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Nomination Information

Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership

The Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership honors the spirit and life's work of Dorothy Richardson, a resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who refused to allow her neighborhood to succumb to the long-term effects of decay and lack of public and private investment in the mid-1960s. Richardson's vision of how to revitalize and preserve her neighborhood resulted in the establishment of Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. in Pittsburgh, the forerunner of today's NeighborWorks network, and a model for community-government-private sector partnership.

First awarded by NeighborWorks America in 1992, the Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership was created to recognize and support resident and community leaders across the NeighborWorks network for the essential role our organizations play in strengthening communities. Selection is based on a nominee's proven ability to share a vision, inspire their neighbors and bring people together to create positive change.

This is a highly inclusive award and a broad diversity of nominees is encouraged.

Awardees and their nominating organization receive:

  • Scholarship to attend our Community Leadership Institute (held virtually in 2022) where they will be recognized at a special awards ceremony.
  • A $5,000 grant to the nominating organization to support resident leadership development. 
  • Support from NeighborWorks America to tell the story and promote the impact of the awardee and resident leaders in community development.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The individual nominee must be nominated by a NeighborWorks network organization and must live and/or work in a community served by it.
  • The individual must have demonstrated commitment to a specific project, initiative or issue area with a tangible outcome within the last 1-5 years.
  • Individuals currently employed by NeighborWorks America network organizations are not eligible.
  • Individuals currently serving as elected officials or running for elected office are not eligible. 
  • This is an individual award. Although an important criteria for selection is the individual's collaborative work with others, please be aware that group submissions are not eligible for consideration.

Selection Criteria

Resident leaders are selected for this award based on the impact of their work and on the extent to which they exemplify the following core characteristics:
  • Vision — A creative thinker able to see a different future and inspire others to action.
  • Community Oriented — Prioritizes community needs; takes action on issues that affect groups of community members.
  • Commitment — Takes strategic risks and refuses to give up in the face of setbacks or obstacles in order to move issues forward. 
  • Partnership — Builds effective partnerships with other residents, the sponsoring NeighborWorks organization and representatives from nonprofit, public and/or private sectors.

Nomination Details

  • Submit your nomination online by Friday, July 30, 2021. 
  • Contact our Community Building & Engagement team with any specific questions about eligibility. 
  • Once nominations are submitted, we are unable to accept revisions or substitutions. 
  • Participate in an optional informational Zoom meeting July 14 at 11 a.m. PT.
    • Meeting ID: 957 5362 0374
    • Passcode: 730952
    • Dial by your location:
              669-900-6833 (San Jose)
              253-215-8782 (Tacoma)
              346-248-7799 (Houston)
              301-715-8592 (Washington, D.C.)
              312-626-6799 (Chicago)
              646-876-9923 (New York)

Nomination Questions

Below are the questions asked in the nomination form:
  1. Is your organization a member of the NeighborWorks network?
  2. Organization name 
  3. Mailing address
  4. Staff full name
  5. Staff title
  6. Staff email
  7. Is your executive director or CEO aware of and in support of this nomination?
  8. Nominee's full name
  9. Nominee's age
  10. Race/ethnicity (if known)
  11. Name of the neighborhood/community where the nominee focused their work
  12. Length of residence in that community
  13. Please upload a photo of the nominee. This should be a .gif, .jpg/.jpeg or .png file where the nominee is standing alone. The file name should the nominee's full name. 
  14. In 3-5 sentences, summarize the nominee's vision and commitment to their community. Why is the nominee an ideal candidate for this award?
  15. Describe a project or initiative that the nominee led in order to improve their community. How did they identify the need and become involved in this effort? What steps did they take in response? What role did the nominee play in leading the effort and what unique strengths did they bring? Please be specific and remember this effort must have taken place within the last 1-5 years.
  16. When did the project or initiative begin?
  17. Is the project or initiative complete or ongoing?
  18. What role did the nominee play to engage other residents and community partners in the project or initiative? What steps did they undertake to recruit other stakeholders to participate in the project or initiative? Who else got involved as a result of their leadership? What difference did these partnerships make in ensuring success?
  19. What impact has resulted from the nominee’s leadership, both within the community and within your organization? Please be specific about outcomes from the project or initiative. Share tangible results or results that can be seen, measured or evaluated.
  20. What role did your organization play in cultivating or supporting the nominee's leadership role? Why is it important to your organization that the nominee be recognized? If the nominee is selected for the award, how will your organization use it as an opportunity to highlight the role of resident leadership in your community?
  21. Please share links and/or attachments to additional documents or information that support your nomination information. This can include thank you letters, news articles, social media posts, or videos. For attachments, the file names should be the nominee's full name. Maximum of 6 files no more than a total of 50MB.