Category Archives: Neighborhoods

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Citizens and local democracy: a conversation with David Mathews

David Mathews shares the story of a community where the schoolhouse’s paint was falling off. When a group of neighbors got together and repainted the school the purpose wasn’t about getting paint on the walls – but to demonstrate when people get together they can make a difference.

The Kettering Foundation’s primary research question is “what does it take to make democracy work as it should?” Research is conducted from the citizen’s perspective and explores what people can collectively do to address problems.

David shares these ideas and more in a conversation with John McKnight and Peter Block. Listen here:

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Peter Block and John McKnight in Conversation

On Dec. 12, 2016, more than 60 callers listened to Peter Block and John McKnight reflect on their long history of working to building communities by focusing on gifts and connecting people. They discuss what ideas have endured and what questions remain. (more…)

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Innovative Funding for Citizen-Initiated Change

Janis Foster Richardson

Janis Foster Richardson explains the program Grassroots Grantmakers, which is a ‘network’ of people that are willing to provide funding to initiatives that create community. She looks at what motivates people to bond together, and reveals perhaps surprising results of what has and has not gotten desired results.

 

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The Abundant Communities Initiative

Howard Lawrence describes how he has drawn inspiration from The Abundant Community for Community League: a group designed to “initiate a momentum of household connections.” He explains who “Block Connectors” are, and how these citizens create boundaries, have conversations, and pull people with similar interests together, all in the same neighborhood.

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Approaches to Gifts, Welcoming and Hope

Bruce Anderson talks with Peter Block and John McKnight about how people are unified by the desire to feel welcomed in a community, how everyone has felt unwelcome at some point regardless of class or caste. He also discusses his initiative, WelcomeVashon, which is about finding a group of people who all share the desire to make their community more welcoming. He further speaks about the differences he sees in “community organizing” versus the idea of welcoming.