Chattanooga has been carrying out Ready by 21© for more than a year, and the three-day What's Next conference reflected the city's commitment to big change through collaboration. After a keynote workshop that focused on understanding poverty - led by Ruby Payne, founder of the aha! Process for educational and community development - there were sessions on program evaluation, asset-based community development and the correlation between trauma and poverty. Larry Pasti, the Forum's director of field services, led a workshop in which a diverse panel of community leaders discussed how to apply the lessons of the conference to further mobilize the city.
The event was organized by the On Point youth development program and co-sponsored by several partners in the city's Ready by 21 initiative, including the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, the YMCA and Hamilton County public schools.