April Doner

11 POSTS

Peacemaking Powers and the Culture They Create

As we look to the abundance within neighborhoods waiting to come alive, one of the best starting places is to seek out those gifts, skills and talents are possessed by the people who live there. Our first instinct to...

What Could Neighborhood Health Autonomy Look Like?

Years ago I saw an acupuncturist who, while sitting with me post-treatment to review her recommendations for an herbal medicine regimen along with diet, sleep, and exercise adjustments, paused for a moment to explain a rule from her tradition:...

“40 acres and a mall:” Building Black community wealth in L.A.

An emerging co-operative development project in L.A.'s Crenshaw neighborhood is boldly challenging the model of urban development by asserting their vision for a co-operatively owned, community-backed mall that will directly benefit community members and their small businesses, rather than...

Neighborhood Planning: Doing “With” Not “For”

It is often the habit of organizational professionals who interface with communities to do "to" or "for" local residents. However, when such staff step back from their traditional functions and shift their focus to supporting community members to decide...

Algerian Women “Start Somewhere” to Create their Own Destiny

"When women decide something, I think they can get to it," says Nadia Aïssaoui, of the Mediterranean Women’s Fund as she tells this story about a group of women living in the mountains of Algeria who chose to come...

“Becoming Joshua” toward Economic Freedom

A path toward racial justice and equity cannot avoid a confrontation of economic injustice. I first heard of Damon Lynch as the pastor who corrected John McKnight's characterization of our communities as being not just "half-empty" as but also "half-full."...

The Role of Community in Reducing Crime and Securing Peace

In 2020, massive protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis forced the US and the world to confront longstanding racial disparities in violent policing within local communities. As a result, the very role and responsibility of...

Libraries and Museums Partnering with Community Members

“Communities that know themselves, that know their assets, especially the gifts and talents of individuals and the neighborhood associations that they create, build powerful networks for promoting change."​ (Howard Rosing, Director, Steans Center at DePaul University) What might happen if...

Re-Learning to Solve Our Problems Together

Last Tuesday, the world witnessed an attack on the US Capitol--a building that symbolizes and holds a home for difficult discussions and decision-making across barriers of thought and belief. The living, breathing humans elected to do and support this...

Kindness as a Stance

http://youtu.be/ZKwQ-w87E2g In an increasingly polarized and politicized world, what is the role of kindness -- and how might it be used to help us revive abundant communities? Recently featured on CBS, "The Antidote" is a new documentary that weaves together stories...