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Convening citizens

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United Way in Greensboro assembling groups to address on priority needs.

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — United Way of Greater Greensboro is gearing up to assemble citizen committees to take on priority health and human-service needs in the community.

Overseeing the convening effort will be Sam Parker, United Way’s new vice president for community investment and former executive director of the Triad Health Project, Guilford County’s HIV/AIDS service agency.

An initial task for Parker will be to build on a community assessment and agenda United Way has developed in partnership with seven local foundations and the Junior League of Greensboro.

That assessment and agenda reflect recommendations by 25 citizens on 12 priority issues drawn from interviews with roughly 1,000 citizens through a series of neighborhood meetings, forums and email campaigns.

Parker, a social worker who previously spent eight years as clinical director for Family Service of the Piedmont, will recruit citizen groups to develop strategies for three priorities United Way will focus on as part of the new community-wide agenda

Those priorities include early childhood development, support for displaced workers, and citizens’ needs for information to help get access to health and human services.

“We’re going to be the champions for those three areas,” Parker says.

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