Patrick Corvington Leads First Strategic Plan Listening Session at 2010 Conference
New York City —Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, issued a call to action and challenged service leaders to focus on results at an open-dialogue National Service Town Hall meeting today at the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New York City.
Corvington congratulated the service leaders for their dedication to improving communities, and challenged them to have a relentless focus on achieving real impacts on communities through service.
“The issues we face everyday are too big to be left to one leader, one organization or even one government,” Corvington said at the Town Hall. “But more than that, they are too big and their success too critical to be left to the chance of good intentions. These problems will be solved only with the courage to stand for something that matters – to stand for results. In order to step up to this challenge, we need to reconnect with that part of our souls that drives us to make a difference no matter what the odds.”
Corvington noted the convergence of support from leaders across every sector, and urged them to seize the momentum to achieve higher levels of impact in addressing important national issues.
“This is our moment,” Corvington said. “What we have worked for, over the years has brought us to this moment: We have a President who gets it. We have a First Lady who gets it. We have bipartisan support in Congress. More Americans are stepping up to serve. And we have a mandate to place service at the center of our response to big national problems… Together we can solve intractable problems. The President has said – we are the ones we've been waiting for. So it is up to us earn our rightful place in history. It is up to us to step boldly forward. The time is now.”
During the Town Hall, Corvington answered questions from service leaders and celebrated AmeriCorps VISTA's and Foster Grandparents' anniversaries. Long-time Board Chair Stephen Goldsmith was also acknowledged through a video featuring former President George H.W. Bush, and others.
Afterward, Corvington kicked off the agency's first listening session on its upcoming five-year strategic plan, which will guide the Corporation's mission and programs. Shaped by the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the plan will strengthen and rebuild America by expanding opportunities to serve; building the capacity of individuals, nonprofits, and communities to succeed; and by encouraging innovative approaches to solving problems.
Corvington and Board Members laid out the foundation of the plan and attendees broke into small discussions on how national service can advance the key focus areas, including education, healthy futures, clean energy, veterans, economic opportunity, and disaster preparedness. The Corporation is actively seeking input from the public on the draft strategic plan, and will be holding a series of community dialogues and webinars this summer.
The Town Hall was a major highlight of the annual conference, which engaged a record number of 5,000 participants in strategy sessions to catalyze citizen service and help volunteers effectively address national challenges. Convened by the Corporation for National and Community Service and Points of Light Institute, this year's conference theme – It's Up to You—recognizes that every individual can enact change and tackle social injustice.