The Neighborhood Is the Center

About every six weeks for the last six years, John and Peter have hosted conversations with community-building social innovators as their guests. Their August 4, 2020 guest was DeAmon Harges, named by the Kettering Foundation as one of eight most influential neighborhood organizers on the ground today. He was the original “Roving Listener” as a neighbor and staff member of the Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, and his special gift is to bring neighbors and institutions together to discover the power of being a good neighbor. 

Video

Transcript

Maggie Rogers: Well, this is awesome. Hello, and welcome to The Neighborhood Is the Center, a Conversation with John McKnight, Peter Block, and our guest, DeAmon Harges. I’m Maggie Rogers and I’d like to thank you for joining us.

First, I’d like to welcome Januarie York, who’s from the Crown Hill neighborhood of Indianapolis and has been writing since she was in elementary school. And she’s going to share with us today one of her poems. Over to you, Januarie.

Januarie York: Hi. Thank you for having me. This poem is called Coming to the Stage.

You don’t have a clue why I do what I do but I do what I do just for you.

For your freedom song to sing above the clouds and cruise at altitudes foreign to you, I want to wipe the dust over your shoulders,

I write to save the overdrawn from completely checking out

For the Norma Jeans

That get lost in between Monroe hoe tactics,

For the practical and the unpredictable

For the dancers with no balance

For the 5, 6, 7, 8, hundreds of thousands of de-throned kings cooking up rocks in pipes meant for smoking through broken antennas

I write to save the teenage girls because what if I can change her direction

Writing with the blood of the neglected

I am unprotected

Writing with the blood of the neglected

Like a fertile ***** to a ripened ******

Womb tight and pregnant, holding capitalized secrets and lowercase print

It was a cold night in December when I saw a halo hanging over a ballpoint pin

Poetry,

Is my walk-in closet

Kick your feet up in my den of lyrical equity

I do the opposite of what is expected of me,

My 5 senses would let me miss this, but the ink went blank, so I put my tongue on the tip….

And because I’m a poet,

I ain’t been right ever since

I fear my own lyrical mortality more than my final casket lay

But once I get here

In this space

My own personal Pluto

This here plateau of poetry

The proven history of this violence is that I come alive up here so much

That when you see me sitting

Consider me in my postmortem pose

Postmortem prose

Lights out!

Everybody knows that dying is easy that’s why I stay so pen sick

Almost every time I spit

And you will literally see me spit and I really hate that but-

This is me living

Taking the breath I only get to engulf when I am with you, I guess you could say I wish we lived together

Shacked up and ringless

Menage’a’life me – You, Me,

And this stage

And I don’t need a mic for this,

This is me,

Alive,

Full blown

That’s why my poems be so long because I wanna live for more than 3 minutes most times

So never mind who can’t get it, or who ain’t with it

Bullseye you shot me

But you can’t change who I am

Or alter the trail of my lyrical umbilical that leads to the lights of audience smiles

I get born again up here and I mean it

This is life up here

This is life up here

To lean forward to stand

Hoping not to disappoint this time

Hoping to come alive by rhyme

To be totally honest and 100% true,

And when I come alive on this stage,

I am secretly hoping that I can bring life,

Back to you.

Januarie: I was asked to do it twice, so I will do it again.

[Reads “Coming to the Stage” again]

Thank you.

Maggie: Wow, wow, thank you so much. That was awesome and I’m so glad you decided to write. So now what we’re going to do is break into small groups to have a brief conversation, it’ll be about five minutes. And Peter is going to give us a question to discuss.

Peter Block: Thank you, thank you, Januarie. You just wiped the dust off my shoulders. Thank you. That was just … if we had any brains, we’d just sit here and take in what you just gave us. But we don’t have any brains, so I’ll go on.

So the question, the idea is if we’re not connected, we don’t know how to listen to each other. And so, we want to just let you know that you’re not alone and there’s two other people you can talk to. And here’s the question. And most the time, people… where are you from, what did you do? All that. So the question here, what’s the commitment that you are… that brought you to this event? What’s the commitment that you are? That brought you to show up today. And if you don’t understand the question, that makes it perfect. So let’s break into groups.

