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The Popular Education and Community Organizing Collection Annotated Bibliography

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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:02 am


Building Communities From the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing A Community's Assets


John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight


The Asset-Based Community Development Institute







ACTA Publications, 4848 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640, phone 800-397-2282





This book is based on the idea that communities cannot be rebuilt by focusing on their needs, problems, and deficiencies. Rather, community building starts with the process of locating the assets, skills and capacities of residents, citizens associations, and local institutions. The basic framework and contents of the guide are summarized as follows. Chapter One. Releasing Individual Capacities introduces ways to find and use the gifts and talents of local people. Helpful tools such as a "capacity inventory" are introduced. People who are sometimes thought not to have many talents and gifts receive particular attention. Brief sections suggest ways to find and mobilize the capacities of young people, people with disabilities, older people, people experiencing welfare, and local artists. Chapter Two. Releasing the Power of Local Associations and Organizations describes how hundreds of groups of local people across the country come together to solve problems on a voluntary basis. Methods for locating and activating these groups, which we call "associations," are introduced. Churches and cultural organizations, two important types of community-building associations, receive special attention. Chapter Three. Capturing Local Institutions for Community Building describes how local institutions enter into strong community partnerships with each other, as well as with local residents and citizens associations. The institutional "assets" that receive particular emphasis, and whose community-building stories are summarized, include parks, libraries, schools, community colleges, police, and hospitals. Chapter Four. Rebuilding the Community Economy highlights three ways in which communities can capture and build upon the economic assets that are already in place. First, the chapter outlines stories and strategies in which the budgets and resources of local institutions such as schools, libraries, and hospitals can help to build the local economy. Second, two community-based structures designed to capture savings and provide local credit are described. Finally, the chapter outlines successful efforts to reclaim the often hidden physical assets of the community such as abandoned space and waste materials. Chapter Five. Asset-Based Community Development: Mobilizing an Entire Community summarizes the community-building process and describes briefly the five key steps: Step 1-Mapping Assets Step 2-Building Relationships Step 3-Mobilizing for Economic Development and Information Sharing Step 4-Convening the Community to Develop a Vision and a Plan Step 5-Leveraging Outside Resources to Support Locally Driven Development Chapter six. Providing Support for Asset-Based Development: Policies and Guidelines suggests ways in which people and institutions from outside the community can support asset-based community- building activity. Examples of guidelines for foundations as well as some modest advice for governments are included.




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