Each October leaders and members of individual Code for America brigades come together for an in-person meeting we call “Brigade Congress.” This is a weekend-long conference that enables us to share what each team has been doing and work together to improve our processes and go home to make bigger impacts in our communities.
A common theme that has come up in the two Brigade Congress’ I’ve attended is the desire for brigades to collaborate more while away from each other. There’s no alternative that lets us accomplish as much as when we’re in the same room together but certainly routine remote check-ins throughout the year can help brigades plan and grow more effectively.
Laura Biediger of Code for Durham and the 2018 Code for America National Advisory Council organized the first of a routine online video call for South region brigade leaders last Thursday. Several brigades were present including Atlanta, BCS (Bryan/College Station), Charlotte, Durham, Greenville, and Raleigh.
We started with introductions as not everyone is able to attend Brigade Congress per their own schedules, then moved on to storytelling, strategy, and news from the network.
The leaders from Code for Atlanta, Code for BCS, and Open Raleigh shared the stories of their brigades; how they came to be, what their event schedule and approach is like, and which direction they’re moving. This gave Code for BCS, a newer brigade, the opportunity to hear suggestions and feedback from more experienced brigades regarding meeting space, branding, and building a leadership team. I personally had the chance to also share a summarized version of Open Charlotte’s approach to 2019 so other brigades can be alert for learning from our experiences in the upcoming months. We also had the chance to review some Code for America updates and the schedule for National Advisory Committee elections.
The hour and a half call provided us all with a great opportunity to connect and check in with each other and will likely continue as a monthly event.
Are you looking to get involved with Code for America or help collaborate with other brigades and your local community with Open Charlotte? Check out our event schedule on Meetup to plan on joining us at one of our leadership meetings!