The US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy recently released an advisory stating that the rise in loneliness and isolation is a public health epidemic, and he urges individuals and organizations to prioritize building social connection. One of the recommendations given to organizations to help address this public health problem is to establish programs that foster positive and safe relationships among people of all backgrounds to create space for inclusive social connection. City-provided allyship initiatives, such as the City of Coppell’s Allies in Community®, directly answer this call while also creating a culture of belonging for lasting positive change and a strong, united, and engaged community.
Created by DiversityWealth and launched in partnership with the City of Coppell, Allies in Community® is an extension of a larger community engagement initiative to build knowledge and awareness of how to best serve residents of all cultural backgrounds. The program forges connections between people of all backgrounds and ages, builds cultural understanding and belonging, and encourages meaningful engagement in the community.
“We have a rich history of volunteerism and active participation in Coppell,” said City Manager Mike Land. “Programs like Allies in Community® allow us to continue that tradition by helping people become more aware of all the great opportunities to serve others in the community. These programs also provide a safe space for neighbors to connect and work together to help make Coppell an even stronger community.”
Since 2018, three groups of 30-40 residents and city employees, called cohorts, have experienced this transformative program, and now Allies in Community® is looking for Coppell residents to participate in Cohort IV! Members of Cohort IV will attend four sessions on Saturdays from 9 am – 1 pm, beginning in August and ending in November 2023. During those sessions, as well as interactive group activities, a welcome reception, and a graduation ceremony, members will engage in authentic conversations to discover the histories, experiences, and aspirations of their fellow cohort participants. They will also have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with people from diverse backgrounds, learn more about themselves and Coppell’s legacy, and work together to form a culture of belonging. The total time commitment is approximately 24 hours.
“Programs like Allies in Community® are life changing,” said City of Coppell Police Chief Danny Barton, who participated in Allies in Community® Cohort I. “During my time in Allies, I met and connected with people that I’m still in contact with today. It not only provides an opportunity for people to meet who might have never met, but also allows them to get to know each other on a deeper level. Everybody needs and benefits from those types of connections.”
Cohort participants are required to be Coppell residents and 18 years old or older. They are also expected to be of good moral character and practice. Those interested in applying don’t need to have extensive volunteer experience or be a longtime resident of Coppell. They simply must have the desire to meet and welcome their neighbors, be an advocate for the common good, and demonstrate Coppell’s community values in daily life.
Help make a difference in the community, fight the public health epidemic of isolation, and prioritize social connection by applying to join Allies in Community®! The application is open until Sunday, June 18, 2023, at coppelltx.gov/allies.
Allies in Community® is a program created by Tasnim McCormick Benhalim at DiversityWealth LLC and delivered in partnership with the City of Coppell.