About Regional VOICE
Regional VOICE develops a fair, open process to help our region envision a preferred future through civic dialogue. This dialogue addresses issues using the lens of what’s possible, rather than what’s wrong. Regional VOICE connects people who wouldn’t otherwise connect with one another and develops relationships that allow them to work together to achieve dreams. It leads diverse community participants to create a vision for our entire region and uses the data collected to leverage outside funding to achieve regional goals and grow regional assets, resources infrastructure, employment, health, and pride.
Why is Regional VOICE Necessary?
The five regional counties–Vanderburgh, Posey, Warrick, Gibson, and Henderson–need a holistic, inclusive visioning process to improve our individual communities and region as a whole. Through positive, open dialogue, diverse individuals and organizations of any size can collaboratively discuss what needs to be carried forward and what should be left behind. This initiative brings a sense of connectedness and personal ownership in their community, county, and region down to the individual walking on the street. Regional VOICE eliminates the difficulty of organizing diverse groups of people–free of political, religious, and segmented viewpoints–to positively grow the community, region, and beyond.
Evansville VOICE Initiative
Another vital component of Regional VOICE is its ability to collect and track data. VOICE creates a single source of community data to track the pulse of the region over time and help us all understand what each community, city, and county actually needs. Once data is collected, immediate action items for those needs can be addressed.
How is Regional VOICE Different?
Outstanding Process: The VOICE Process stems from the Indiana Leadership Initiative’s vision process funded by a Lilly grant. Leadership Everyone’s VOICE process has received national and state recognition for its innovation and remarkable results.
Includes ALL People: Regional VOICE ensures that every voice is heard and every vision is shared. Our data collection process provides quick access to important information, allowing us to mine data from potentially missing sectors of our region.
Data Collection: Data is collected in a usable, accessible way. Session reports are presented on our public VOICE website where we invite people to view and respond to our easy-to-read presentation.
What Makes this Unique? We share all our data. We are not trying to monetize any reports or data. This is solely for the betterment of our region. Any group, individual, or organization that could use this data will receive it at no cost. The results can help guide regional decisions.
We Are Autonomous: As an autonomous, inclusive and objective collaborative convener, Leadership Everyone supplies the five-county region with a unique methodology: we seek out visions as opposed to just needs or problems. Open to all people rather than just a few, the visions of thousands of people will lead to real opportunities for civic engagement.
Visions Lead to Real Change: With proven outcomes from our first round of Evansville VOICE, we will use the same model to foster change-making within the region. Leadership Everyone provides the framework; the Visions of the people guide the projects. Regional VOICE moves visioning into strategic action and civic engagement.
“It is profoundly inspiring when people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life come together to express their visions of their preferred future for the community, and realize just how many ideas they have in common. That unifying, shared experience that the VOICE community visioning process makes possible has significant value in today’s fractious world. It demonstrates that - despite our differences - we want so many of the same things for ourselves, each other and our community. It is exciting to know that our desire for a strong and vibrant community has the power to bring and bind us together. More importantly, VOICE inspired lasting transformational change in our community.”
– Timothy G. Weir, Administrator, Commission on Homelessness for Evansville and Vanderburgh County
Each Opinion Matters
"The Leadership Everyone VOICE-process offered an opportunity for individuals from different backgrounds to appreciate our community more and identify the deficits that exist while thinking of innovative ways to address them. The entire session was built to make everyone feel that each individual and each opinion matters. I left the VOICE session energized and determined to continue to use my voice to empower others to do the same so that we can make our community better."
– Gabriela Mustata Wilson, Ph.D., MSc, FHIMSS, University of Southern Indiana
The Power of VOICE
“There is no greater example of the power of VOICE than the Walnut Street Road Diet Project. Literally hundreds, if not thousands of voices asked for improved community connectivity and access to active open spaces for all. Local officials heard those voices, sought out key synergies through collaboration, and secured millions of dollars at no cost to the taxpayers in delivering an enhanced connection between Roberts Park and the State Hospital Grounds to Evansville’s vibrant downtown. That is what VOICE is all about!”
– David Goffinet, Lochmueller Group, Director of Planning and Public Involvement
Opportunity for the Local Hispanic Community
"[Evansville] VOICE came at a very important time when the number of Latinos in Evansville had begun to grow at an accelerated pace.
"Many of the participants had the opportunity for the first time to talk about the things that affected them. The local Hispanic community, many of them with tears in their eyes, related to the difficult experiences they had to go through to be able to integrate into a new community, the importance of not being able to communicate through the language barrier and not finding the right channels to do so. VOICE was for them the open door to share their ideals, their concerns and their needs. Several of the things that were shared at the Spanish-speaking VOICE Session have now become a reality, such as accessibility of information in their language, the opportunity to celebrate their culture at the city level and better communication with the local police department.
"VOICE was a turning point in communicating with the Latino community and the local leaders of our community. Also the beginning of a very close relationship with members of the Hispanic Community and resources that would help them become integrated into our community."
– Abraham Brown, Director of Latino Ministry, Owner of La Campirano
How Evansville VOICE Impacted the Community
The first VOICE initiative in 2012-2014, led by Leadership Everyone and EXTEND COMMUNITY (now EXTEND GROUP), was centered in Evansville, IN. View statistics below and click the button to learn more.
Through community visioning sessions, three themes arose as areas of importance in order to begin collaborative, strategic planning and action: Healthy Green Spaces, City Core, and Experiences.
More than 200 volunteers were trained as facilitators to conduct the community visioning sessions.
3,000+ people took part in 32 visioning sessions in the first phase of VOICE. 1,000+ people participated at 15 FLower Pot meetings in the second phase of VOICE.
250,000+ people were affected by a range of municipal and organizational regional planning initiatives utilizing Evansville VOICE data and results.