October 20, 2022 - The City of Fort Wayne's Community Development Division’s Administrator of Neighborhood Planning and Activation has been selected to attend the 14th annual Vanguard Conference in El Paso, Texas.

Dan Baisden will attend a three-day series of presentations, workshops and neighborhood tours that cover a variety of topics including food security, affordable housing, equitable public space and community engagement. Only 44 people were selected to participate in the conference, out of a diverse applicant pool from around the world. Ten Vanguards are from the Midwest region, and Baisden is the first Vanguard from Fort Wayne since the program’s inception.

Vanguard was launched by Next City, a news outlet with a nonprofit model. Next City uses solutions-based journalism to give communities and their leaders the knowledge and connections to reimagine cities as liberated places of economic, environmental and racial justice.

Baisden leads a workgroup that serves the residents of Fort Wayne by meeting regularly with neighborhood associations across the city to collaborate to create short-term and long-term solutions for neighborhood improvement. There are nearly 500 neighborhoods identified across the city. The Neighborhood Planning and Activation workgroup partners with residents to support the creation of new neighborhoods and help rebuild neighborhoods in need of assistance.

Baisden’s background includes a wide range of experiences in community development, including civic engagement, non-profit leadership, grant writing, administration, and organizational leadership.

Prior to taking on his role as Neighborhood Planning and Activation Administrator for the City in November 2021, Baisden worked for the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan, as a Neighborhood Activator where he oversaw planning and project implementation for more than 20 neighborhoods. He also worked for the City of Fort Wayne as a planner and was responsible for leading the Fort Wayne Public Art Commission and assisting with neighborhood planning.

The Vanguard conference will be held October 24-27. Private funding is covering the expense of Baisden’s participation.