News Flash

City of Durham News

Posted on: August 12, 2019

Durham Seeks Equitable Community Engagement Service Request for Proposals

Group engaging around a table

Pre-Submittal Conference Call Set for August 14; Deadline for Submittals is September 5

DURHAM, N.C.  – If your organization is interested in helping the City of Durham reach new and traditionally underrepresented audiences, and to engage them in new and creative ways, we want to hear from you.

The City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department is now seeking proposals from community-rooted organizations with experience structuring and managing a multi-phase community outreach process that can reach, involve, and engage diverse audiences in discussing engagement concerns as well as in developing equitable engagement goals and strategies.

According to Assistant Director James E. Davis, Jr. with the Neighborhood Improvement Services Department, the RFP seeks organizations to help implement the City’s Equitable Community Engagement Blueprint, which is a guideline to address systemic barriers that cause certain populations to have less access to City processes.

“The Blueprint recommends that, to be equitable, engagement around City projects must aim for participation from a group representative of a community’s geography, race/ethnicity, age, gender, and other demographic characteristics,” Davis said. “Furthermore, it must place specific emphasis on those who will be most adversely impacted by the City’s projects and intentionally seek input from persons and communities who are often excluded from authentic participation in these conversations.”

According to Davis, the City wants to partner with organizations to maximize community-based engagement and increase equitable opportunities for marginalized and under-represented communities to participate in the City’s decision-making processes. Proposals from qualified applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  • Understanding of the project
  • Approach used for the project
  • Management plan for the project
  • Experience and qualifications
  • Demonstrated ability to lead equitable process with diverse participation
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Existing relationships with focus communities
  • Experience and demonstrated success in neighborhood organizing
  • Knowledge of and connection to focus neighborhoods in Durham
  • Contract cost

To help potential applicants understand the scope of the project, the department will host a pre-submittal conference call on Wednesday, August 14 at 5:30 p.m. Parties interested in participating should call (919) 237-4289.

The complete RFP, application, and guidelines can now be found at https://durhamnc.gov/Bids.aspx?BidID=826, or at the Neighborhood Improvement Services Department’s physical location at 807 E. Main St.

Completed packets will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 5. A hard copy of the complete RFP packet may be physically dropped off to the City of Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services Community Engagement Division, Attention: RFP – Equitable Community Engagement Services, at 807 E. Main Street, Suite 2-300 (Golden Belt, 3rd Floor) Durham, NC 27701; or emailed to Lynwood.Best@DurhamNC.gov, James.Davisjr@DurhamNC.gov, and Constance.Stancil@DurhamNC.gov with the subject line: RFP – Equitable Community Engagement Services.

For questions on the RFP and submission process, contact Community Engagement Manager Lynwood Best with the Neighborhood Improvement Services Department at Lynwood.Best@DurhmanNC.gov or at (919) 560-1647, ext. 34254.

About the City of Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services Department Community Engagement Division

The Neighborhood Improvement Services Department works to preserve and improve quality of life conditions for Durham residents, and to encourage active participation in neighborhood redevelopment and public policy and decision-making dialogue. The department’s Community Engagement Division strives to inform, engage, and partner with the Durham community through a people-focused process that increases the collective financial and human capacity of neighborhoods to improve the quality of life for the individuals who live, work and play there. Community building includes incremental and measurable projects, programs, and activities that lead to positive, long-term, systemic change.

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