PATERSON, NJ- Six hours, nearly 200 participants, and 38 attendee driven breakout sessions marked the first day of Creative Paterson’s “Call to Collaboration” on Monday. The first of the two-day event being held at Passaic County Community College (PCCC) helped sow the seeds of additional discussions that will take place on Tuesday, all designed to develop actionable plans to lead Paterson on the path to being a 21st century model city.

The day, according to Elizabeth Murphy, executive director of Creative Paterson, the Geraldine R. Dodge funded statewide initiative “dedicated to fostering creativity, and collaboration” was “practical, inspiring, and uplifting.” Through an “open space” meeting format participants created their own agendas as the day progressed.

With the interactive discussions over moderators called the group back into the center of the room where participants shared some of the actionable items already taken including the creation of a homeless to home ownership coalition, a commitment by participating students from Rosa Park High School of Fine and Performing Arts to “being more involved in our community,” and the creation of a task force to ensure a more accurate count of Paterson’s population in the 2020 Census.

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Full notes from each of the day’s discussions will be shared with participants prior to reconvening on Tuesday when attendees participate in “an extension of what was started today.” Contact information for all attendees will also be shared and final notes will “live forever” on Creative NJ’s website in an effort to foster continued collaboration at the conclusion of the convening.

“We are a room full of game changers,” Erica Crenshaw told the audience. The New Jersey Youth Corps teacher later shared her belief with TAPinto Paterson that the “mind-blowing” two-day effort would help make Paterson “what it should be.” When asked what that meant she offered without hesitation “safe, creative, and engaging.”

“Paterson is on its way.”