First ever “Engage Norfolk” promotes action, unity

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — If you want to get involved in your community but aren’t sure how, Engage Norfolk may be what you’re looking for.

Sunday afternoon marked the first ever “Engage Norfolk” at the The Academy for Discovery at Lakewood. Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan took the energy and excitement she saw after the Women’s March and turned it into an event with speakers, workshops, informational booths, and more.

McClellan says the goal was to create a one-stop shop for civic engagement.

“I’m blown away by how positive and excited people have been about this event. I mean when this was just an idea driving home from Richmond one evening, two and a half weeks ago, I couldn’t have envisioned a thousand people coming out,” said McClellan.

She says nearly 100 hundred organizations got involved.  Each organization was asked to give people three actionable items to focus on.

Those who did stop by said the event was a great way for people to talk to each other, especially during such a divisive political season.

“To be able to come here and actually connect with organizations that are doing things in the community already is so powerful and so really to make those connections and then actually start making a difference,” said Erin Lindstrom, who lives in Norfolk.

This was the first year of Engage Norfolk but McClellan says it is certainly not the last.  She says there have already been talks about creating a “manual” so other cities can host similar events, plus a version for younger members of the community.