Horizons was a multi-year community leadership initiative, designed and launched by the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF). Everyday Democracy and the Pew Partnership for Civic Change partnered with NWAF in this effort, which was delivered by a number of nonprofits, Tribal Colleges and State University Extension Services. Horizons was designed to build community leadership and capacity to address poverty in small, rural, and reservation communities. It was predicated on the theory that communities already possess many of the assets and skills to arrest social and economic decline, and can, with leadership training, resources and support, craft and implement a shared community vision to address poverty in meaningful ways.
Horizons was designed to contribute to NWAF's mission of poverty reduction by identifying, preparing and equipping new leaders and helping them to “take community action on poverty.” Clearly, the evidence gathered from 283 communities over five years substantiates that leadership changes have been sometimes profound, and they have been sustained. And, clearly, communities are taking action to address poverty. Indeed, over half of the alumni communities are still working on their poverty plan. Most communities acknowledged that by the conclusion of the formal 18-month program, they are just getting started on addressing poverty.
Stories from the initiative
The path to a unified community
Changes initiated to ease racial tensions, dated back through many generations, between whites and American Indians.
Horizons Program in Washington state brings hope, change to rural towns
Horizons, an anti-poverty program that includes dialogues, has provided the structure and tools to make hope a reality for 40 communities in Washington state. “The entire Horizons Program has created an attitude of ownership in the ability to make change and create opportunities.”
Horizons program credited for instilling confidence and leadership skills
Inspired by her leadership training in the Horizons anti-poverty program in Stanford, Mont., Sandee Hungate is pursuing a new business venture: opening a local clothing store.
Building relationships, building a town
When the population declined and the poverty rates increased, community works to transform their home into a thriving area.
Creating change for the good of all community members
Vince Two Eagles tells his story of how he got involved in the Wagner (S.D.) Horizons Racism Study Circles and shares his insights on how to direct change to benefit everyone in a community.
Community's projects address many dimensions of poverty
Following the motto "Grow, change or die," residents of Tyndall, S.D., who took part in study circles as part of the Horizons initiative are now working on several projects to address poverty and improve their community.
Bold ideas and action pave opportunity highway
After moving back to her once thriving community, Muriel Krusemark was devastated by the lack of community involvement. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Muriel has helped turn her town's obstacles into opportunities.