Neighboring Week planning underway

Want to be our neighbor?

The Midland Cultural Awareness Coalition, an offshoot of the Midland Area Community Foundation, wants you to be. So what does that mean?

A lot, you will notice, if you peruse the opportunities available to be a more inclusive, more involved citizen of Midland County and the greater Great Lakes Bay Region during Neighboring Week, September 24-30, and its corresponding Cultural Awareness Month in October.
Alysia Christy is the Director of Community Impact at MACF.
Alysia Christy, director of community impact for the foundation, is coordinating this year’s Neighboring Week, which is designed to be a “catalyst for building a sense of belonging across Midland County.”

And it is a good first step, as Christy explains that Neighboring Week is part of a broader “aspirational” effort to make the GLBR more inclusive and inviting through the coalition’s mission  to ”promote, encourage, share and sustain cultural awareness throughout Midland.”

Participation in Neighboring Week can occur, she says, “within your neighborhoods, workplaces, parks, recreational groups, coffee shops, places of worship, restaurants” or other places that lend themselves to bringing people together in a sense of community.

Christy encourages people to look around for the opportunities for engagement, and according to the Neighboring Week website, “Please let us know by filling out and submitting your event to Max Loves Midland community calendar. Be sure to include “Neighboring Week” as one of your event tags, so it shows up in the right place.” 

In addition, if you also create a Facebook event, please feel free to make Midland Area Cultural Awareness Coalition a co-host, the website advises.

Neighboring Week gathering at the Midland Area Community Foundation in Center City.
The “Max Loves Midland” website is a collective community improvement hub for Midland County that allows the coalition to “align under one community calendar to reduce duplication and enhance community connection. ”It also can be a valuable resource for finding events occurring around the area," Christy says.

Ideas for Neighboring Week can be found in the online toolkit. They include Neighboring Week Coloring Pages.

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Read more articles by Ralph E. Wirtz.

Ralph E. Wirtz is a native Midlander who retired from the Midland Daily News as a managing editor in 2015. He has been freelancing since then in between traveling and volunteering. He has four adult children, all who graduated from Bullock Creek High School as he did. He is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and a Central Michigan University grad. He can be reached at