Welcome to the 2011 Symposium on Service and Inclusion: Improving the Member* Experience Through Intentional Strategies. This symposium will offer opportunities to show how national service and volunteering positively impact the lives of individual participants and the communities they serve. The 2011 Symposium on Service and Inclusion is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), in partnership with the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) and the National Service to Employment Project (NextSTEP) of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
CNCS seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering by providing opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities. Goal 2 of the CNCS 2010-2015 Strategic Plan articulates the desire to make service opportunities accessible and attractive to all Americans and to ensure opportunities for professional, educational, civic, and personal growth. National service and volunteer programs work to create accessible, high-quality service experiences through which members find satisfaction, meaning, opportunity, and a life-long commitment to serving communities.
The symposium will advance Goal 2 of CNCS's Strategic Plan by bringing together representatives from the disability and national service communities and their many partners to exchange promising, evidence-based practices; strengthen skills; explore innovations; develop strategies; and connect and re-inspire commitment to the mutual goal of full inclusion of people with disabilities in service and in all areas of American life.
During the next two days, representatives from CNCS programs including AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America; public and private disability agencies; national and state disability organizations; volunteer programs; past and current members and volunteers with disabilities; educational institutions; the nonprofit sector; and employers will learn, share, and celebrate policies and practices that lead to service-member and volunteer success. These individuals and organizations have advanced the ideal that Americans with disabilities are valuable contributors to and leaders in their communities.
We hope that the 2011 Symposium on Inclusion and Service will be an exceptional networking and learning experience. Together we will lead the way to ensure that all members and volunteers engaged in national service and volunteer programs consistently find satisfaction, meaning, and opportunity.
* The term member is used generically to reflect all volunteers, participants, and anyone engaged in national and community service.