(October 4, 2019, Warren, Ohio) – After 18 months of planning, listening and learning, staff members of The Raymond John Wean Foundation have launched a new strategic plan to guide their work through 2023.

The new plan, developed with input from nearly 200 community stakeholders, calls for the Foundation to consider race equity and inclusion in all of its work. The Foundation’s grantmaking, capacity building work, in general, will also focus on supporting solutions that address the root causes of various community challenges.

“We are truly grateful for the many Valley leaders who partnered with us to develop this new strategic direction and we are thrilled to begin implementation,” said Jennifer Roller, president of the Wean Foundation. “With its sharp focus on outcomes that strengthen community connections, equity and inclusion, learning and capacity building, we believe this plan will be a powerful guidepost for the Foundation for the next four years.”

As part of the Strategic Direction plan implementation, Wean developed a community survey to gather input from community stakeholders and resident groups about pressing challenges and ideas for how to positively impact Warren and Youngstown.

The feedback, still being gathered, will continue to inform grantmaking, capacity building, and convening and partnerships within Wean’s priorities of community revitalization, economic opportunity, educational opportunity and public sector leadership.

Emerging Leaders InterMISSION program launches to support alumni

The Wean Foundation is launching Emerging Leaders InterMISSION, a year-long program to support alumni of its Emerging Leaders Program with personal and professional development and reflection. The Emerging Leaders Program started in 2013 and, to date, has cultivated 21st century leadership skills and fostered the radical imaginations of 75 aspiring community leaders. A new cohort of leaders will begin in the fall of 2020.

Emerging Leaders InterMISSION will provide a space for alumni of the Leaders Program to activate their talent, wisdom and passion to produce authentic, lasting change in the Valley. The alumni program is a strategic effort to uphold the Foundation’s commitment to the long-term investment of strong community leadership development.

‘The Raymond John Wean Foundation Park’ hosts concerts, special events for Mahoning Valley residents downtown

In the heart of downtown Youngstown, the once industrialized area that now surrounds the Huntington Bank Community Alley and the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre, has been repurposed and named ‘The Raymond John Wean Foundation Park.’

As part of a 15-year agreement, the Wean Foundation will contribute almost $2 million in annual contributions of $125,000, to support the 20-acre park alongside the Mahoning River. The investment aligns with the Wean Foundation’s long-followed practice of supporting initiatives that strengthen community through engaging residents.

Concerts, festivals and special events, like movie screenings, are expected offerings slated for 2020. The Wean Park is a bright spot within the community that continues to support the Foundation’s revitalization efforts for all Valley residents. To learn more: https://weanpark.com.

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