[small groups work]

Maggie: Awesome. We’re seeing a lot of faces come back. This is wonderful. Hi, I’m Maggie Rogers for those of us who are just joining. And I’d like to welcome back the people who went into the small groups for their conversations. Hope you enjoyed that time together.

And now I’m going to be turning it over to John McKnight, and Peter Block, and our guest DeAmon Harges. And just to let you know that we’ve been experiencing a little bit of problem with John’s Internet connection, so if he disappears we’ll keep going and hope he comes back. Just a heads-up. So I think if John’s here, I’d like to turn it over to you.

John McKnight: Yes, okay, good. Well, welcome everybody, this is a wonderful gathering. And this is a special day because of the guest we have. I’ve known DeAmon Harges for a good many years. And he has, I think, the most wonderful title in the world. His official title is a Roving Listener. So we certainly want to know, because I have never… I know what a Chief Executive Officer is, but I don’t know what a Roving Listener is. But before we learn that, I wanted to tell you a brief story about early days with DeAmon.

He and I were at a conference in Toronto, and of course neither of us come from Toronto, and we were talking about relationships and their importance. DeAmon said, “It’s not hard to establish relationships … people are waiting. They’re waiting for it.” And I said, “Oh, I doubt that.” He says, “Well, come on. So, get some other people.” And I said to, I don’t know, 20 people I think, “Hey, come on with me, we’re going someplace with DeAmon.” So he led us a block away, to a park. And there was a man sitting on a bench, and he just walked up with these 20 people behind him at a little distance and introduced himself and began to talk to this man. And I would say within five minutes, we had all established a relationship with the man, and we were in a dialogue with him about his life. And I think we were all surprised.

And then, DeAmon took us on, and there was a couple. And he went up and began talking to the couple. And it turns out that one of them was going to fly back to England the next day, and they wanted to get married but they weren’t sure how. So DeAmon got that information, just straight up from talking with them, and he said to the rest of us, “Well, let’s go see if we can find a minister.” And so he led us to a church we could see, we walked into this church, found the minister, and introduced these people so they could get married.

And I think everybody began to realize that there are no non-relationship possibilities. That everybody is there waiting for us, and we are waiting for somebody as well. And I know of no master of relationships that can match DeAmon Harges, who I think is also currently the Chair of Grassroots Grantmakers. But the important thing is he’s a Roving Listener, and I know everybody wants to know, DeAmon, what does a Roving Listener do?

There are no non-relationship possibilities. Everybody is there waiting for us, and we are waiting for somebody as well.

DeAmon Harges: John, thank you for the kind words you give. I do remember that like it was yesterday, that story now. Also I wanted to thank all of my friends, I was like, “Man, so many people showed up for this.” That’s really cool. Maggie, y’all did a kick-ass job.

A Roving Listener, I’m going to give you the short [version]. I’m a person who kidnaps other people to throw them on one another. Right, and my official title is I discover the gifts and talents of everyone in our community. Find a place for those gifts, celebrate those gifts, and make those gifts utilized in ways that will [lead to] community economy and mutual delight. That’s what was told to me from a good friend that witnessed what I’ve already was doing. And I think, the thing about it, when I reflect back to my grandparents and my mom, they say, “That name totally fits you. The Roving Listener.” So I realized that this was a part of something that was in my family, and it was a practice that was also deeply embedded in me, too.

John: And so, day-by-day, how does it get manifested?

DeAmon: So in the beginning, I got up, left the house about 10, went house-to-house, block-by-block, talked to the youngest to the oldest in each household. And what I really did in hindsight was be witness to what people were already doing. And that also evolved with bringing others along, my congregation supported me, so my good friend Mike Mather really encouraged and, really, was witness to my gift. And so we would have a meal at the end of the week, one of the things that’s beautiful about that geographic area, there are always two or three hospitality givers.

