John McKnight

John McKnight is emeritus professor of education and social policy and codirector of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University. He is the coauthor of Building Communities from the Inside Out and the author of The Careless Society. He has been a community organizer and serves on the boards of several national organizations that support neighborhood development.
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5 Questions to Awaken Your Functional Family

The path to restoring function to the family in a citizen society, not a consumer society, is quite simple. It begins with five questions.   1. What functions can we put back into the hands of young people?  Whether they are our kids...

The Good Life? It’s Close to Home

When family members do not work or live well together we sometimes call the family dysfunctional. We prescribe professional help for the family or advocate for social policies that would support it—child care, parental leave, extended unemployment insurance, debt...

The Therapeutic Neighborhood

If you have a deeply troubling personal problem, where do you turn?  To a cleric? A psychologist? A counselor? A therapist? Each is a hired professional with different approaches to our dilemmas. But suppose they didn’t exist. Where would you...

Growing Food, Knowledge and Community

Joan Horwitt is at it again. The founder of LAWNS 2 LETTUCE 4 LUNCH®, an innovative Arlington, VA project designed to help Ashlawn Elementary School students learn about growing and eating healthy foods and to develop new relationships between...

Our Abundant Communities

John, Peter and Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann explore themes of power and patriarchy; human fallibility and gifts; and accumulation and abundance in building and sustaining community in these uncut videos from their two days at Trinity University, San...

Escaping the World of Non-sense

We are slowly surrounding our lives with electrical “inputs” called Internet, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TV, etc.  As a result, many people have unwittingly entered a new land where there are no trees, chirping birds, sunsets, stickball, group singing, people...

ABCD in Action

ABCD in Action is a lively new site focused on ways to apply the principles and practices of Asset-Based Community Development and related strength-based and commonsense approaches. The site’s members now include more than 2,000 practitioners from more than 50 countries...

How Much Harm Do Social Services Do?

A few weeks ago, I received this email from Dan Oliver of Cleveland, Ohio, asking my thoughts on the role of social service agencies in undercutting the power of families and neighborhoods to solve their own problems: Dear Mr. McKnight, I...

The Neighborhood Plague

A plague has descended on many of our neighborhoods.  It is a plague intensified by recession, corporate drive for profit and confusion about what government can do that is useful. People are out of work; homes are foreclosed. All the public...

Leveraging Capacity for Change

Staff of the New Economics Institute e-Newsletter, March 12, 2011 Together with others around the world, our thoughts are with those affected by yesterday's devastating earthquake and tsunami. The following eNewsletter was prepared in advance of that tragedy. The Laurel Hill Association...