Community Planning Group Minutes, August 29, 2019

Aug. 29 2019
Minutes: Community Planning Group
Gustafson, SNHU
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Community Planning Group members present: Amanda Egan, Joede Brown, Donna Crook, Jennifer Gillis, Dr. John Goldhardt, Liz Kirwan, Liz MacDonald, Kimiya Parker-Hill, Trinidad Tellez, Deo Mwano, Katie Labranche, Michael Delaney, Diane Fitzpatrick, Will Kanteres, and Abigail Gemme 

Community Planning Group members not present: Amy Allen, Christina Bui, CJ Chretien, Hunter Churchill, Norma Gonzales, Rev. Eric Jackson, Nicole Lora, Patricia Lynott, Anthony Poore, Grace Puninu, Forrest Randsell, Mike Skelton, Anna Thomas, and Meredith Young,

Also present: Barry Brensinger of Manchester Proud, Rachel Lopkin and Adam Rubin of 2Revs and Liz Canada and Annmarie Timmins of Reaching Higher NH

Action items:

  • CPG members will sign up to attend one or more Manchester Schools Open Houses. This is a vital opportunity to raise awareness of MP. 
  • Reaching Higher NH (RNHH) will post Portrait of a Graduate survey link on Manchester Proud’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages. It will also send the link home with all students in MSD. The survey will appear in multiple languages.
  • RHNH will email survey link to CPG and encourage them to share it with their networks. 
  • The CPG will have a presence at Kelly Falls when they open a new community center on Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. 
  • The CPG will attempt to have a presence at the Manchester Invitational in Derryfield Park on Sept. 21. Reaching Higher NH will inquire about getting a table.
  • RHNH will confirm with schools that CPG members can attend Open Houses to provide MP material and sign up new Champions.
  • RHNH will ask the Chamber to share the Portrait of a Graduate survey with members.
  • CPG members interested in helping with communications and developing a storytelling strategy will contact Barry.
  • RHNH will provide CPG a summary of the Communication Plan prior to the Sept. 24 meeting and be prepared to discuss the plan at that meeting.
  • Amanda, Trini, and Deo volunteered to represent CPG on IEC. RHNH will notify IEC to coordinate next steps.

Meeting discussion:

Visioning work 

2revolutions summarized the Visioning work done to date. These sessions reached 375 people:

  • 2 public sessions
  • 2 City Year sessions
  • 1 Chamber, business community event
  • 2 sessions with new immigrants/refugees
  • 1 school-based session
  • 1 session with all principals and assistant principals

Responses to “Portrait of a Graduate” survey

2Revolutions also summarized the responses received to date to Manchester Proud’s “Portrait of a Graduate” survey, which asked respondents, “What do you want students to know and be able to do when they graduate?

Most frequent responses fell into seven categories:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Growth mindset, resilience, and adaptability
  • Equity mindset, cultural competency, and empathy
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate
  • STEM and technology skills
  • Work and life-ready basics

Upcoming Visioning work

2Revolutions and Manchester Proud are meeting with the Manchester Young Professionals Network in September.

2Rev will also send the Portrait of a Graduate survey to college admission officials in the city. 


With a deadline of presenting a plan to the Board of School Committee in early 2020, 2Revolutions reviewed the work plan between now and February 2020:

  • July to September: Visioning and hunches creation
  • September to October: Hunches prioritization and refinement
  • October to November: Validation of plan
  • November to December: Plan drafted and revised
  • January to February: Plan finished and presented

Creating and sharing the plan

2Revs presented a draft outline of the plan’s potential content and organization. CPG members generally endorsed the proposed outline, agreeing that it needs to be framed as a coherent and compelling overall story.  2Revs explained that this outline is just the beginning of the discussion of how the plan will be organized and presented and is offered to promote CPG feedback.

With guidance from 2Revolutions, the CPG discussed how to pitch and validate the plan. 

  • The group felt strongly that different audiences will require different pitches, each underscoring why the plan matters to them personally. 
  • Group members envision two versions of the plan: a short, general audience version and an in depth plan for the Board of School Committee and MSD leadership. 
  • The pitch must include the solutions being proposed and the financial implications.
  • Both versions should be engaging and include personal stories that illustrate elements within the plan. 
  • Embedding videos within the plan would be an effective way to convey information quickly and in a medium that people prefer. 
  • The plan’s language must be geared to a general audience. For example, the CPG was asked to think about a name other than “Strategic Plan.”
  • The communication goals should include strategy for correcting misconceptions about Manchester Proud and this plan. 


Validating the plan will require significant community outreach by CPG members. They brainstormed ways to raise awareness about Manchester Proud and the need for a plan. The ideas included:

  • Create interactive installations with digital elements that can be placed around the city
  • Go to community groups instead of asking them to come to our Visioning Sessions. Opportunities include: Manchester Marathon (Nov. 10), the city library, faith communities, the mall, craft fairs, housing developments (Kimball St. (Kelly Falls), Bakersville (Elmwood Gardens), Garden Drive, English Village, low income housing), senior centers, colleges and universities, school sporting events, Girls Inc., meal events at the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, PTOs, and block parties. 
  • Other ideas for outreach included: asking the city’s largest employers and community partners  to share the Portrait of a Graduate survey with employees/stakeholders and asking local scholarship organizations to connect us with Manchester recipients.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.