So right, my neighbor Januarie, who read the poem, she is one of those people who gathers people in her house. And we would call people like her together. And we would introduce people in ways that they had never been introduced before. Our neighborhood and neighborhoods like ours are currently imaged as one way, as people who need and have, but the real need is the need to be needed. And that’s what people will discover together. So we’d invite people from Community Development Corporation, our church and other churches and institutions. And the rule was, after we had these, when we had these gatherings, is that people in power couldn’t talk. They had to listen, they could ask certain questions, but they had to be intent on discovering what was invisible, until it became visible.

Our neighborhood and neighborhoods like ours are currently imaged as one way, as people who need … the real need is the need to be needed. And that’s what people will discover together.

John: So give us an idea, if we began the rove, and got up at 10 and began to knock on doors, talk with our neighbors, what would we find out that would be amazing, surprising, useful? What do you get as a result of this kind of activity?

DeAmon: Well, first is… you know, the big lesson I learned is how to be present. So, I went in there, and I remember because I had a job, I’m a stay-at-home-dad and I was proud to have this job the church helped me get, and I went and said my partners’ names. And I was immediately, when I said the church, people would shut the door in my face and then the other half who paid my salary was the Community Development Corporation. Well, often times I got the door slammed in my face, and I didn’t figure out why, but we did such a bad job at honoring people’s gifts.

But I told… I went back to Reverend Mike and I said, “I quit, man. I can’t do this, because this job is too hard.” He says, “What are you asking people?” And it was asking people about their gifts, and he says, “Well, aren’t these your neighbors?” And then the light bulb hit, so the third time I went back to the first house I went to. And I said I’m the guy that lived down the street. And the woman said to me, “Oh, you’re the one that carried that little girl, that beautiful girl on your back.” And that was the point I realized the power of just being present as a neighbor. After that, it was the granddaughter who stayed home from school who had brought me a piece of pie, and I said, “I think I know what you looking for.”

So, what I thought about is, instead of asking for a survey, what I started to learn is how to be present. And be a witness. And a witness to what? People’s gifts who often been covered up. Who are invisible. So that was the biggest [lesson]. Once that light bulb hit, I had learned the next lesson is that doing this alone is futile. So I learned to bring friends with me when I go to do visits. One, because people will think you crazy when a neighborhood is often named as not having any gifts, and you discover all these gifts, just laying around. That they don’t believe you. So it took years of that, that bringing people along could be witnesses. So I learned never do this alone. And speaking of Toronto, my friend Jack Pierpiont, who John McKnight at some point told me [about], said, “Hey, don’t do this work alone, put seven people around you.” So that will play a big value in my life later on.

The other piece to this, once you find, discover someone’s gifts, is it is a sin to waste that gift. Have any of you been ever asked to volunteer for something and then they never called back? Doesn’t feel good. So, we started, the church had, Broadway United Methodist in Indianapolis had, started to embody this work, it changed the structure and started figuring out ways that we can collectively celebrate the work that was already going on in neighborhoods that we often overlooked. So in part of that structure, I want… well, I won’t go into the big structure thing yet, but one of the things was celebrate. Celebrating has been probably the biggest capacity-building toll we use. And we will do that in worship.

We started figuring out ways that we can collectively celebrate the work that was already going on in neighborhoods that we often overlooked.

The other thing is because it’s unfair for an institution who based all of this work on need, to do and shift this work. We had to figure out a mechanism for grieving. Right? And so, what we did is built in this ecology at the church, where we brought people inside the walls of the church and outside the walls of the congregation. To say, to grieve, what wasn’t working anymore. And after that we started celebrating people’s skills. So one of the… I think one of the stories that I think about a lot was after we grieved all the things we needed to grieve in the congregation, we started celebrating, and I remember a friend of mine who taught tutoring out of her house. And I said, “Mike, where’s Mike? Hey, you got to meet this young lady, man. She teaches tutoring out of her house.” And he said, “Well, what does she teach?” And I said, “You need to just call her.”

