Stories

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...

Algerian Women “Start Somewhere” to Create their Own Destiny

"When women decide something, I think they can get to it," says Nadia Aïssaoui, of the Mediterranean Women’s Fund as she tells this story about a group of women living in the mountains of Algeria who chose to come...

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...

Libraries and Museums Partnering with Community Members

“Communities that know themselves, that know their assets, especially the gifts and talents of individuals and the neighborhood associations that they create, build powerful networks for promoting change."​ (Howard Rosing, Director, Steans Center at DePaul University) What might happen if...

When Renters Can Earn Equity

Writing in Backyard, a newsletter exploring scalable solutions to make housing fairer, more affordable and more environmentally sustainable, Emily Nonko puts Cincinnati's Margie Spinney and Renting Partnerships in the spotlight. The renter equity model changes everything by making wealth...

Strong Neighborhood Project

Neighbor to neighbor, block by block. That's the approach they're taking in connecting people to one another and other resources available to them in Central Louisiana. It's the asset-based work of the Strong Neighborhood Project, centered in Pineville, LA. They...

Small Acts of Bravery, Caring and Connection

Small acts of bravery, caring, and connection can heal this pain and weave the future we want This is the Hammonton Health Coalition (HHC) Facebook cover, a colorful picture showing a diverse group of kids, teachers, parents, first responders, and...

Roundup: Community at Work

Stories from our friends around the globe about how families, neighbors and friends are sharing and caring for one another in the COVID-19 environment. ABCD Instutite Resources & Inspiration for Unleashing Abundance & Community in Times of Crisis https://mailchi.mp/b35752005336/abcd-institute-newsletter-and-resources-12241970?e=9440f051f7   Al Etmanski Love During Adversity...

Asset Based Community Development: How to Get Started

Booklet for residents on how to develop their communities and encourage others to contribute toward creating a good quality of life. Read or download here. Published by the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences 2019. Posted under a Creative Commons license. See Nurture...

A Prophetic Voice for Economic and Social Justice

John and Peter Conversation with Damon Lynch III In partnership with Common Good Collective ~ February 5, 2020 About every six weeks for the last six years, John and Peter have hosted conversations with community-building social innovators as their guests. Their...

The Futility of Reform: Departure for Another Way

The Futility of Reform: Departure for Another Way Conversation with John and Peter ~ November 19, 2019 Dr. Jerome (Jerry) Miller was appointed director of the juvenile correctional system in the state of Massachusetts in the 1970s. After attempting to reform...

Reimagining Rural Communities Using ABCD

In the past, rural communities across Canada depended on settlers to build the roads, infrastructure, schools and institutions, business and housing so communities could thrive and be prosperous. Fast forward 100 years and rural communities are now looking to...

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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...