The diverse neighborhoods of the City of Lancaster are unifying and organizing to improve the quality of life for their communities. They are forming committees, hosting block parties, cleaning up streets, planning public art initiatives, and communicating with neighbors to work together towards common goals. Each of these neighborhood groups have individuals who serve as connectors in their communities. Lancaster City Alliance is proud to shine a spotlight on them here.
Name: Marquis Lupton
Neighborhood Group: The Cultured Professional Network (TCP Network)
Your work as one of the leaders in your Neighborhood Group is important because:
We provide a voice for people of color in central Pennsylvania. While our local news outlets focus more on the negative coverage of people of color, TCP aims to “balance” that, with good news, and good content from black and brown people.
Challenges that you are facing in your neighborhood right now:
The challenge we are facing goes beyond our neighborhoods. With a lack of diversity in our local television stations, and newspapers, we see an unbalanced amount of negative coverage towards people of color. And the “good” stories rarely get covered, or get buried in the newscast. Our challenge is trying to change the social stigma of local news, and challenge them to improve their coverage habits.
What are some of the rewards from being a neighborhood connector in your Group:
People of color get to see people that look and talk like them, cover them in a positive light. Additionally, it quells the thinking that people of color are monolithic, and that we all like and want the same things. Much like Baskin Robbins has all its flavors, TCP has multiple flavors of podcasting for you to choose from.
Can you give a specific example of how your neighborhood has worked together?
SPREAD LOVE! On February 23rd, we all gathered at Brightside Opportunity Center, to make Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches as well as care packages for the less fortunate in our community. Our bags included Soap, wipes, razors, diapers, feminine products, deodorant, and some protein. We delivered these items to TLC, a women’s home, and the Milagro House. Additionally, we had a community conversation, where we brainstormed on ideas on how to improve our city. A community and youth development program has spawned from this project.
What is your secret to meeting new neighbors and welcoming them into the community?
Simple canvassing. Knocking on doors with a smiling face, and a welcoming tone is always a great way to meet new neighbors. Also, simply random acts of kindness like mowing a neighbor’s lawn, or shoveling their side of the sidewalk from time to time helps with that engagement as well.
Favorite way to spend a day with family, or friends in Lancaster City:
My favorite way to spend time with family and friends in Lancaster city, is going to Musser Park with my daughters, dancing the night away with my wife at Tellus, and having a some good beer with my friends at ABG’s!