You're part of a movement!
There are many of us out there working to promote positive, networked strategies for the common good. This is one place to connect.
We are currently working to develop an online networking and resource site for the sharing and development of Asset Mapping and related positive strategies. Watch this space for more information.
For now, you may network with Luther thru these social media, and I'll be happy to receive a friend request from you. Please add a message explaining your interest or connection, thank you!Contact us
if you would like to exchange links on our website and yours. We'll list those links in the section below.
And contact us if you would like to propose other networking. Have coffee?
Clients, Colleagues, and Co-Creators in this Movement.
How did we
first start focusing on "assets" instead of "needs" in community work? It really starts with John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann, authors of Building Community from the Inside Out
and founders of the Asset Based Community Development Institute at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University.
I have worked with McKnight and Kretzmann since the mid 1980's when I was active in inner-city Chicago with faith-based and community economic development. They have been mentors and friends to me. I authored two books and contributed to a third published by the ABCD Institute, produced some of the presentation materials and teaching concepts used in the field, and serve as a member of the loose knit Faculty Network. Click here to read more about my connection to the ABCD Institute.
Blog: Positive Structures
My friend David Friedman started this blog and asked me to co-author. The blog compares and contrasts various tools, systems, and approaches that help groups of people build on our appreciation of strengths and assets. Asset Mapping is one of these, and I'm contributing some of my learnings to the discussion. David is a principal at Bridgewell Partners, and somebody I look to as a like-minded colleague in the corporate world.
Email Newsletter: Grassroots Grantmakers
Email Newsletter: Grassroots Grantmakers
is a great interest group for philanthropists, foundation executives, public officials, and anyone interested in the support of local, grassroots communitiy initiative. The organization is led by Janis Foster, a colleague of mine on the Faculty Network of the ABCD Institute and a member of the Editorial Committee for the publication of The Organization of Hope: A Workbook for Rural Asset-Based Community Development
. I like the newsletter, and check out the rest of the site for Janis's blog, coming events, and information on becoming a member.
Website: Alban Institute
The Alban Institute published my book, The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts
. This is a well-respected consulting organization for congregations that has developed a significant catalog of publications and other resources. I've been impressed by their movement and growth in positive and networked approaches.
Website: Insight Center
for Community Economic Development
The Insight Center for Community Economic Development is a national research, consulting, and legal organization dedicated to building health and opportunity in vulnrerable communities. I first connected with the organization 20 years ago, when it provided key support and training to the grassroots community economic development groups I staffed in Chicago. I now serve on the Board of Directors. Current projects include sector-based industry and workforce development, economic security and asset development, the wealth gap in race and gender, and the significance of early childhood development to economic development.
Website: Consumer's Energy
Small Town and Rural Development
Consumer's Energy is a utility serving much of rural Michigan. They've been leaders in the promotion and development of Positive Rural Development in the state. I work with staff leaders of the utility to facilitate a version of my Asset Mapping process in rural communities. Consumer's has published a set of handouts for rural community leaders
, covering the most useful and well-regarded strategies in the field or rural development. They make these resources available on their website.
Website: The Nova Group
The Nova Group is a consulting organization who support innovation in higher education. I've worked with the founder, Monica Manning,herself a former Dean, and find her dedicated to real college and university engagement. I especially appreciate the Nova Group's passion for rural campuses and community colleges. and they have a nifty online learning resource.
Website: Consulting for Change
Consulting for Change founder, friend and colleague Adina Abramowitz is a financial whiz and a results manager. She has a long track record of work in community development finance and operations. We've teamed on consultations with organizations, with very nice results!
Ning: Tutor/Mentor Connection
is a wonderful example and a model of a networked initiative for positive change. At its heart, T/M C provides a clearinghouse for adults who want to volunteer with youth, and youth-serving opportunities. From there it grows in a "dynamic exchange of ideas," as their Ning discussion group
illustrates. See also the main website
for Tutor/Mentor Connection.
Shorebank is a global pioneer in social enterprise. When I was working in South Shore in the early 80's, they were one of the first "community development banks," aimed at sparking reinvestment in the inner city. Since then I've been pleased and proud to see my old friend go on to prove and test the idea that you can "do well by doing good," in microenterprise, environmental banking, and women's empowerment.
Website: Great Cities Institute / UIC
One of the oldest and most active University Engagement initiatives is at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Friend and colleague Martin Berg, expert in marketing for non-profits, is an instructor with this program. Other good folks I can vouch for include Lauri Alpern, Bob Brehm, Joan Flanagan, Mary Heidkamp, Noah Jenkins, G. Sequane Lawrence, Jean Pogge, Kate Privera, and Deborah Strauss. A top bunch of committed and expert folks!
Among national denominations, the United Methodist Church has done as much as any to apply and spread Asset Based Community Development in church life. The Communities of Shalom initiative supports faith-based and grassroots community development efforts in urban, rural, and suburban contexts. David Cooper is an experienced consultant in these efforts, an ABCD practitioner, and the principal behind the Shalom-Makers consulting outfit.
Website: Leave No Veteran Behind
Roy Brown and Eli Williamson are two committed and talented men who served in Iraq, came back, and are really doing something about the circumstances facing veterans in our society. They started Leave No Veteran Behind, a non-profit that works to eliminate the educational debt of veterans, while employing vets in community development, like helping inner-city students get to school safely.
My friend Chinwe Onyeagoro and her colleagues at O-H Community Partners have created a website with a wealth of information for small businesses seeking alternative financing. Presented in a simple, straightforward way, it will help strengthen community partnerships for positive economic development.