| The Record
Three-time SF 49ers Super Bowl champ William “Bubba” Paris, who now lives in Tracy, will be the keynote speaker at a free virtual summit in March that aims to build up and transform neighborhoods in San Joaquin County’s communities.
Stockton and Lodi church, civic and educational leaders will present The Ripple Effect — a Community Faith Summit from 6-7:30 p.m. March 4. The summit will explore ideas, inspire with success stories and provide ideas and opportunities for communities, schools, and faith and church leaders to make change, particularly in areas surrounding schools, churches, community centers and parks, organizers say.
Paris, who is now an inspirational and motivational speaker and minister, also serves as the executive director of Tracy Community Connections, a nonprofit organization focused on addressing the needs of the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. He will encourage and challenge participants “to roll up your sleeves and get involved,” organizers of the summit say. Paris has also participated in several Stockton Police Youth Activities community fundraisers over the years.
“The Ripple Effect is going to satisfy a hunger to make meaningful change that our neighborhoods and churches are experiencing,” said the Rev. Marc Maffucci, senior pastor of Stockton’s Quail Lakes Baptist Church. “The program is providing our churches and schools the tools – and even some funds – to support one another through creative projects, fun and festive activities and mentorships that will make a difference in our community for years to come. We are aiming for a ripple effect, but I think we will see waves.”
The goal, organizers say, is for The Ripple Effect to encourage local organizations to reach out in partnership into their neighborhoods and to seek opportunities for projects such as building free libraries on community blocks, organizing a fun run/walk for the whole neighborhood, planning concerts and festivals in the park, holding a neighborhood cleanup day, and more. To stir project ideas and help launch initiatives, Adventist Health is offering a limited number of $500 mini-grants for creative and innovative collaborations and to help faith groups and schools get started.
Other featured speakers include Carol Ornelas, CEO of Visionary Homebuilders, who wills peak on “From ghetto to thriving neighborhood, changing a city block”; and Traci Wise Miller, director of Stockton Unified’s Student Support Services, who will speak on “Principals and pastors connect for student success.” Speakers from Lodi’s The One-Eighty Teen Center, churches and schools will also take part, with welcoming remarks from Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln and Lodi Mayor Alan Nakanishi.
“I am encouraged by this project of hope and community that is bringing together the leaders of Lodi and Stockton,” said Daniel Wolcott, former president of Adventist Health Lodi Memorial, which is one of the founders of The Ripple Effect. “What amazing results we will have when we join hands and work together to improve the areas directly around our churches and schools!”
For more information and to register, visit CommunityFaithSummit.com or call (209) 957-7277.
Record reporter Elizabeth Roberts covers community and breaking news. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @eroberts209. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.