“It is said that a gift is not a gift until it is given; it is also true to say it is not a gift until it is received. Hence why abundant communities nurture a culture of giving and receiving...”Read More
SoCe Life Blog
A journey to abundance, one day at a time.
Wow! What a day!
Today and tomorrow I am participating in the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Basics Training on the campus of DePaul University in Chicago. It was a great day; full of insights and connections to amazing, talented people from all over the world!Read More
Highlight 2: The Abundant Community Network
Throughout the summer months we saw great connections happening between neighbors and we clearly saw the importance and power of our work, however...
As some of you know, at the end of June we went on a road trip to Indy and Evanston, IL - which is on the north side of Chicago. We ate some good food while we were there. In Indianapolis we had lunch at...Read More
One of the first (if not THE first) books about Asset-Based Community Development was written by John McKnight and John Kretzmann and is called “Building Communities from the Inside Out.” It is an excellent textbook for exploring their ideas. It also reveals just how counter-intuitive, even subversive this approach to community development can be. One example of this comes from their attitude toward the “strangers” in the community. The “strangers” are people who may be marginalized because they are too young, too old, or they have been labelled in some way.
Unfortunately, the common cultural view of such people is that they are either 1) not able to contribute to the community/neighborhood (think of youth or the elderly) or even worse 2) they are a problem that needs to be fixed or removed (think of those with a criminal record). But ABCD turns that upside down because the belief of ABCD is that everyone, EVERYONE has something to contribute to the good of the community.
And so they write, “Who are the ‘strangers’ in this community? A community which pays particular attention to locating and mobilizing the gifts of the strangers in its midst is one which clearly welcomes the contributions of all its members to the community building process. ...the fact that they too are involved not as clients or recipients but as citizens and contributors can help to define this path as one which everyone can travel.” [p.347]
That is a major shift in thinking. I’ll stop there so you can think about the implications and challenges of their approach. Up next, I’ll draw in a few other sources to support this approach.