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Engaging Neighbors Opens Thinking for Health Professionals

Lisa Gale Hadden, Michigan Area Health Education Center executive director, has learned that when medical and nursing students go to neighborhoods to talk with families about their health they discover untapped resources and assets.

“They really saw the value in connecting to the neighborhood health wisdom and used that to become better health care professionals. It changed their care planning for their patients.” Students asked appreciative, open-ended questions to discover how neighbors define their own health in their own terms. Twenty years later, the students have who are now practitioners are still talking about it.

In this conversation, Lisa – who acts as a bridge between medical and community knowledge in her work – shares more about this experience with John McKnight and Peter Block.

Listen:

 

Quotes:

“The more that there’s income equality in a community, or city, or town the healthier people are.” – Lisa Gale Hadden

“Our advice (to students) has always been . . . you’re there first and foremost to just be a neighbor. I think our students really began to see that as they developed relationships with our neighbors.” – Lisa Gale Hadden

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Exploring How Community Animators Work: Cormac Russell

Tune into this insightful conversation with Cormac Russell. Cormac, Managing Director of UK-based Nurture Development, has been doing asset based community work in over 100 neighborhoods around the world.

In this conversation, Cormac shares the 8 Touchstones he developed for animating neighborhood relationships. He also shares about learning sites, the role of the community animator and connector, and lessons being learned.

Listen here:

 

Quotes:

“A lot of our work is about just calling people into a radical presence and a radical act of revealing what’s here, and how we can get that connected up and mobilized.” – Cormac Russell

“We are very focused on how we can accompany local residents and interested practitioners on the journey of getting into right relationship with each other. That’s a critical first touchstone.” – Cormac
Russell

Photo via Nurture Development

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Neighborhood initiative impacting social health

In Rochester NY, Deborah Puntenney and her network are transforming the conventional wisdom about how foundation money can produce resident health outcomes. Eight years into the project with the Greater Rochester Health Foundation they are investing in the social determinants of health through grassroots, place-based and resident-driven efforts. This is not about more health services.

The foundation and a group of its grantees formed the Neighborhood Health Status Improvement Initiative, where four neighborhood groups are using Asset Based Community Development to work on health-related issues.

Deborah shares examples from an inner-city community in this conversation with Peter Block and John McKnight:

 

 

Related Links:

dpuntenney.com
thegrhf.org/funding/neighborhood-health/

photo courtesy Pixabay.com

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Integrative Law: A Legal System that Builds Relationships

Atty Kim Wright

Kim Wright talks with Peter Block , John McKnight and guest caller Edgar Cahn about being an Integrative Lawyer and her practice of Restorative Justice: an alternative way of dealing with crimes and taking a holistic approach that factors in emotions of both parties. She speaks about how Restorative Justice is not well received by many who practice law, and touches on how it started with Nelson Mandela. Kim also explains Therapeutic Jurisprudence: a way to create solutions rather than unhelpful punishments, and discusses the related practice of Unitive Justice.

 

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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.