Every year, hundreds of people live, listen, learn, lead and act together at Hope Community. The more we learn about how to do this work, the better we can integrate leadership development, systems change and community engagement opportunities.

Systems change

Opportunities for leadership and systems change are woven throughout many ways to be involved. Hope has been engaged in systems change work from the beginning, working with community people to find ways to improve their lives and their neighborhood. In the mid-1990s when we shifted our mission away from direct service, we also evolved the way we approached systems change. We focused on the systems that affected residents’ daily lives—housing, libraries, parks and more. We started our SPEAC organizing and leadership training in 2006. Now systems change is creatively integrated across our work.

Community engagement

Broad community engagement is core to all of Hope Community’s work. Often community engagement is understood as processes that bring community input into strategy or planning. But Hope’s work is much broader and deeper. We engage diverse community members in a variety of opportunities, and we build community capacity and leadership at all levels of our work.

Engaging people in low-income neighborhoods is always challenging. People are busy taking care of their basic needs, and people are more isolated than in more affluent neighborhoods. We create many opportunities to work for equity and community change for just that reason. People connect around their interests, and then often get involved more deeply over time.

We engage people in:

Art, Policy and Power

The connection between art and culture is a profoundly powerful space. Art is a powerful tool to connect with people as they become leaders in their communities.


Youth Learning and Leadership 

Leadership development is at the core of all of Hope’s work with youth. We have created many ways for young people to engage around their interests while they gain confidence and learn how to build power.


Strong, Healthy Community

At Hope, a thriving network of people are learning and taking action around food, health and active living. Our work is about health broadly and how our systems and environment connect to our daily lives.


Asset Building

Hope offers opportunities for individuals and families to build their assets and feel empowered through entrepreneurship, tax clinics and other opportunities.