Friends & Neighbors

How Institutional Leaders Can Transform Their System into a Member of Local Neighborhoods

Traditionally, these Learnings share knowledge we have gained from innovative neighborhood and local institutional leaders. This Learning is different because in it a great institutional innovator speaks for himself.   The innovator speaking here is Mike Butler, Retired Public Safety Chief...

Social Lessons from Transformation: Starfire Council

Sometime in 2007 or 2008, Tim Vogt, who directed an award-winning agency serving people with disabilities, had his journey interrupted years ago by a visit from three people who were unknown to him who got up and spoke at...

The Most Common Questions About Gifts From Helping Professionals

“Every human being is born with some sort of gift, an inclination or an instinct that can become a full-blown mastery. We may not see our gift for what it is. Having seen it we may choose not to...

Joining The Party: the Neighborhood Economics Network

  Neighborhoods across the country bear signs of the pressing waves of development-driven displacement: boarded windows, doors hanging open, furniture and household items in front yard. Despite its impact on thousands of families and lives, the displacement that accompanies gentrification...

Rooted Solutions: Black farmers cultivating food sovereignty in Indianapolis

"200,000 Indianapolis residents live in food deserts. Low income communities of color are the most impacted by lack of access to fresh food. But communities are responding to these challenges by creating and controlling their own food destinies." So begins...

Reimagining the Table, Justice, and our Relationship to Place

What does it mean to be a neighbor? In what ways might it heal us to live in authentic, interconnected relationship with others who live and work just beyond our doorstep? How is the path to racial justice interwoven...

A Call to a Deeper Democracy

We have two options, most of the time: to interpret the "worsening" of conditions around us as a call to despair while disparaging and demanding more of "those in charge," or to look closer at the power that we...

“Because I opened the door for a stranger”

In 2011, parents in the Richmond, VA community of Hillside Court locked their children inside to protect them from rampant gun violence. Today the neighborhood is bustling with activities for citizens of all ages because a group of concerned citizens...

Attributes, Roles and Culture within Neighborhoods

In a recent podcast by The Neighboring Movement, hosts Adam Barlow-Thompson and Matt Johnson were joined by John McKnight to discuss the six (possibly even seven) attributes of a culture of contribution, how these characteristics in a community could...

Community Development and Anti-Racism Work

Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis was the recipient of a grant for anti-poverty work in their predominantly African-American neighborhood. Broadway is a predominantly white organization.  The Learning Tree (a neighborhood organization) which is a collection of neighbors centered around...

COVID-19 Cannot Harm Your Gifts

Where do gifts come from? Whether you believe your gifts spring from your genetic makeup, a scientific phenomenon like a “big bang”, or as a gift from a spiritual source, what is undeniable is that you have come into...

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...

Seven Ways to Build the Solidarity Economy

  The solidarity economy is a global movement to build a post-capitalist world that puts people and planet front and center, rather than the pursuit of blind growth and profit maximization. It isn’t a blueprint but a framework that includes...

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...

“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...

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...

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How Institutional Leaders Can Transform Their System into a Member of Local Neighborhoods

Traditionally, these Learnings share knowledge we have gained from innovative neighborhood and local institutional leaders. This Learning is different...