Stories

Oakland’s Understory Restaurant Prioritizes People and Community

For decades, neighbors, social scientists and city planners have recognized the critical role of "bumping places" - spots where meeting new and old friends is made natural and easy - for a healthy and vibrant communities. Bumping places are typically...

A Handbook for Abolitionists

In the following article from Yes! Magazine, Seattle-based creative, community organizer and abolitionist Nikkita Oliver illuminates the meaning of "abolition" with her own story of witnessing her mother's choice to respond with respect and care in the face of...

Hospitality at the Center of Dispute Resolution

In his recent article in the Cardozo School of Law Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peter Block illustrates the common themes threading through three powerful stories within the journal: hospitality, community-centeredness, and the power of building trust as a starting...

‘By Any Means Necessary:’ Detroit Neighborhoods Spearhead Unique Food Solutions

"We are the ones we've been waiting for." This Hopi Elders wisdom embodies the spirit of community members across Detroit, Michigan who are taking the initiative to support one another through collecting, sharing, and organizing around one of life's...

‘There’s Good Everywhere:’ Neighbors Partner with Free Library of Philadelphia to Find and Connect Assets

  From 2018 to 2021, I had the chance to work and learn alongside an immensely creative, caring group of community members and project staff of the Free Library of Philadelphia as part of a funding initiative by the national...

A Deep Dive into the Art of Neighboring

Improving communities and the lives of those who live there begins when we embrace the singular importance of neighbors being in authentic relationship with one another. In this fireside chat organized by the Tamarack Institute, Deanna Butz from the...

What brings you joy?

An urban neighborhood strengthens its community by asking unexpected questions The Learning Tree initiative takes a different route to enhancing community by focusing on talents and gifts — not poverty.   When faced with an inability to pay their rent, mortgage or...

People’s WPA (cont’d): Prisoner’s Apothecary & SIPP Culture

As a continuation of our spotlight on the People's WPA by the US Department of Arts & Culture, the following are two stories of artists working within their communities to foster transformation toward a more caring, nourished, just and...

A Movement for Neighborhood Connection in Perth, Australia

The need for social connection has never been clearer. Lockdowns have shown us the importance of connecting and building relationships with those that live closest to us. Over the last six years Neighborhood Connect has successfully experimented with creating...

Kwanzaa in Philly: How neighborhoods celebrate the African-American holiday

The article below tells the story of how one neighbor generated unity, learning and joy within her neighborhood by bringing fellow community members together around the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa.   Kwanzaa in Philly: How neighborhoods celebrate the African-American holiday by Michaela...

People’s WPA (cont’d): Turn the Page Movement & Auntie Sewing Squad

As a continuation of our spotlight on the People's WPA by the US Department of Arts & Culture, the following are two stories of artists working within their communities to foster transformation toward a more caring, nourished, just and...

Indiana Residents Act as “Stand-In Grandparents” to New Residents

  GREENSBURG, Ind. — A rural city in southeastern Indiana has piqued the interest of hundreds of families considering a move there after it offered stand-in ”grandparents” to babysit their children as part of an incentive program aimed at attracting...

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...

Why Neighboring Matters in Organizational Mission

Learning to be un-blind. That's how a friend of mine, DeAmon Harges of Indianapolis, put it to me recently. Learning to be unblind is a huge challenge of org leadership, especially when it comes to predominantly white institutions and...

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...

Artists Transforming Society: the People’s WPA

    Despite its name, the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) is not a government agency. Rather, it is an independent organization formed around the importance of arts and culture to the health of communities (and, by extension, to any...

Applying Asset-Based Community Development in an Urban Indigenous Context

  September 30, 2021 marked the first year that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was observed in Canada as a federal statutory holiday. This public commemoration of the continuing legacy of Canadian colonialism, while also honoring of children...

What We Can Learn from Indigenous Culinary Traditions

  Several years into his chef career, chef Sean Sherman began asking, "Where are all of the indigenous foods? Where did they go?" In this video, he takes us along his journey of rediscovering, celebrating and preserving indigenous cooking. About Sean Sherman Chef Sean...

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...

Informal, Organic, Eclectic Group Brings Afghans to Safety

  As US government systems have fallen short in their capacity to move individuals to safety as the Taliban takes control within Afghahistan, the gap is being filled by "an informal, organic and eclectic group" spanning the public and private...

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Murmurations: A Spell for the Fall Equinox

the nights stretch themselves over our harried hearts there’s no differentiation now each day we come apart in new ways at old seams we age...