Following is a listing and description of selected organizations involved in promoting and implementing community building in the United States. For clarity, these organizations have been divided into the following categories:
These categories are not necessarily discrete, however. In most cases, community building networks provide, for example, technical assistance as do foundations and organizations identified as funders of community building. Nevertheless, these categories do help to think about the various roles and organizational frameworks involved in community building around the country.
COMMUNITY BUILDING COALITIONS AND NETWORKS
Alliance for National Renewal
National Civic League, Susan Thompson, 1445 Market Street, Suite 300, Denver, Colorado 80202-1728. 1-800-223-6004.
The National Civic League is a non-profit membership organization that "advocates a new civic agenda to create communities that work for everyone." The organization promotes the principles of collaborative problem solving and consensus-based decision making, employing technical assistance, training, publications and an awards program. The Alliance for National Renewal was initiated in May of 1994 when 130 individuals representing some 40 national and local organizations met to discuss whether a new community renwal initiative was necessary. Given the overwhelming support for the idea, the National Civic League was identified as the convener for this initiative the intent of which is to link organizations who have been previously working separately to improve communities. The Alliance has published a Guide: Alliance for National Renewal that describes some 130 organizations who are working with the alliance, their services and resources, and methods by which they may be contacted or information obtained.
Founder: Amitai Etzioni; Associate Director: Paul Downs. 2130 H. Street, N.W., Suite 714-F, Washington, D.C. 20052 (202) 994-7907 Fax (202) 994-1639.
The Communitarian Network was established in 1991 with the publication of a platform, now available in a full-book discussion (Etzioni, 1993), The Spirit of Community, written by the Network's founder, Amitai Etzioni. A Harvard professor who has written extensively on social and economic issues, Etzioni was stimulated to found this network out of a concern for a lack of balance between responsibilities and rights. The Network and platform attempts to center its attention on families as the building block of communities and the need to move beyond individual rights and self-gratification to a focus on common bonds. In the words of the platform
A Communitarian perspective recognizes that the preservation of individual liberty depends on the active maintenance of the institutions of civil society where citizens learn rspect for otehrs as well as self-respect; where we acquire a lively sense of our personal and civic responsibilities, along with an appreciation of our own rights and the rights pof otheres; where we developed the skills of self-government as well as the habit of governing ourselves and learn to serve others-not just self. A Communictarian perspective recognizes that communities and polities, too, have obligations--including the duty to be responsive to their members and to foster participation and deliberation in the public life. . .
In 1991, the 12 page platform was signed by some 70 leading politicians, both conversative and liberal, academics, and civic leaders throughout the country. In this platform the Network identifies its issues to include: family, education, neighborhoods ("how can we build community even in cities?"), crime and drugs, public health, culture, service and stewardship ("how can we create opportunities for all Americans to increase their service to their community?"), the role of values, America's morality, special interests, and community building ("how can we maintain national unity while allowing subcultures to thrive? how can we foster interracial and interethnic tolerance?").The Network, according to their own communications, "is a clearinghouse of ideas, a connecting point for interested groups and individuals, and an action center for the growing communitarian movement." The organization publishes The Responsive Community, a quarterly journal that provides a forum for dialogue on building community. It is also clear that many writers from various disciplines who have been influential in articulating community building perspectives have been actively involved in this network. These include, as examples, Robert Bellah, Diane Ravitch, Louis Sullivan, and others. The Network has clearly served a function in providing a forum that involves ideas, politics, and organizing around the struggle to discover more effective ways of supporting individuals and families and building stronger communities and policies.