So, he did, and he was blown away. He says, “What do you teach?” She said, “Everything from phonics to Sophocles. And at the end of the week that I would invite the parents to come to a little BBQ, and they would listen to their children read.” Now, at Broadway we had a tutoring program ourselves, and it was hard work, but we never actually got tutors from the neighborhood. We got them from Louis Pharmaceutical, we got them from the suburbs, but now we’re asking people there. So we bring her to the church, and she’s been in the programs of the church, but she’d never been in a sanctuary.

Now, when she got there, people noticed that she went to the front row, and part of our little thing we did at the… in front of the congregation, is celebrating we have… we talked about celebrating what she was doing, what she did, and we asked people to stand up. But we’re getting ready to bless her, so she’s facing the front of the church, so she didn’t realize that everybody stood up.

And then we stole from the wedding liturgy and say, “Would everybody do everything in their power to uphold and support the gifts of this young woman? Would you say we will?” And they said, “We will.” And then thunder. Then she jumped and turned around. And it was at that moment two things became visible that weren’t visible before. Here’s a group of people that didn’t look like this in this way, from the congregation that really meant well, that was had a chance to see the gift that they should be investing in, and that they wanted to. And then, the young lady looked, turned around and saw people who she never thought would be a good support of the work.

So those are examples of how the celebrating piece became very, very important in the work we do, and actually, as I evolved and my neighbors, we start to work on this work together. We evolved in that. And hence, why Januarie is partially on this call. She throws parties that sometimes invite the head of hospitals, the police department, to prepare witness to little vignettes and stories of people who have labels, right? To show that they’re using their gifts more than any social service agency across the city of Indianapolis. So that right there, Januarie is the testament. I see Annie Smith on the phone who was also… she’s the CICF Central Indiana Community Foundation Community Ambassador. She does that. So celebrating becomes the key, right? It is the place where people become their truest self, you can be witnesses without being in the party, because all you see is joy, right? People gain social capital… yeah, so there’s lots of things we underestimate by bringing, identifying the person’s skills, connecting those skills, and celebrating, celebrating those …. And it one of the key things we should be doing more.

Celebrating becomes the key. It is the place where people become their truest self.

John: One thing you just mentioned, I wonder if you could tell us a little more about. I know that one way of celebrating that is very meaningful at the neighborhood level, is to have parties. And I remember, you were telling me that rather than going downtown to make special connections with bankers or the police, whoever, what you do is have a party and invite them to it. Tell us about that.

DeAmon: So, after we evolved from that I went and I took a lot of the principles we used at Broadway, and created a little organism called The Learning Tree, where my neighbors are my business partners [the learningtrees.com]. So that’s how Januarie, if people know Wild Style, we realized that the thing that people lack was the ability to get to know each other in a true way. So we took what we was practicing at Broadway and we started bringing it to the block level. There’s a, on my website, there is a party that has a few philanthropists at it, one of them is the head of Central Indiana Community Foundation. Take a look at it, and there’s another philanthropist there. Januarie was in there.

And we had these parties and we would often video these little concerts, and we would invite… I meant, our social capital and social network not only from the neighborhood, but you would often get board members of major organizations at our place. I see Jenny and Nicole from CICF. Hey Jenny. And her compadres from the Foundation would also come to these events. And it would influence later on, we did them for about five or six years, and we started investing in other people who threw parties. And we would make sure that people would get in there and in those parties.

So here are some numbers. Out of the… in five years of throwing those parties, we often would get stories coming back, “Hey, what’s the guy that I met, can I get connected with this person?” There was about five million dollars of fiscal capital that went about 10 block radius because of these relationships. And we know that because Amanda is a good bookkeeper. Right? So we figured out what our money come through, and one of the stories that… in the story I was telling you about online, the video, there’s a lady who invested a million dollars and we were able to get that to people who fixed houses. Right? We were able to put a neighbor in a house, at cost. So, those type of things start to happen, but you have to engage people with their gifts. So that’s what was shared.

