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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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...

Breaking Barriers to Neighborliness

I have a friend who makes lists of barriers to neighborliness.  His list includes the new ranch houses that don’t have a front porch where neighbors can sit and talk and greet each other. Air conditioning is also on his...

The Art of Neighboring

In North Port, FL, a relatively new community, Don Vande Krol felt he needed to know his neighbors. He distributed an invitation to them to join him and his wife for a "getting to know one another" evening.  From...

What Is a Neighbor?

I was born in 1931 during the Great Depression. We lived in a working class neighborhood in Cincinnati with many country people who had migrated from the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee. Lots of men in my neighborhood were...

Community Defined

To some people, community is a feeling, to some people it's relationships, to some people it's a place, to some people it's an institution. A definition John likes is: Community is a place where people prevail. Here is another one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut1DJbkOR-U

Share Some Sugar Community Website

Why buy when you can borrow? Keara Schwartz has come up with a brilliant way to borrow items from neighbors instead of buying them and meet new neighbors at the same time. It's an online service, called Share Some...

Two Kinds of Community Organizing

Advocacy Organizing and Neighborhood Organizing While President Obama was campaigning, he made the words “community organizing” famous as he told about his youthful days as an “organizer” in Chicago.  That experience in a low-income neighborhood taught him more, he said,...

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Everyone has heard of the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.” We find that not only is the saying universally known, it is universally agreed to with enthusiasm. But when we ask most neighborhood people about...

Gifts, Skills, Interests and Passions: The Glue That Holds Communities Together

Most of us belong to lots of different kinds of clubs, groups and associations.  Each is held together by a common gift, skill, interest or passion.  Choirs are associations that magnify the gifts of people who sing well.  Basketball...