Fellowship for Intentional Community P.O. Box 814, Langley, Washington 98260 (360) 221-3064. Fax (360) 221-7828. Intentional communities is a term for a wide range of options in which individuals come together, intentionally, to live cooperatively. In some cases, people live on commonly owned land, in others people live in traditional houses in typical neighborhoods but work out arrangements for common meals and other methods of sharing in their daily lives (co-housing). Such arrangements have many of their roots in utopian and community living experiments of the nineteenth century and their renewals in the communal movements of the 1960's. These efforts have quietly lasted, matured, and become more sophisticated in their approaches. National coordination and communication efforts have been substantially strengthened in the last few years. According to the organization, the Fellowship for Intentional Community was reorganized in the mid-80's to provide a mechanism for sharing information, stimulating discussion of issues. At this point in time, there are some efforts to organize regional networks. The Fellowship published its first product, the Directory of Intentional Communities, in 1991, a document which describes moe than 500 intentional communities throughout the United States. In 1993, it sponsored the first international Celebration of Community in Olympus, Washington. In the summer of 1992, the organization began publishing a journal, Community, of both practical and issue articles. The journal also facilitates networking of information and additional publication resources including numerous books and videotapes on the practicalities of intentional communities. The Coop Access Project, coordinated by Deborah Altus at the University of Kansas, is gathering information about the involvement of persons with disabilities in cooperative living from around the country.
National Community Building Network
Mr. Ed Ferran, Program Associate, 672 13th Street, Suite 200Oakland CA 94612Phone: 510-893-2404Fax: 510-893-6657
The National Community Building Network (NCBN) is an alliance of locallydriven urban initiatives working to reduce poverty and create social andeconomic opportunity through comprehensive community-building strategies.NCBN's goals are to share experiences and lessons among urban initiatives,and to use its collective expertise to shape and develop community-building policies. The Steering Committee of the National Community Building Network includes representatives from: Atlanta, GA: The Atlanta Project; Baltimore, MD: Community-Building in Partnership (Sandtown-WinchesterProject); Boston, MA: Boston Persistent Poverty Project; Chicago, IL: The Chicago Initiative; Cleveland, OH: Center for Urban Poverty and Social Change; ClevelandCommunity-Building Initiative; Denver, CO: Piton Foundation Poverty Project; Detroit, MI: Neighborhood and Family Initiative; Kansas City, MO: Project Early; Little Rock, AR: New Futures for Little Rock Youth; Los Angeles, CA: Community Build, Inc.; Memphis, TN: Neighborhood and Family Initiative; Milwaukee, WI: Neighborhood and Family Initiative; New York, NY: Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program; Neighborhood Strategies Project; Oakland, CA: Urban Strategies Council; Phoenix, AZ: Chicanos Por La Causa; San Antonio, TX: Partnership for Hope; Savannah, GA: Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority; Washington, DC: Committee on Strategies to Reduce Chronic Poverty.
Pew Partnership for Civic Change
Ms. Suzanne W. MorseDirector145-C Ednam DriveCharlottesville VA 22903Phone: 804-971-2073Fax: 804-971-7042Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pew Partnership for Civic Change is a national program, funded by thePew Charitable Trusts, to address problems in smaller American cities. Theinitiative encourages collaboration between public, private, andnot-for-profit sectors in communities; profiles urban issues in the contextof developing strategies for systemic change; and suggests new models forstrengthening communities. The Pew Partnership is working with 15 citiesacross the nation to implement community-wide collaborations to addressspecific issues, including youth development, workforce preparation, andneighborhood revitalization. The Pew Partnership also supports a researchinitiative that profiles the issues facing smaller cities and an outreachprogram to disseminate strategies to communities facing similar challenges.Pew Partnership for Civic Change's Fifteen Grant Recipients include the following: Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Utica, New York; Peoria, Illinois; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Albany, Georgia; Asheville, North Carolina; Fargo, North Dakota; Eugene, Oregon; Charleston, South Carolina; Rapid City, South Dakota; Longview and Tyler, Texas; Waco, Texas; Danville, Virginia; Charleston, West Virginia
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE ORGANIZATIONS
ADA Vantage, Inc.
Ms. Dianne Chasen Lipsey, 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20036 Phone: 202-296-2328 Fax: 202-659-5234
ADA Vantage, Inc., works to provide community-based strategies for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The organization provides nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and businesses with both technical assistance and training and facilitates community meetings for planning ADA compliance. ADA Vantage fosters diversity awareness and encourages alternative dispute resolution techniques among its clients.
Center for Community Change
Mr. Andy Mott, NFI Field Coordinator & Community Planning Specialist, 1000 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.Washington DC 20007Phone: 202-342-0519Fax: 202-342-1132
The Center for Community Change is a national organization that helps buildthe capacity of low-income and minority community organizations to solvecritical problems. Through technical assistance and training, the Centeraddresses the unique needs and requests of each community, and helpsresidents improve their local economic and social conditions.
