Community Concepts C.E.O Shawn Yardley and board chair Mike Carey welcomed more than 80 people to a community showing of the documentary Dream On on May 24th at the Franco Center in Lewiston.
The award winning film features political comedian John Fugelsang as he retraces the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville, whose study of our young country in 1831 came to define America as a place where anyone could climb the ladder of economic opportunity. Fugelsang speaks with fast-food workers and retirees, prisoners and entrepreneurs, undocumented immigrants and community organizers about their hopes, dreams, and daily struggles. DREAM ON explores whether the optimistic spirit of the American Dream observed is alive and well in the twenty-first century.
In the audience that evening were members of local law enforcement, representatives from other non-profit organizations, municipal government employees, funders, volunteers, and Community Concepts employees and their guests.
During his remarks Yardley talked about how the issues discussed in the movie are very much the same issues that families, individuals and entrepreneurs across central and western Maine face every day. “Overcoming generational poverty, access to healthcare and insurance, having a safe and secure home, providing capital for entrepreneurs and small business owners – had they elected to, they could have produced the film right here (in Maine ) and had very similar conversations.”
Via feedback from the event and a short survey, film attendees indicated that income inequality/generational poverty, safe/affordable housing and early childhood issues were the most pressing issues facing our communities. “Community Concepts will use this feedback as we create discussion groups around our Community Needs Assessment later this summer,” said Yardley.