April Doner

16 POSTS

We are the Key to Our Own Recovery

"Today, I'm going to tell you three stories of people who didn't move out of their neighborhoods," says Majora Carter - McArthur "genius" Award winner originally known for her pioneering work "greening the ghetto" in the South Bronx in...

A Neighbor-Based Pandemic Response: Jefferson Park Neighborhood

  This unique story from Menasha, Wisconsin reveals what is possible through the steady efforts of just one person to create a culture of connection and relationship. Read how her ongoing conversations and relationships with neighbors created the conditions an...

Rewriting the Rules: the Ujima Boston Project

In Boston, communities of color are taking charge of their own economy in homegrown, innovative ways. After fighting to thrive despite generations of disinvestment, racist lending, banking and harmful development practices targeting their neighborhoods, individuals from across Boston are finding...

The Hearts & Housing of Island People

To most of us, housing seems to be one of those things like the weather or the stock market controlled by unseen forces far outside our reach. Yet decade after decade, we feel the impacts of these forces keenly...

The Power of Story

Stories have always been our way of knowing ourselves... as individuals, as families, and as communities. Stories hold and reaffirm our past, our strengths and challenges, our hopes and dreams. With each re-telling, stories shape the world anew. How might...

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...