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Fort Wayne, Ind. – The City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Neighborhood Planning and Activation Workgroup today hosted the first annual Inspire Neighborhood Conference at Electric Works.

The conference featured keynote speaker Bree Jones, the founder and owner of Parity Homes. Jones discussed her approach to addressing hyper-vacancy in a distressed West Baltimore neighborhood, emphasizing the power of social capital. She has successfully rallied new and longtime residents to purchase abandoned homes, fostering community and wealth building jointly. Attendees gained practical insights into initiating movements for systemic change, leveraging storytelling to engage stakeholders with a shared vision, and establishing ecosystems to address systemic obstacles.

The event aimed to energize and empower residents and leaders in Fort Wayne's neighborhoods. In addition to listening to Jones, participants engaged in an awards banquet for neighborhood association leaders, attended breakout sessions featuring local speakers, and explored informational booths.

The sponsors for the event were AARP Indiana, Old National Bank, Premier Bank, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Fort Wayne’s Neighborhood Planning and Activation Workgroup (NPAW) is committed to ensuring residents, neighborhood groups, and community leaders work alongside the City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division to create and support strong and vibrant neighborhoods.