Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Over the last few weeks, Jackson Free Press freelancers and reporters have asked various community members the following question: What makes your neighborhood special?
What we found was that Jacksonians have intense pride for their city and are passionate about their neighborhoods. This GOOD issue (inspired by the national GOOD magazine) is a guide to making your neighborhoods more sustainable, fun and a safer place to live. Making a community stronger begins with neighborhoods. Neighbors who engage with each other are more likely to participate in civic discussions and take efforts to improve their community.
We hope that this issue inspires you and gives you the tools and ideas to knock on your neighbor's door, volunteer with a community building nonprofit or find funding for a community park.
Community Connections: Bringing neighbors and friends together
Meet Your Neighbors
Who You Gonna Call?
Community Organizing 101
Viva La Sharalution!
Know Your Ward
How to Renovate a Park
How to: Get your Neighborhood in Shape
Doggie Do's and Don'ts
Community Building Non-Profits
You Are Invited...
In his book, "Community: The Structure of Belonging" (Berrett-Koehler, 2008, $26.95), Peter Block warns that creating sustainable community change must start with an invitation to change the conversation. "Invitation is a call to create an alternative future," he writes in a free PDF booklet on his website, http://www.asmallgroup.net.
"A powerful invitation must contain a hurdle or demand if accepted," he continues. It is a challenge to engage. It declares, ‘We want you to come, but if you do, here is what will be required from you.'"
You can't "enroll" people in efforts for sustainable change; then change becomes a "self-inflicted wound," he says. The task, he says, is to "name the debate, issue the invitation and provide the space for those who choose to show up."
Block gives invaluable advice on how to do all three in his book and on the Small Group website. We invite you to read more and be inspired to get more involved in your community.