Mr. Juan Sepulveda, Management Team311 Mistletoe, Apt. 1San Antonio TX 78212Phone: 210-734-8809 Fax: 210-735-876.
The Common Enterprise (TCE) is dedicated to the revitalization of democracyand citizenship through collaborative problem-solving efforts. Inparticular, it promotes and catalyzes public dialogue about solvingcommunity problems and bridging widening societal gulfs such as race,ideology, economics, gender, generations, and religion.
Community Design Exchange
Mr. Ronald Thomas500 E. Pike StreetSeattle WA 98122Phone: 206-329-2919Fax: 206-720-6201
Community Designs Exchange is a non-profit corporation which provides publicparticipation process design, facilitation and media communicationsassistance to government, non-profit and public interest organizations.CDE's nationwide experience includes neighborhood programs and communityvision planning, strategic planning and public policy development,electronic town meetings and citizen-based comprehensive planning. Many CDE programs include training and leadership development to facilitate thetransformation from expect-driven to participatory management practices.
Community Partnership/Partners for Livable Communities
Mr. Bob McNultyPresident 1429 21st Street, N.W.Washington DC 20036 Phone: 202-887-5990Fax: 202-466-4845
Partners for Livable Communities is an international network of more than1,000 organizations committed to improving community well-being througheconomic development, social equity and quality of life. Throughpublications, networking, leadership training and technical assistance,Partners works to create realistic strategies and creative programs for itsconstituents. Partners' "State of the American Communities" (1994) profiles100 successful community-building projects nationwide.
Foundation for Community Encouragement
Founder: Scott Peck, P.O. Box 449, Ridgefield, Connecticut 068677 (203) 431-9484 FAX (203) 431-9349.
The Foundation for Community Encouragement has grown out of the work of Scott Peck to provide assistance, first to individuals as a psychotherapist, and later as a community-building group facilitator. According to Peck, our problems must go beyond our looking towards individual achievement and psychological adjustment. In his words, "in and through community lies the salvation of the world. Nothing is more important. Yet it is virtually impossible to describe community meaningfully to someone who has never experienced it. . . Still the attempt must be made. For the human race today stands at the brink of self-annihilation" (Peck, 1987, p. 17). Peck has developed an approach to community building in which he conducts intensive workshops with individuals with the intent of forming a community where people connect with one another and are mutually supportive. Interestingly, he sees community building as most central and likely to succeed, not in churches or other organizations whose supposed purpose is community, but in business. According to his experience, business and work is where people most spend their time; if community breaks down there, the cost is most expensive for the organization as well as for the psychological health of the individual. According to Peck, for efficient and effective work to be done, building community among people must occur first.
Program for Community Problem Solving
Ms. Marci DuPrawSenior Associate915 15th Street NWWashington DC 20005Phone: 202-783-2961Fax: 202-347-2161
The Program for Community Problem Solving (PCPS) helps community leaders all over the country to enhance their abilities to "get things done" with collaborative decision-making tools. PCPS assists communities in using collaborative approaches for a wide array of undertakings, such as longrange planning, service delivery, conflict resolution and programimplementation as well as problem solving. PCPS offers training, technical assistance, consultation and publications for community leaders, as well as facilitation and mediation where the project will impact multiplecommunities or expand the way communities use consensus-building tools.
United Way of America: Office of Community Building
Curtis E. Johnson, Director, 701 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-2045. (703) 683-7835. FAX (703 549-9152.
The Community Building program of the United Way of America has been established to promote and coordinate community building efforts among United Way organizations throughout the United States. The office has developed a publication that highlights such community building initiatives among United Way affiliates in local communities.
LOCAL COMMUNITY BUILDING INITIATIVES
Atlanta Community Foundation
Ms. Alicia Phillips, Executive Director, The Hurt Building, Suite 449Atlanta GA 30303Phone: 404-688-5525 Fax: 404-688-3060
The Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation is an active part of Atlanta'sphilanthropic community working to build a stronger city. The Foundation promotes charitable giving; protects and manages assets of donor funds; andprovides and monitors grants to nonprofit organizations.
