One Community Meal at A Time Nov 30, 2021

After more than a year-long hiatus, the QCFT Community Meal is back! We started these back in September by hosting our Tuck Bound Reclaiming Our Hood 101 Community Meals. The format is similar to events that we have hosted for 15 years, but we have made some key changes. Supper is good, but eating supper and talking about justice is better. During COVID-19, we took a deep look at the operations of our organization and assessed whether we were doing charity work or helping to foster a stronger sense of mutual aid in our neighborhood. In bringing back this program, we wanted to be better about mutual aid and building capacity for change. The first step in that has been deepening relationships, while engaging with our city’s new strategic plan for neighborhood growth.

We’ll continue this through our December community meal, when we hope to escalate 2 to 4 residents who will serve as Neighborhood Team Leaders (NTLs). NTLs will be responsible for helping us to develop work Enderly Park by cultivating meaningful neighborhood connections and guiding our Tuck Bound Initiative. We work with our faith network to prepare meals that will be eaten over a thoughtful discussion. The discussion offers an opportunity for residents to actively listen to each other and agree on common points that draw them closer together. This is one real life way that QC Family Tree is building solidarity in the Enderly Park community.

One of the innate gifts here in Enderly Park is the sense of solidarity between neighbors. There is a sense of communal responsibility from Enderly Park residents to retain the identity and culture of our neighborhood, especially as we face the ongoing pressures of redevelopment.

One way we try to work to expand and develop this solidarity is through our campaign called “Tuck Bound.” Our community organizer Kendrick Cunningham is helping to build a network of interconnected residential leaders, who then recruit and develop more residential leaders in Enderly Park. We don’t tell our residential leaders what they need to do to exercise their agency as residents and influence the affairs of the neighborhood. We simply help to empower them and advise them through finding their own solutions to the challenges they face. We do this work together, as neighbors in solidarity with one another.

We continue to build our relational organizing. Residents who have been consistently engaged in our Tuck Bound Initiative are becoming Neighborhood Team Leaders (NTLs). We hope that NTLs will use their personal neighborhood connections to bring more folk into the Tuck Bound fold. NTLs will also be responsible for organizing events that will help to bring our neighbors out in order to build solidarity and togetherness.