Are you concerned about the well-being of children and families in your community?

Do you wish you could do more to help them thrive and to meet their needs? Are you looking for ways to promote early childhood success, education and expanded learning, a culture of health, youth and young adult connections, economic opportunity, and financial empowerment?

If so, the Strong Southern Communities Initiative can help you move forward.

What is the Strong Southern Communities Initiative (SSCI)?

SSCI provides practical assistance and advice to municipal leaders in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. It brings together local elected officials from across the region who want to improve outcomes for children and families, enabling them to share ideas and discuss their communities’ challenges.

SSCI provides critical grant navigation assistance with collecting the necessary data and applying for federal grants to help strengthen your community. It will help your city identify which grants can best address the needs of your community. Applying for these competitive grants can be complex and challenging, particularly for small and medium-sized municipalities.

Additionally, SSCI provides technical assistance to help participating mayors and city council members develop local action plans based on their individual circumstances and needs and then connects them to national experts and regional partners who can help them implement those plans.

What are the benefits?

By joining SSCI, local elected officials will become part of a regional peer learning network and receive technical assistance to analyze data, apply for funding, and develop a local action plan based on their desired result for their community. They will be provided opportunities to participate in in-person convenings and apply for SSCI specific micro-grants. They will also receive guidance from staff experts at NLC’s Center for Leadership, Education, Advancement, and Development (LEAD) and NLC’s national partners.

What are the expectations?

As part of their commitment to join SSCI, city leaders should sustain high levels of personal engagement and commitment both with city council members and NLC. While participating in technical assistance, each city is expected to participate in regular check-ins, identify their city’s priorities, develop meaningful interventions, and capitalize on relevant resources, including funding opportunities.

City leaders who are part of SSCI are also expected to participate in peer-to-peer learning networks, either virtually or in person, to share ideas and support each other’s local efforts. SSCI will reimburse participants for travel expenses as needed.

Strong Southern Communities Contact Form

Form for interested parties who want to learn more about the Strong Southern Communities Initiative.