnerships and strengthens relationships between community assets to increase connections and empower everyone in the neighborhood to contribute to a brighter future.

Next Action Steps

  • Implementation of the best practices of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) to identify and mobilize existing, but often unrecognized assets, to create local economic opportunity.

  • Continue increasing the number of students involved in experiential learning and community engagement related to revitalization efforts. 

  • Sustain and grow placemaking events and activities like the AGN Girls on the Run team, STEAM Afterschool Program, STEAM Family Night, Welsh Park Summer Kickoff, and others. 

  • Creation of Offers and Needs Markets to empower all interested residents to contribute actively to neighborhood efforts. 

Communicating Progress

Effective communication is integral to sustaining success in AGN and northwest DeKalb. Opportunity DeKalb wants residents and engaged stakeholders to be aware of and involved in the revitalization work. We want the entire community to hear and read the stories of progress and the examples of the residents, organizations, and businesses contributing to the collective effort. And we want the story of AGN and northwest DeKalb to become part of the regional reputation for why people choose DeKalb to come to live, learn, and work in our community.

Next Action Steps

  • Mobilize an AGN Content Team comprised of community contributors to capture the stories of community achievements and progress toward revitalization goals in northwest DeKalb.  

  • Deliver the content in accessible ways in AGN and northwest DeKalb.  

  • Deploy the content on the Opportunity DeKalb website and social media channels as well as distribute through other channels with broader reach like the City of DeKalb, #ProudlyDeKalb, Opportunity Unbound, NIU outlets, DeKalb DCCVB, DeKalb Chamber, interested media, and others.  

A unifying characteristic of most people who live in northwest DeKalb is a desire to get from where they are in life to where they want to be. Northwest DeKalb and Annie Glidden North are also home to many responsible property owners, quality housing, and successful commercial businesses. But over time the physical deterioration of property and barriers to economic opportunity for individuals and businesses have plagued some areas of AGN and northwest DeKalb. Reinvestment in people, property, and new and existing businesses is badly needed. Most community development corporations play an active role in these kinds of reinvestments and Opportunity DeKalb believes we are well positioned to increase our impact in this way.

Next Action Steps

  • Development of the Opportunity Canvas, which serves as Opportunity DeKalb’s pathway network fostering economic opportunity for residents in AGN and northwest DeKalb through channels to employment, education, nonprofit and social impact, and connectivity to social service and faith-based partners.

  • Opening of Launchpad, which serves as Opportunity DeKalb's neighborhood home base and center point of coordination of the Opportunity Canvas focused on revitalization partnerships.

  • Creation of an inclusive entrepreneurship hub. 

  • Continued feasibility study and possible development of community-supported enterprises in AGN and northwest DeKalb.

  • Ongoing community liaison services and partnership with housing and commercial developers who embrace the community’s aspirational vision for AGN and northwest DeKalb. 

Opportunity DeKalb Overview-3_edited.jpg

Opportunity DeKalb Focus Area Document

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