And often times at those parties, what we did first was celebrated the people who were invisible. And so we would celebrate cooks and artists, like in the first what, eight months of me starting the Roving Listener, there were 45 gardeners in a four block radius around Broadway. In my neighborhood now there are 80 in 10 blocks, right? Those often aren’t counted, and we have a food shortage. Right? There’s a guy in our neighborhood who grows peanuts. In the Midwest. About 80 to 100 pounds of those. But often you have to make a commitment to when you discovered those, figuring out how they can be utilized, and how do you celebrate that not just with each other, but with the world?

You have to make a commitment to figuring out how the gifts you’ve discovered can be utilized, and how you celebrate that not just with each other, but with the world.

So, that’s been the key to those things. And man, I really, I don’t know… I think I’ve evolved into realizing what the Roving Listeners {are], is like being a social banker.

John: They want, social banker?

DeAmon: And so the biggest currency that I’ve able… to been able to facilitate, and witness and be part of, is trust.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

DeAmon: Right? That is the currency that is undervalued in neighborhoods where people are often left out. The other is stories. My neighbor, whilst I would call him the Minister of Propaganda, but I can count the dollars that he has brought to the community because how he’s shared a story. Or Januarie and her blogs. She wrote a blog about ABCD some while ago before even knowing about what it is, and it was really cool.

So those things put perspective, when people… when artists make things, and you take pictures of things, and you video things, we would often hire people to capture stories. It is probably put us on the map as a neighborhood across the world. Right? There’s not one place we can’t go because of social capital, because of relational capital. It’s another currency.

And the often thing that I learned from Peter Block, several years ago we talked about money. Right? In our neighborhood, I didn’t realize I was part of this bigger thing that ended up happening. But this neighborhood index counted, we were part of the folks that counted money in a neighborhood that often people wouldn’t find. And one of the things, the biggest take-away I got out of that, was I started asking how many philanthropists around the block it was. And I asked that question by asking people, “How much money do you give away to your cousins and friends you never expect back. Why you do it?” And it was… some of the best answers I had was like, “Look, somebody got to contribute something.” You know? And you be surprised who the philanthropists were. So there are little things I learned along the way that helped me evolve, especially just knowing that I can’t do it alone.

John: Peter, I’m turning it over to you.

Peter Block: Well, I just want to sit here and listen for another six months. So much of what you said is so powerful. You said you grieve. Tell me about the grieving process, you said? I’d like to hear more about it, it sounded very important. As if you can’t grieve then you can’t celebrate, I think is what you’re saying.

DeAmon: Yep, absolutely.

Peter: Tell me about the nature of grieving in the context in which you’re living.

DeAmon: Man, I have to at this point give credit to my congregation, and the people who paved the way for us to think that way. I remember what we had to embody this work of abundance, you have to cultivate a structure, it’s not just good enough to say, “I know a bunch of people that got these gifts.” We have to believe them. And that takes some type of fabric that works with the stuff in there, and one of the things our church was good at is being a charity agency. So one of the things we did, and one of the things we buried really quickly was the clothing program. For like 10 years.

To celebrate you must grieve. You have to cultivate a structure for grieving. One of the things our church was good at is being a charity agency. So one of the things we buried really quickly was the clothing program.

Peter: You were grieving your own sins, I love it.

DeAmon: Yeah. And it was like, we did it together and we learned to do it collectively. And so that was powerful to say, “Well done, good and faithful servants together.” And look around, man that store cleared out within a month, and I’m telling you, we were out of clothes in there.

Peter: You buried your clothing program?

DeAmon: Yep.

Peter: That is an example that gives me the category you’re thinking about. You’re probably guaranteed… you probably buried your sports program, your GED program, your free lunch program.

DeAmon: In that… but in that one in the neighborhood, Peter, what we bury is the things we thought we couldn’t do.

What we bury is the things we thought we couldn’t do.

Peter: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

DeAmon: And that’s where parties come in, and that. That you don’t have a choice but to be celebrated at this place, because you deserve it.

Peter: Wow. Wow.

John: I wonder if we have others to join in at this point, Maggie?

Maggie: Well, it might be a good time to break into the small groups. We’ve had more people join us. Peter, would you like to maybe pose a question, so we can break into small groups for another few minutes?

