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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Powering America

In a neighborhood, people are empowered by the work they do together.  Often, they use this power to confront institutions and advocate for the neighborhood’s self-interest.  In this kind of action, power is understood as our ability to get...

President Obama’s Speech Forgets the Primary Educators

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama once again urged parents to be active in supporting children to achieve in school. "Turn off the TV and do your homework," he advised. While this is a commendable...

Opening the Neighborhood Treasure Chest

Increasing numbers of Americans are neighborless. They are, in reality, little more than residents occupying a house in an anonymous place.  They often admit that they really don’t know the people who live around them — except to say hello....

Jackie Kennedy’s Hidden Gift

The year that the new South Africa was created after the fall of apartheid, I attended an international meeting in Switzerland.  There was a lively South African delegation full of song and joy because of their new freedom. One of...

John McKnight: Building Grass-Roots Movements

Interview with Hildy Gottlieb of Making Change, podcast of The Chronicle of Philanthropy December 8, 2010 Podcast and full article here.

John McKnight and Peter Block: The Abundant Community

Interview with Wayne Hurlbert on Blog Talk Radio November 23, 2010 Listen to the podcast here.

Don’t Ask Your Doctor How to Live Longer; Ask Hispanic Families

A recent report by the National Center for Health Statistics found that, as of 2006, the life expectancy of U.S. Hispanics at birth is 80.6 years.  This is 2.5 years more than non-Hispanic whites and 8 years more than...

Beware the Invasion of the Needs Surveyors

A friend whom professionals call “disabled” says, ”If you’re coming to help me, you’ve come to the wrong place.  I refuse to fill your need for needs.”  It’s his wry recognition that many people have jobs that depend on...

Repairing Community

In my ancestors’ native Scotland, there were people who were exiled or outcast from their clan.  They were called “broken men.”  They faced a sad destiny wandering the mountains and moors without a community of support or the protection...

Are We Raising Care-less Children?

A powerful community depends upon its members’ willingness to step outside themselves and stand in the shoes of their neighbors.  A name for this ability is empathy. It is the essential bridge that changes the person next door from...