Free Conference to Help Build Happier, Healthier Communities

Residents are invited to attend a free conference focusing on methods for improving the health and happiness of Richland County neighborhoods.

The theme of the 2017 Neighborhood Planning Conference, organized by Richland County’s Neighborhood Improvement Program, is “Getting to the Heart of the Matter.” Featured speakers Vince Ford of Palmetto Health and Bernie Mazyck of the S.C. Association of Community Economic Development will lead discussions about what makes neighborhoods tick and what residents can do to effect positive change in their communities. The conference is 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at Richland School District Two’s Institute of Innovation (R2i2) located at 763 Fashion Drive, Columbia.

“This year’s planning conference seeks to get to the heart of what affects our communities in an effort to make them happier, healthier and more productive,” said Planning Services Manager Ashley Powell. “It’s about continuing to make the planning process more empowering and inclusive so that the neighborhoods that result from it are ones people enjoy living in and can be proud of.”

The conference includes three sessions:

  • Asset-based Community Development: Using a neighborhood’s current resources and assets to its advantage
  • Bridging the Generation Gap: Ways to connect aging members and youth within a community
  • Connecting with Richland County: How constituents can communicate with County government

“With each session, we’re looking to provide our neighborhoods with ideas and resources that move them forward toward accomplishing their goals,” said Neighborhood Planner Brian Crooks. “We want to equip our communities with the tools they need to improve their neighborhoods.”

Those interested in attending the Neighborhood Planning Conference can register online at, by calling 803-576-2198 or stopping by the first floor of the County Administration Building at 2020 Hampton St., Columbia.

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided, and attendees will have the chance to win a Kindle Fire HD10.

Richland County’s Neighborhood Improvement Program is a partnership between County government and neighborhood organizations with a mission to implement projects that establish and enhance the social, economic and physical health of local communities.

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Sharon Sanders

Sharon Sanders is a Digital Engagement Strategist and a Curator of information at The MinorityEye and the President of Clairvoyant, LLC which specializes in strategic communications and multimedia services. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Argosy University and she specializes in “Online Consumer Psychology.” Sharon provides companies with research and insight into the processes underlying consumer behavior in online environments…

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