NFG Community Organizing Toolbox

colist-admin at colist-admin at
Mon May 7 11:59:23 CDT 2001

[ed:  Helen responds to Larry in this installment of the expert vs. 
community knowledge discussion.]

From: "Hartnett, Helen P" <helenh at>

larry, i am thinking that your idea that any community willing to believe
someone with a phd ends up contaminated? why is this?  is it that education
breeds bad relationships with communities?  yes, those of us with phd's have
a need to publish, but many of us have a need to research (personal
interest) and to do so in ways that are practical and that make a difference
for people.  i understand the university skepticism, but the person is who
should be examined.  i think this is true in all facets of community work.
for example, who participates in a community?  are those people
representative or the elite? how often have we experienced that people in a
community are controlled by few voices, and that those are the voices in
power.  to me the issue is power, not letters after a name.  it is how we
choose to use the power we have.  as community workers we all have it,
everybody has it, so yes, "knowledge is not power-alone", but it can assist
in moving local power forward.

*****a note to larry remember me?  ohio coalition for the homeless days?

helen p. hartnett
social welfare
university of Kansas

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