event slated in Jena
The Jena Times
Community Renewal International Founder and Coordinator Mack McCarter will speak to leaders in Jena next month about strategies for building safer, more caring communities through healthy relationships. The event is being sponsored by the LaSalle Ministerial Alliance and the Town of Jena.
“Jena has the greatest possibilities for true community renewal and togetherness that I have ever seen,” Mc- Carter said.
The open meeting begins at 6 p.m., Aug. 12 in the Community Room of the Jena Town Hall, located at the corner of Oak and Second Street in downtown Jena.
“For every one person who may want to hurt another one in Jena, hundreds want to help one another. The key is to connect all the caring people together. The people of Jena can do that.”
A Shreveport native who pastored churches in West Texas for 18 years, McCarter returned home in 1991 to begin implementing his vision for developing strong, safe, healthy communities through caring relationships.
Today, Community Renewal has more than 44,000 Renewal Team members around the world and more than 1,100 Haven House leaders who are building a sense of community in their own neighborhoods.
“Several members of the LaSalle Ministerial Alliance and I spent time in Shreveport recently looking at some of the positive changes that this organization made in that area,” Jena Mayor Murphy McMillin stated. “We all were overwhelmed by what we saw accomplished by a group of volunteers in a program called ‘We Care’. We feel that this would be a great opportunity for the Jena community to endorse and receive help from Mr. Mack McCarter and his team.”
“They have agreed to offer assistance to the Jena area in order to revitalize our communities,” Mayor McMillin continued. “We are fortunate to have their expertise in a community as small as Jena.”
McCarter is founder and coordinator of Community Renewal International, a non-profit organization, which works to restore safe and caring communities. Community Renewal is all about rebuilding hope, restoring caring communities and renewing the spirit of cooperation in every segment of the community.
CRI encourages people in all walks of life to care about their fellow citizens and work together to make their community a stronger, safer, healthier and friendlier place in which to live. By connecting caring people, Community Renewal helps all neighborhoods become safe havens of friendship and support and is changing the world - one neighbor at a time.
A native of Shreveport, Mack holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Texas Christian University and a Master of Divinity Degree from Brite Divinity School. He served as a pastor for 18 years in Texas before returning to Shreveport in 1991 to begin implementing his vision for community renewal. CRI was formally organized in 1994 and under Mack’s leadership has grown into an organization, which has received national and international recognition for its life-changing impact.
Under his leadership, Community Renewal has been recognized by the White House and distinguished national groups like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, Harvard University and the Pew Partnership for Civic Change, which named CR1 as a national model in its “Solutions for America” initiative. In 2008 and 2009, Mack was honored to represent CR1 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.
Mack’s list of honors includes:
- Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award - Texas Christian University.
- One of five finalists for the True North Award out of more than 2,300 entries nationwide.
- Angel Award, presented to “an extraordinary individual who donates his or her time and talent to help Louisiana children” - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.
- Mr. Shreveport Award, for exceptional contributions to the Shreveport community - Optimist Club of Shreveport.
- Social Entrepreneurship Initiative Award, honoring contemporary non-profit organizations who have found innovative, private solutions for America’s most pressing social problems -Manhattan Institute.
- Louisiana Public Citizen of the Year Award - National Association of Social Workers, Shreveport Region.
Community Renewal International is a nonprofit effort to restore safe and healthy communities through caring relationships. Founded in 1994, CRI reaches at-risk youth through Friendship Houses built in impoverished neighborhoods, strengthens education through the Adult Renewal Academy, partners with The Fuller Center for Housing and connects caring partners who turn their neighborhoods into safe havens of friendship and support. For more information, go to www. communityrenewal. us.