On Wednesday October 24, over 80 nonprofit, city and community leaders came together for the CNC Summit, hosted by Google, to explore how we can collectively create a more equitable Cambridge. The morning began with the panel discussion of a local cross sector partnership that highlighted the Cambridge Domestic and Gender-based Violence Prevention initiative. The panel was introduced by State Representative Marjorie Decker, moderated by Rev. Irene Monroe and included Risa Mednick, former Transition House Executive Director, Cambridge Deputy City Manager, Lisa Peterson, Cambridge Police Superintendent Steven DeMarco, and Hannah Lodi, Director of Leased Housing, Cambridge Housing Authority.
While the initiative focused on domestic violence, the discussion highlighted several characteristics that can assist different types of cross sector collaborations in achieving their goals. These include: a deep commitment from leadership that transcends transitions, embedding changes in policies and practices that impact service delivery, and key institutions making significant financial investments to sustain the work. Cross- sector collaboration is messy and challenging. It is only by remaining focused on the long term goals, that we can achieve the system changes necessary to solve entrenched social problems.
After the panel, participants broke into small groups to discuss what they learned and explore opportunities for further collaboration. We ended the morning with a call to action for more nonprofits to officially join the CNC as members.