Peter: I’m happy to, I just… well, also just a theme, feeling of what you’re saying, is that in these neighborhoods which we misname for a lot of reasons, there is life and philanthropy and art and energy and culture and memory and history, that is there all the time in every place. And the dominant culture ignores that. So if I’m going to go to a grieving party, I will grieve all that we and my people have ignored and chosen not to see in the world that you inhabit. So I just wanted to affirm that, and I think that’s such a powerful point.

In these neighborhoods which we misname for a lot of reasons, there is life and philanthropy and art and energy and culture and memory and history, that is there all the time in every place. And the dominant culture ignores that.

So the question, I don’t know, I think the only question that makes sense is what touched you in listening DeAmon tell the story of what the world might become? What touched you? And then if anybody has a question, don’t ever be helpful to each other. Okay? So that’s one of the ground rules of neighborhood building, is get off your help. And you’re not here to be helpful, you’re here to be curious.

John: Hard listening.

Peter: Yeah, so there’s my question. You can rearrange people. Anything you want to add, John?

John: No, that’s good. And how could you make the place that you may come from in your neighborhood, the party-giving, party-stimulating activity? What –– supposing you, and if you’re the church –– could begin to learn how the celebration together is a way into knowing each other and each other’s gifts? How could you do that?

Peter: John always has to add an action step to my question.

John: You’re right.

[small groups work]

Peter: So, welcome back. I’ve got 30 seconds, none of which touches the beauty of DeAmon, and you’ve inverted everybody’s thinking. And you’ve done it through kindness and persistence and, like you said, being present. That’s just a blessing.

Another version of what you’re saying, you’re an advocate for the common good. What you’ve inverted is private interest, the stories we have about private investment, private interests, and philanthropy. So what we’re doing with Charles and Darin and others is we started a Common Good Collective, and we want to be the place where people like you come together.

And people want to learn over time how to create communities based on our common interests, our common ownership of land, our common gifts, our common parties, is the delivery vehicle of the common good, if you ask me. And so I just want to say if you’re interested in this at all, common good collective, dot… I can never get the website right, but there’s one out there [www.commongood.cc].

And thank you for that, so thank you so much DeAmon, you’re… you’ve just flipped something out that’s very powerful. And you did it in your own neighborhood and maybe that’s the real message for all of us, is stay. If you can’t walk, don’t go.

Maybe the real message for all of us is, stay. If you can’t walk, don’t go.

DeAmon: Thank you, Peter.

Peter: Yeah, and the way you’ve been a bridge, I think people of means are looking for you and us all the time. This whole conversation of wealth disparity and the 1 percentI think is a whole joke. Anybody who has means is saying, “Where can I put it in a place that I trust?” And you as a social banker are a good delivery vehicle for me trusting, and it’s just beautiful.

Maggie: Thank you, thank you Peter. And DeAmon, thank you so much, it was a pleasure to have you here today and please thank Amanda, she is awesome. And so I’d like to just say, and then our next conversation will be on September 22, and that will be with Darryl and Stephanie Answer. And please remember to visit our website, www.abundantcommunity.com, and www.commongood.cc. So I’d like to leave you with Januarie York, who recited her poem, I think it’s not quite recite, but will share her poem with us at the end here, and thank you all for coming. So I think Januarie is here.

Januarie: Yep.

Maggie: Great, thank you.

Januarie:
All right. Again, thank you for having me and this is Coming to the Stage.

You don’t have a clue why I do what I do but I do what I do just for you.

For your freedom song to sing above the clouds and cruise at altitudes foreign to you, I want to wipe the dust over your shoulders,

I write to save the overdrawn from completely checking out

For the Norma Jeans

That get lost in between Monroe hoe tactics,

For the practical and the unpredictable

For the dancers with no balance

For the 5, 6, 7, 8, hundreds of thousands of de-throned kings cooking up rocks in pipes meant for smoking through broken antennas

I write to save the teenage girls because what if I can change her direction

Writing with the blood of the neglected

I am unprotected

Writing with the blood of the neglected

Like a fertile ***** to a ripened ******

Womb tight and pregnant, holding capitalized secrets and lowercase print

It was a cold night in December when I saw a halo hanging over a ballpoint pin

Poetry,

Is my walk-in closet

Kick your feet up in my den of lyrical equity

I do the opposite of what is expected of me,

My 5 senses would let me miss this, but the ink went blank, so I put my tongue on the tip….

And because I’m a poet,

I ain’t been right ever since

I fear my own lyrical mortality more than my final casket lay

But once I get here

In this space

My own personal Pluto

This here plateau of poetry

The proven history of this violence is that I come alive up here so much

That when you see me sitting

Consider me in my postmortem pose

Postmortem prose

Lights out!

Everybody knows that dying is easy that’s why I stay so pen sick

Almost every time I spit

And you will literally see me spit and I really hate that but-

This is me living

Taking the breath I only get to engulf when I am with you, I guess you could say I wish we lived together

Shacked up and ringless

Menage’a’life me – You, Me,

And this stage

And I don’t need a mic for this,

This is me,

Alive,

Full blown

That’s why my poems be so long because I wanna live for more than 3 minutes most times

So never mind who can’t get it, or who ain’t with it

Bullseye you shot me

But you can’t change who I am

Or alter the trail of my lyrical umbilical that leads to the lights of audience smiles

I get born again up here and I mean it

This is life up here

This is life up here

To lean forward to stand

Hoping not to disappoint this time

Hoping to come alive by rhyme

To be totally honest and 100% true,

And when I come alive on this stage,

I am secretly hoping that I can bring life,

Back to you.

Thank you.

Maggie: Thank you, Januarie, and thank you all for joining us and that’s the end of our hour today. See you next time.

“Coming to the Stage” copyright (c) 2013 Januarie York. All rights reserved.

Image: soxcleb

Going Further

About the Lead Author

DeAmon Harges
DeAmon Harges
DeAmon Harges is one of eight most influential neighborhood organizers on the ground, says the Kettering Foundation. The original “Roving Listener” as a neighbor and staff member of the Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, DeAmon’s special talent is to bring neighbors and institutions together to discover the power of being a good neighbor. He characterizes his work in general as the practice of “deep listening” and “positive deviance” from the typical models of neighborhood organizing. Read more about DeAmon and his work at The Learning Tree and the ABCD Institute website.

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The Neighborhood as a Sacred Place

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BprBr1XVxE In his keynote talk for the Parish Collective’s Inhabit 2020 At Home Conference, John draws on insights from Walter...

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...

The Six Conversations

One. The Proposition https://youtu.be/gIj4o0ygwKk Two. The Possibility https://youtu.be/8OrOKhte7TI Three. The Promise https://youtu.be/SNn2uqyuZPU Four. The Point https://youtu.be/9rpDrJGPuW8 Copyright © 2020 Peter Block. All rights reserved. Re-posted by permission. Produced for designedlearning.com and peterblock.com by Panoptic Media, Jim Prues, Creative...

Coming to the Stage

Indianapolis poet and performer Januarie York read Coming to the Stage to open and close John and Peter's August 4 Conversation with DeAmon Harges....

The Neighborhood Is the Center

About every six weeks for the last six years, John and Peter have hosted conversations with community-building social innovators as their guests. Their August...

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The Six Conversations

One. The Proposition https://youtu.be/gIj4o0ygwKk Two. The Possibility https://youtu.be/8OrOKhte7TI Three. The Promise https://youtu.be/SNn2uqyuZPU Four. The Point https://youtu.be/9rpDrJGPuW8 Copyright © 2020 Peter Block. All rights reserved. Re-posted by permission. Produced for designedlearning.com and peterblock.com by...

Becoming Trustworthy

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Rekindling Democracy: A Professional’s Guide to Working in Citizen Space

Cormac's post is an adaptation of the Introduction to his just-published book, Rekindling Democracy: A Professional's Guide to Working in Citizen...

The Disability Advantage

There is a pretty good chance you are directly or indirectly connected to the power of disability. The majority of...

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