Boston Persistent Poverty Project
Ms. Charlotte Kahn, Director, One Boston Place, 24th Floor, Boston MA 2108
The Boston Persistent Poverty Project is a broad-based, collaborativecampaign to eradicate chronic, intergenerational poverty in the Boston community. The Project draws from Boston's grassroots and religiousorganizations, neighborhood residents, public agencies, corporate boardrooms, labor, community and academic institutions, and media outlets forexpertise and leadership. Sponsored by the Boston Foundation, the Projectbegan in 1988 as part of a national anti-poverty initiative of TheRockefeller Foundation to develop and implement effective local strategiesto address the cyclical nature of urban poverty.
Central Oklahoma 2020
Mr. Zack Taylor, Project Director, 6600 North Harvey Place, #200Oklahoma City OK 73116-7913 Phone: 405-848-8961 Fax: 405-840-9470
Central Oklahoma 2020, a yearlong regional strategic planning effort, wasguided by almost 100 volunteers, an executive director and a National CivicLeague consultant. Begining in 1993, and with constant feedback from CentralOklahoma citizens, participants outlined a regional vision and actionsneeded to realize the vision. The process yielded a list of individuals andorganizations committed to 12 specific initiatives, includung creatinggrass-roots family support centers, a citizens league, a regional mayorsround table and a regional environmental task force.
Cleveland Community Building Initiative
Henry Goodman, Chairperson, Cleveland Foundation Commission on Poverty.
The Cleveland Initiative has grown out of efforts of the Cleveland Foundation's Commission on Poverty to develop action plans that would address poverty in the city. A comprehensive process was taken to develop an action plan that involved substantial input by people in neighborhoods throughout the city. They produced a document entitled: The Cleveland Community Building Initiative: the Report and Recommendations of the Cleveland Foundation on Poverty that is providing the framework for their efforts. The approach taken is based on the following principles: (1) the plan must be comprehensive and integrated; (2) strategies should be tailored to individual neighborhoods; (3) an individual community's strategy should begin with an inventory of its assetts, not its deficits; (4) local communities themselves must be actively involved in shaping strategies and choices; and (5) the approach should be tested over several years in three pilot areas and carefully evaluated prior to an attempt to transplant it to other Cleveland neighborhoods.
Funds for the Community's Future
Mr. David Milner1133 15th Street N.W., Suite 605Washington DC 20005 Phone: 202-331-0592Fax: 202-331-0594
Funds for the Community's Future (FCF) is a national, non-profit organization which seeks to motivate and assist students and residents in poorer neighborhoods to invest in the future of their community and young people. FCF Community Coordinators encourage people to launch and then support a local neighborhood investment fund. FCF coordinators then work with residents to conduct service projects, organize events, grant scholarships from the fund, and start new businesses.
LOCALLY-BASED COMMUNITY BUILDING INTERMEDIARY UNITS
Urban Strategies Council, Oakland, California
Ed Ferran, 672 13th Street, Suite 200Oakland CA 94612Phone: 510-893-2404Fax: 510-893-6657
The Urban Strategies Council serves community building efforts in Oakland, California by serving as a convener of multiple partiies, providing training and technical assistance, facilitating linkages of people and organizations,
COMMUNITY BUILDING FUNDERS
An increasing number of foundations are focussing on community building as an organizing framework, particularly related to addressing issues of poverty in both urban and rural areas. Some of the foundations who have taken leadership in this regard include the following:
Federation of State Humanities Councils.
Ms. Esther Macintosh1600 Wilson BoulevardArlington VA 22209Phone: 703-908-9700Fax: 703-908-9706
The Federation of State Humanities Councils is the national representative of the state humanities councils. Its purpose is to strengthen the councils'ability to fulfill their missions and to serve as the national voice andadvocate the humanities in American life. It has just launched a newprogram, the Humanities and Public Engagement Project, which seeks toconnect humanities scholars to their communities.
To date, only a few agencies use concepts of community building. Central among these, however, are the following:
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
AmeriCorps (the implementing organization for the community service program passed early in the Clinton Administration)