Mobilizing Communities

Mobilizing Communities: Asset Building as a Community Development Strategy

Gary Paul Green
Ann Goetting
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Temple University Press
Pages: 204
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  • Book Info
    Mobilizing Communities
    Book Description:

    As communities face new social and economic challenges as well as political changes, the responsibilities for social services, housing needs, and welfare programs are being placed at the local government level. But can community-based organizations address these concerns effectively? The editors and contributors toMobilizing Communitiesexplore how these organizations are responding to these challenges, and how asset-based development efforts can be successful.

    eISBN: 978-1-4399-0088-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. 1 Community Assets: Building the Capacity for Development
    (pp. 1-13)
    Gary Paul Green

    Communities are facing new and more powerful challenges to their survival. Globalization threatens the economic base of many of them. International markets create new competition among localities for capital investments and generate pressures to lower labor costs. Globalization also makes it more difficult for communities to plan for the future because of the mobility of capital and labor. In many respects, globalization reflects a new stage in the process by which communities have become integrated into the larger society and economy over the past century (Warren 1978).

    Other social and economic changes also make it more challenging for communities to...

  4. 2 Investing in the Double Bottom Line: Growing Financial Institutions in Native Communities
    (pp. 14-47)
    Sarah Dewees and Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy

    In the past twenty years, more and more tribal governments and Nativeled nonprofit organizations have mobilized to address the multifaceted economic challenges facing their communities. These efforts represent an innovative way to begin to repair the damage wrought by years of colonial and postcolonial control of Indian communities in North America. Yet they also represent an important model of economic development— one that mobilizes local institutions to create local solutions to respond to the changes in global capital markets and the increasing flow of capital and other resources away from rural areas. This chapter focuses on one type of institution...

  5. 3 Asset-Based Community Development in Alabama’s Black Belt: Seven Strategies for Building a Diverse Community Movement
    (pp. 48-67)
    Emily Blejwas

    In a global economy, rural communities must pursue new economic strategies to remain viable. Many communities are choosing strategies that build on inherent community assets instead of seeking to recruit outside industries. This chapter documents one town’s use of asset-based community development in Alabama’s Black Belt. Examining the challenges and successes of the art movement in the town of York, Alabama allows a glimpse into how asset-based community development works and offers other communities concrete strategies for building diverse, cohesive movements.

    The town of York—population 2,500—sits at the far west edge of Alabama’s Black Belt, well over one...

  6. 4 The Politics of Protected Areas: Environmental Capital and Community Conflict in Guatemala
    (pp. 68-91)
    Michael L. Dougherty and Rocío Peralta

    In San Cristóbal Verapaz, Guatemala, peasant groups sought to improve sanitation infrastructure in order to mitigate the degradation of a local lake without limiting access to the environmental services that the lake provided to poor households. Local elites appropriated this process by converting it into an initiative to declare the lake and its watershed a protected area. These local elites, in cooperation with functionaries and politicians at the national level, sought to use the declaration of the area as protected to further their political aims. The findings of a group of consultants, hired by the local elites to plan the...

  7. 5 Linking Cultural Capital Conceptions to Asset-Based Community Development
    (pp. 92-111)
    Rhonda Phillips and Gordon Shockley

    Cultural capital is an increasingly popular topic both from perspectives of economic-oriented analysis and in the context of community-based applications exploring societal accumulation and its outcomes. With its ascendancy, conceptual ideas about cultural capital and perceptions of it are changing. Prior definitions focused on arts and heritage, but new understandings and applications are now continually evolving.

    Beyond arts and heritage, cultural capital encompasses various elements to include “diverse traditions, values, place, and social history…. The stock of cultural capital, both tangible and intangible, is what we inherit from past generations and what we will pass onto future generations. Overall, it...

  8. 6 Neighborhood Approaches to Asset Mobilization: Building Chicago’s West Side
    (pp. 112-129)
    John P. Kretzmann and Deborah Puntenney

    In a volume that explores asset-focused strategies for developing communities, few places could be a more appropriate source of rich examples than the City of Chicago. Its extraordinary history of community building and organizing—from Jane Addams through Saul Alinsky, the Civil Rights Movement, and today’s wide variety of effective community development organizations—reflects the leading role Chicago has played in the invention of powerful neighborhood-based approaches to community improvement.

    This chapter will highlight the asset-based strategies employed by two of the leading community development groups on Chicago’s west side, the Westside Health Authority (WHA) and Bethel New Life. They...

  9. 7 Natural Amenities and Asset-Based Development in Rural Communities
    (pp. 130-145)
    Gary Paul Green

    Community assets can refer to the untapped skills, interests, and experiences of individuals; the potential social relationships embedded in community organizations; and the underutilized resources of local institutions. Asset-based development attempts to unlock these resources to benefit local residents (Kretzmann and McKnight 1993). Communities often begin the community development process by identifying problems or concerns—that is, performing a needs assessment. In many cases, needs assessments are conducted by outside organizers, consultants, or experts. Relying on external resources tends to incapacitate communities and makes them dependent on outsiders. Experts have limited understanding of the local resources that can enhance community...

  10. 8 Implementing Community Development in the Mississippi Delta: The Effect of Organizations on Resident Participation
    (pp. 146-176)
    Mark H. Harvey and Lionel J. Beaulieu

    For more than four decades, community-based initiatives to develop distressed areas have achieved limited success (Clark, Southern, and Beer 2007; Giloth and Dewitt 1995; Green and Haines 2002; Richards and Dalbey 2006). With few exceptions (see Medoff and Sklar 1994), the goal of building the leadership skills of a new cadre of local residents and empowering them to become more active players in community-improvement activities has proved to be more of a pipe dream than a reality. Too often, such programs have failed to garner participation beyond the usual suspects—local power brokers and community-based nonprofit organizations (such as community...

  11. 9 Lessons Learned
    (pp. 177-188)
    Gary Paul Green

    Asset-based community development represents a significant transformation in how community building is practiced. John Kretzmann and John McKnight conceptualized this new approach to community building in their bookBuilding Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets(1993). Since its publication, numerous organizations and communities have sought to build communities through the enhancement and leveraging of local resources.

    In this volume, we present one of the first attempts to critically examine community asset-based development strategies. Our goal was to identify common issues and concerns, as well as build a stronger conceptual basis for community...

  12. Contributors
    (pp. 189-192)
  13. Index
    (pp. 193-195)