Catalyzing Community Transformation in Bastrop County

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Abena Asante, MHA, Senior Program Officer, St. David’s Foundation
William Moore, PhD, Principal, The Strategy Group

We are committed to learning alongside rural communities to ideate and co-create community- designed solutions that, over time, tackle complex social issues while building community capacity and amplifying voices not often heard. We are humbled to do this work with the community by leveraging the expertise, wisdom, and lived experiences of multiple partners, including residents, community groups, nonprofits, government, school districts, business, philanthropy and others. Further, this solution-driven work is community-inspired and community-led to tackle some of our region’s most pressing issues to better support our thriving rural communities.

Since 2018, the Foundation has committed time and resources in Bastrop County and the surrounding communities to engage with residents at all levels – from individuals to organizations to networks and systems – to better understand what matters to them, hear about their ideas to improve the community, and work together, along with other funders, to translate those ideas into effective, rural-relevant solutions.
In partnership with the residents of Bastrop County through Network Weaving, a community engagement and leadership development approach, residents are beginning to develop new relationships to catalyze and leverage community strengths to empower residents to transform their community in ways that improve the conditions in which people live, work, and play.

Community Catalysts in Action

Network Weavers begin with a hub and spoke network, with the weaver as the hub connecting to spokes throughout the county. We all know someone in our community who is adept at making connections, and who has the vision, the energy, and the social skills to connect and catalyze diverse individuals and groups and start information flowing to and from them to address an issue.

Network Weavers can strategically grow the network of engaged residents by creating new relationships and opportunities for residents to begin identifying community needs, organize for action, and to learn how to bring about change in resources, opportunities, services, and policies.