Ends on

Identifying Vendors for

Equitable Community Engagement and Collaborative Governance Trainings


Date of Release: June 20, 2024

Closing Date: July 26, 2024


Montgomery County Collaboration Council (MCCC)


Through state statute, the State of Maryland requires the creation of a Local Management Board (LMB) in each jurisdiction to coordinate the planning and delivery of State-funded services to children, youth, and families. The Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families, Inc. (MCCC) is designated by the Montgomery County Council to be the Local Management Board for Montgomery County, Maryland. Thus, MCCC functions as a quasi-public nonprofit organization, with a 21-member Board of Directors appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. Additional information about MCCC can be found at www.collaborationcouncil.org

As the County’s LMB, MCCC plays a significant role in convening local government agencies, community-based organizations, and community members to work in collaboration to promote the well-being of communities. Guided by its new strategic framework, a major priority for MCCC is to ensure that community members most impacted by racial disparities and related barriers are included in identifying challenges and developing comprehensive solutions. Given the important intermediary role we play between the County government, community-based organizations, and grassroots communities, our long-term goal is to catalyze transformative, community-centered systems change both within our own organization, and across multiple County government agencies - many of whom serve on our board of directors.

Climate Justice Co-Creation Initiative (CJCI)

MCCC has been working with several CBOs and the Montgomery County Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Health and Human Services (HHS) for the last two years developing the Community Justice Academy, now called the Climate Justice Co-Creation Initiative (CJCI). CJCI partners came together following the completion of the County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), which they criticized in an open letter for not pursuing an equitable community engagement process and giving insufficient attention to under-resourced community members most impacted by climate hazards.

Shortly thereafter, CJCI partners and individual community members began working with a third-party facilitator to proactively seek the perspectives, priorities, and leadership of frontline community members to drive the identification of the root problems they face and develop comprehensive solutions for racial equity, health, high quality of life, and inclusive climate resilience.  

Utilizing as its guiding framework the Spectrum of Community Engagement to Ownership developed by Facilitating Power, CJCI partners seek to create new norms, attitudes, practices, and processes so that impacted communities are adequately supported and positioned to co-define the problems affecting them and co-design solutions for long-term viability. CJCI partners’ goal is to shift power so that it flows equitably between local government and frontline communities to advance climate justice solutions that directly impact their lives, and to help move the County toward community-driven collaborative governance.

This goal aligns with the recent March 2024 report from Montgomery County’s Office of Legislative Oversight (“OLO”) entitled “Community Engagement for Racial Equity and Social Justice”. The report specifies recommendations to create a paradigm shift in community engagement from a top-down and inequitable approach to one where communities most impacted by racial injustice are deeply integrated into planning processes as collaborators and co-creators.  Among OLO’s recommendations are the design and implementation of learning pathways to train County staff on equitable community engagement processes and approach. 


Open Solicitation


The Collaboration Council, which serves as the fiscal sponsor for the CJCI initiative, is seeking proposals from qualified individuals and organizations to design and deliver trainings for MCCC staff and board, and County staff on equitable community engagement. The training curriculum will be co-designed with a work group comprised of MCCC staff, CJCI partners, and select government officials, and incorporate the following suggested topics (as referenced in the OLO report): 

· An asset-based approach to working with community members that shifts away from top-down decision-making towards approaches that value the perspectives, cultures, and lived experiences of community members, and focuses on relationship-building and collaboration to co-create solutions.

· The historical roots of systemic racism and the harmful effects of White supremacy culture.

· The different forms of power, how power flows, and how power and decision-making can be shared with the community.

· The Spectrum of Community Engagement to Ownership and how County staff can move department policies, programs, and practices along the Spectrum and drive sustained systemic change.

· Studying promising collaborative governance efforts taking place in Montgomery County (such as the CJCI), and in other jurisdictions. 


The amount of the contract awards should not exceed $ 20-30,000 per training - which includes curriculum design, preparation, training delivery and evaluation. 


Vendor List 

Qualified applicants will be selected for the Open Solicitation Vendor List and remain on the list for a two-year period. Selection for the Open Solicitation Vendor List is not a commitment by the Collaboration Council to contract with each vendor for these services. The Open Solicitation process allows the Collaboration Council the flexibility to secure specific services on a short-term or continuing basis from vendors who meet pre-established requirements.


Eligibility Requirements


Eligible applicants can be a nonprofit organization, for-profit corporation, or sole proprietorship, though they are required to be a community-based organization with roots in the DC metropolitan area and a history of providing services and programming that improve community well-being. Eligible applicants must also show proof of good standing (i.e. in Maryland, good standing status is found on the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website). Qualified applicants should meet the following: 


Minimum Qualifications

· A racial justice-oriented approach, with deep grounding in racial equity and a power-sharing analysis.

· The ability to weave racial equity and power analysis components throughout the training curriculum and learning experience. 

· The requisite skills, background and experience in curriculum design and facilitation geared towards people in government, institutions, and systems. 

· Experience working in and with grassroots communities.

· Experience facilitating spaces and conversations across power divides.

· The ability to co-design the training curriculum with a work group comprised of MCCC staff representatives, CJCI partners and select government officials, including coordinating and facilitating work group meetings and the overall design process.

· Knowledge and understanding of Montgomery County -- applicants must be in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Preferred Criteria

· Familiarity with or understanding of equitable community engagement, associated best practices, and promising models from other jurisdictions.

· Understanding of climate justice and climate change hazards that disproportionately burden under-resourced, frontline and BIPOC community members.

Application process: 

To be considered the applicant must submit a written proposal of no more than 5 pages answering the following questions: 

· What values, perspectives, concepts, and world-views guide and inform your work and approach? What is your training philosophy?

· Please describe your experiences in designing and facilitating training curriculum for nonprofit and/or government staff, and how you integrate racial equity and power sharing concepts into your training approach.

· What would be your proposed structure, format, and approach for a training curriculum on equitable community engagement for Montgomery County government, given the background and goals provided above?

· Describe any work you have done specific to Montgomery County. What do you see as some of the biggest challenges? Opportunities?

· How would you propose integrating climate justice into your training curriculum? 

· Please describe any direct or relevant experience bringing government officials together with frontline community members in the co-creation of policies and initiatives.

· Please provide a budget breakdown for your proposed training program.

A rubric will be used to review proposals and score them based upon answers to these questions, and how well proposals demonstrate the eligibility requirements detailed above.

The review panel will be comprised of members of the Collaboration Council staff and government and CJCI partners.


Submissions due: 

July 26, 2024, by 5:00 p.m. 

To apply: You will need to open a Submittable account and follow the instructions here.

Next Steps:

Any applicant invited to an interview will be contacted by early September. Final decisions are expected to be made in October 2024


We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.