by Christian Clansky, Program Associate
[Jan. 30, 2008] Fifty-one degrees and sunny—but Prince George’s County is experiencing a major snowball effect. That’s because in a building where 40 people gathered a little more than a year ago to discuss strengthening the county’s nonprofit sector, more than 100 gathered today to help Washington Grantmakers and the Prince George’s Community Foundation launch the Partnership for Prince George’s County.
Members of the philanthropic, nonprofit, government, and religious communities came together in Landover, Md., to celebrate the County’s first true alliance among these sectors. Desiree Griffin Moore, the Partnership’s executive director, set the tone for the event by announcing that attendees must introduce themselves to three strangers. A few minutes later, she struggled to quiet the crowd as she presented the speakers.
County Council Chair David Harrington, whose advocacy and financial support has been instrumental in bringing the county government to the table, addressed the room first with a warm smile and congratulations for reaching this monumental moment. “This Partnership is about three things,” he continued. “Empowerment. Collaboration. And, Community.” He expressed his optimism for the Partnership’s ability to elicit substantial change in the County, and he firmly pledged his continued support and participation.
Harrington was followed by Artis Hampshire Cowan of the Prince George’s Community Foundation, Kim Rhim of The Training Source, and Washington Grantmakers President Tamara Copeland, all of whom offered their unique perspectives on the importance and potential of the Partnership.
It later became clear that the group had extended Desiree’s charge to network well beyond three people. Long after the formal program had ended, the room remained full – and loud – confirming what has been evident all along: there is a great amount of work to be done, but there is an even greater will to do it. And the snowball keeps rolling…
For more about the events leading to the Partnership’s launch, see The Power of Collaboration – Dec. 2007
Scenes from the launch event: