Mary Nelson is on the faculty of the Northwestern University’s Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and consults, speaks and does workshops in the U.S. and internationally (South Africa, Australia, East Timor, Germany, Mexico). She is currently serving as interim Executive Director of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and is on the faculty of the Loyola University Master’s in Social Justice and Community Development program; she also teaches graduate courses in community development with the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) and at North Park University in the Chicago area.
She is the founding President of Bethel New Life, a faith-based community development corporation focused on its low-income, African-American west-side Chicago community, and served as its CEO for 27 years until her retirement in 2006. See her full bio for the wide range of pioneering projects using its community assets that Bethel accomplished under her leadership.
Here’s a quick introduction to Mary and how she got started in community building in Chicago in this video from Duke Divinity’s Faith and Leadership program.