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Do It

Celebrate Neighborday 2014 on April 26

Alessandra Rizzotti

April 26, 2014

Do you know your neighbors' names or phone numbers? With all the awesome stuff online, you've probably gotten far away from connecting to your actual neighbors. Tools like help us get closer to civic participation, but what might we be missing? Collaborators, friends, emergency contacts? As Harvey Milk said, "If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods."

So, let's do something about it. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, we invite you to celebrate Neighborday. Whether it's as simple as summoning the courage to ask the woman in apartment 4 what her name is, or as ambitious as coordinating a full-fledged block party with Kevin Van Lierop's, click "TO DO" and opt in to make your Neighbor Day happen. Check out this video and all the content on to inspire your plans this year.

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  • DUIC

    Due to schedules we did our Neighborday the next Saturday on May 3rd! this year's Thanksgiving in Spring was a blast! Over 2000 people sat at our state's longest dinner table, participated in the hip hop beat battle, watched acrobats and kids fashion show, ate dessert and marched in our first Illuminate Durham lantern parade! Check it!

    • DUIC

      we also had our pop up dialogue wall exhibit

  • Zainab Anees

    This is a community project I have started. It is a participatory project that provides a platform for neighbors from different backgrounds to share Abd connect with each other. Website still is under some works but u can check out the intro to it here.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Can't wait for Project Neighbord to be up. When do we get to see it?

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Really cool. Do you have examples of projects? The site redirects to a Facebook page- just wanted to make sure I was looking at the right link!

      • Zainab Anees

        Yes project neighbor'd is an initiative of designing goodness page which is my endeavor to use my design skills for social good. I am currently working on the website and updating contributions as I get them. It will be redirected soon. The pilot project has started in valley stream, ny. Pls keep in touch by liking the page so u can be updated about the project once website is up and running . Thanks. :) happy neighbor day!

  • Joey Chandler

    This is a great idea but I so encourage everyone to create a weekly potluck. We have started the third year of ours and they are just awesome. Details are here: Basic idea is that they are open to everyone and you can bring as much or as little food as you like. Somedays you cook a lot and other days is half a bag of stale stale chips and a bottle of wine. Best thing is that we have all been on either side of that spectrum so you can show up with no embarrassment or judgement. They started off with a few families and now we average 20-30 families every week. They build community in a way that is far deeper and more genuine then anything I have seen before. There is just something about sharing food and drink with people that really builds connections. Give it a try.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Great idea. I love it. Thanks Joey. Any recs on how to organize?

      • Joey Chandler

        A couple tips if you wanted to get this going…

        Set a day and time and stick with it – make it as simple as possible for people to remember it. Ours is Thursday, 5-8 at a local park.

        Never stop inviting – Having new people there keeps the potlucks interesting. You want people from different schools, different ages and different backgrounds. Let everyone know that they can invite people as well.

        Always make it known that people can show up with little or no food. We all have those days from time to time so just letting people know that they are welcomed no matter what makes the perfect environment for the group.

        Create a facebook page or some other way of communicating digitally – As the group has grown our facebook page has become a resource for everyone . We post what we are bringing on Thursday, photos from the potluck and neighborhood questions like “do you know someone that does XYZ service?” or “Who wants to play baseball at the park?”. Plus new people can see who else is part of the group.

        That plus some determination is all it takes.

        • Alessandra Rizzotti

          Awesome. Thanks for the tips Joey. Great way to get involved in the community.

  • Poch Peralta

    I wonder how many fortunate people can celebrate with good neighbors. Are you one?

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      I would say I threw a huge event last year for this and I invited the neighbors in my apartment, but the people down the street from me were more interested. It's because we had all found ourselves tied to our local theater- and the event was at the theater- so I think sometimes, neighboring doesn't have to be about your direct neighbors, but rather, the people that share your interests within a local space.

      • Poch Peralta

        I understand Alessandra. Same situation with me. My real neighbors are not those 'next doors'.

  • Ruth-full

    Is there a link to an online list of local neighborday events happening? I tried to hunt for it on the GOOD website and couldn't find one. Thanks!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Hi Ruth! Not yet! We're hoping this post inspires you to start your own and then we can post an update of possible events. Where would you like to have a Neighborday?

  • DUIC

    In Durham we did the longest dinner table in North Carolina last Neighborday! This year we're doing it again but one weekend later! However Neighborday lives on on May 3rd! check us out! Join us!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      This looks amazing. Do you have a how to on best practices for something like this?

      • DUIC

        Good idea Alessandra, I will have to create a manual!

        • Alessandra Rizzotti

          Glad to inspire, DUIC. Link it up here when you get it ready!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      It's great that people can join in on this call today to get pumped for April 26! Will there be a recording posted?

      • CommunityMatters

        Yes - thanks for asking! The recording is up at Some interesting takeaways about ensuring that at the least, everyone in a neighborhood maintains their own property. And, the idea that when you can create ways for neighbors to interact with each other, that's more likely to sustain activity than relying on a core group of volunteers.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I'm doing a get together in Griffith Park. AND THEN I was thinking of doing a Weed Hunt using this app by Common Studio. Any one want to join? Maybe more of a solo activity- but I'm trying to think of ways to expand it.

    Otherwise, we'd love you to join our Neighbor Day Google Hangout on April 17 with The League of Creative Interventionists' Hunter Franks and Block Party in a Box's Kevin Van Lierop: