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Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers

Posted by Liz Weaver in February 2019

In this paper, Liz Weaver describes three elements that every changemaker needs when approaching complex challenges - a mindset shift, an agile and adaptable approach, and knowledge and skills in each of the five interconnected practice areas.

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The Impact of Embracing Asset-Based Community Development

Posted by Heather Keam on July 2, 2019

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is about looking at the gifts and assets that exist within a neighbourhood and allowing people to respond to and create local opportunities. How do you use local assets and gifts to guide a city to increase the social fabric and deepen community? Howard Lawrence, who lives in a neighbourhood in Edmonton, had the answer to this question - Abundant Community.  Howard saw the power of neighbouring and wanted the city to experience the richness of neighbours sharing their gifts, knowledge, skills and abilities to improve their neighbourhood.

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Yes We Can! Reduce Poverty

Posted by Elle Richards on June 27, 2019

Our May Webinar welcomed speakers from the United Way of Central Iowa: OpportUNITY Director Seth Johnson and Dr. Helene Fein, Director of Community Impact Services, along with Stephen Lynn, Coordinator of Social Planning from City of Windsor’s Pathway to Potential. Weaving a story on how they got here and what it means, the speakers shared their data on achievements and discussed how small actions lead collectively to big impacts.

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Why We Should Talk About Poverty and Health

Posted by Kirsti Battista on June 25, 2019

“Does your doctor know how much money you make? Because they probably should…” is the opening line in the May 1st episode of The Big Story podcast by host Jordan Heath-Rawlings. Heath-Rawlings goes on to suggest, “What if the easiest way to lessen the burden of poverty on people and on our health care system was to just give people enough money to live healthy lives?”

Shortly thereafter, Jordan introduces his interview guest, Dr. Gary Bloch, a Family Physician at St Michael's Hospital and an Associate Professor with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

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What if Parishes Got Involved in Poverty Reduction?

Posted by Thomas Sweetser on June 21, 2019

David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote on the Op-Ed page for Friday, April 5, 2019, “Jesus said the poor will always be among us, but there are a lot of people in Canada testing that proposition. According to recently released data, between 2015 and 2017, Canada reduced its official poverty rate by at least 20 percent.” The effort was not just to move people out of poverty, but to eradicate poverty altogether. It meant asking the question, “What does a vibrant community look like in which everybody’s basic needs are being met.” 

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Think Large, Act to Enable the Small

Posted by Kerri Davis on June 20, 2019

The statement that resonated with me throughout the ABCD: Healthy Neighbourhood, Healthy Cities conference in Edmonton (May 28-30), was made by Cormac Russell, “nothing for us, without us.” As an employment coordinator working with individuals with disabilities, we pride ourselves on our focus on “person-centered planning” and “individual service plan goals”. We constantly think how we can improve our practices so that we can better serve those in our program, and help them reach their goals.

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Just Do It!

Posted by Catherine Toole on June 19, 2019

When a major 3-day conference on Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), the foundation of Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE), came to Edmonton in the last week of May, I thought, “Just do it” and jumped at the chance to get involved. Some of the original “thought leaders” who have developed ABCD over the last 30 years, such as John McKnight (himself!), Cormac Russell (from Ireland) and Jim Diers (Seattle) were presenters. Other outstanding presenters included Vickie Cammack, who spoke on Natural Caring, Paul Born from the Tamarack Institute, and Al Etmanski…the list goes on. And people came from all over— Canada, Florida to California, and even Australia. It was fabulous! Tours showcased some of the ACE neighbourhoods. We heard amazing stories! It deepened my understanding of ABCD and further fuelled my commitment to build more connection in my own community.

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