Belle Morris Community Action Group

Apply Now for Neighborhood Leadership Training


The Office of Neighborhoods is taking applications for a neighborhood leadership training
program that will be offered for the first time this fall.


The program was created specifically for participants in and leaders of resident-led,
resident-controlled neighborhood groups, as well as individuals who would like
to start neighborhood associations in unorganized neighborhoods.


“Building Strong Neighborhood Organizations” (BSNO) is designed to address a wide variety of questions and concerns about starting and sustaining an effective
neighborhood organization. Topics include:  styles of leadership,
identifying and utilizing a neighborhood’s most important asset, how to
facilitate effective meetings, recruiting and retaining members, internal and
external communications, decision-making and conflict resolution, and strategic


This first edition of the BSNO program is being offered jointly with “Healthy Kids,
Healthy Communities,” a program of the Knox County Health Department.


There will be one session per week on Thursday evenings, beginning September 5 and running through November 14, at the health department on Dameron Avenue. Each of the 11 sessions will be two hours long, and a light meal will be provided. There is no
fee, but participants will be strongly encouraged to attend every session
except for personal or family illness.


The highly participatory sessions will be facilitated by a veteran community organizer,
Bill Murrah, a key player in the early days of the Fourth & Gill
Neighborhood Organization and a current board member of the group. Murrah’s
entire career has been devoted to helping nonprofit community organizations
increase their effectiveness.


Participants will receive a textbook, “Building Powerful Community Organizations,” along
with a 3-ring binder of numerous “how-to” articles on various aspects of
creating and sustaining community-based organizations.


Seating is limited for this first edition of the BSNO leadership training program. Apply
online at or call Jackie Clay, Office of Neighborhoods, at 215-4382 to have a hard copy mailed to you. The deadline for applications is Monday, August 26.


The BSNO curriculum was developed with the assistance of a curriculum committee that
included Bill Murrah; Mary Thom Adams, a past president of Town Hall East;
Terrell Patrick, president of Cold Springs Watch; Mickeeya Harrison, member of
the Neighborhood Advisory Council; Linda Rust, president of South Haven
Neighborhood Association; and Donna Hottinger, past president of Westwood
Homeowners Association, along with Office of Neighborhoods staff.

Posted by Sandy Salmen on 08/19/2013
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