Wrestling with the E...

Last summer when we asked more than fifty of Historic Brookland Park residents, “If you could change anything about your neighborhood, what would you change?” The number one response was, “I would like to know my neighbors better.” That is how “stronger community connectedness” become the top...

Baltimore in Our Bac...

The images of smoldering buildings, cars in flames, mobs of angry youth and rampant looting of businesses right here in our own country shocked our nation. Some see these images and label the mobs as thugs, opportunists, or a lost generation.  Some count the cost of the devastation and...

Turning Strangers in...

The extent of hospitality becomes a measure of the belief that people have in their community.  John McKnight and Peter Block   This past week the bi-annual Communities First Association (CFA) conference was hosted here in Richmond, Va.  Fellow ABCD intermediaries from across North...

Community Outreach i...

In a recent blog post at the Collective Impact Forum titled “The Problem with Community Outreach,” James Capraro makes a very important distinction. “In many instances community development efforts start by first identifying problems and then posing solutions. After this initial set of...

The Messy Way of Com...

“Volunteerism was never designed to be efficient, only satisfying. Systems were never designed to be satisfying, only efficient. If productivity and low-cost results are our main purpose, the community way will frustrate us.” McKnight and Block Saturday evening my neighbor Anita hosted a...

Starting the Convers...

As an African American woman who was raised in Richmond, Virginia, Sadie has endured a multitude of experiences of overt racism.  As a little girl she remembers crosses burning in the white community on the hill overlooking her black neighborhood of Fulton Bottom.  She remembers the roar of...

Making the Shift fro...

“Seek the shalom (peace and prosperity) of the place to which I have called you. Pray to the Lord for it, because in its shalom, you too will find shalom. “ Jeremiah 29:7 The shift from focusing on a “cause” to building a “community” is often the most difficult shift for congregations to...

Making the Abundance...

“Citizens create satisfaction by recognizing their individual capacities and skills. We begin to see that the neighborhood is a treasure chest. By opening the chest and putting the gifts together in many different ways, we multiply the power of its riches.”  McKnight and Block Over the past...

3 Approaches to Pove...

We have all heard the phrase, “Give a man a fish, feed him for the day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”  This phrase assumes there are two approaches to alleviating poverty: Relief: giving fish in order to meet physical needs. Individual Betterment: teaching people to fish by...

Doing the Work: A Jo...

I’m writing this blog post in preparation for a journey that I am taking this week.  It is called a Sankofa Journey and I am participating in the event hosted by the Evangelical Covenant Church.  Below is a description: A Journey Toward Racial Righteousness The Sankofa Journey is an...