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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 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...

“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...

Rio Women Reinvent Businesses through As Josefinas Colab

As stories spanning world has demonstrated over the last year, those who have responded to crisis collectively have unearthed an astounding abundance of creative solutions. Below is the story of how As Josefinas Colab women's collective became a network...

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...

In Westwood Unidos, gifts & dreams drive change

Westwood Unidos was a successful example of organizing residents to achieve health equity in a historically disinvested, working-class, predominantly Latino neighborhood. Formed in 2012 in Denver, Colorado, Westwood Unidos (WU) utilized an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) community organizing approach...

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...

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...

What Could Neighborhood Health Autonomy Look Like?

Years ago I saw an acupuncturist who, while sitting with me post-treatment to review her recommendations for an herbal medicine regimen along with diet, sleep, and exercise adjustments, paused for a moment to explain a rule from her tradition:...

“40 acres and a mall:” Building Black community wealth in L.A.

An emerging co-operative development project in L.A.'s Crenshaw neighborhood is boldly challenging the model of urban development by asserting their vision for a co-operatively owned, community-backed mall that will directly benefit community members and their small businesses, rather than...

Neighborhood Planning: Doing “With” Not “For”

It is often the habit of organizational professionals who interface with communities to do "to" or "for" local residents. However, when such staff step back from their traditional functions and shift their focus to supporting community members to decide...

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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...