Tag Archives: Community Organizing

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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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PeoplesHub: Connecting change-makers online

How can we connect local change-making pioneers and reduce their sense of isolation? A new, online platform called PeoplesHub will bring interactive, participative processes to local neighborhood groups and connect them to trainers and other groups across the country.

Sarah van Gelder, co-founder of YES! Magazine, says PeoplesHub training will range from general topics – such as how to host an ecstatic meeting and how to navigate conflict – to providing tools for specific areas of change people are working on.

Instead of bottom-up or top-down, the platform promotes lateral connections amongst people who are engaged in social innovations. In this call with Peter Block and John McKnight, Sarah discusses the initial phases of the new online platform and its methodology.

Listen here:

 

Quotes:
“(The) power that people have in their own communities to get stuff done … if we can unleash that power, we can have a real transformation of this country.” – Sarah van Gelder

 

Related Link:
revolutionwhereyoulive.org

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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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Small Town Invites Younger Generation to Come Home

Former mayor Priscilla Corcoran Mooney talks with John McKnight and Peter Block about community life in the small coastal town of Branch, Newfoundland, Canada. In 2007, Branch town council held a “come home” reunion-type event and listed the “Top 21 Reasons to live in Branch,” attracting national media attention. Branch citizens are known for their strong sense of belonging.

Priscilla shares about initiatives connecting people and contributing to well-being, such as a community dinner where photo slideshows spark conversation and a corner store with healthier food options.

Listen here:

 

Related Link:
Top 21 Reasons to Live in Branch

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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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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.