query: community coaches

colist at comm-org.wisc.edu colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Thu Apr 5 17:34:27 CDT 2007

[ed:  Cheryl continues the discussion.]

From: "Cheryl Honey" <wecare at familynetwork.org>

I got such a chuckle out of Carol's comments about the term "community
coach." We call our organizers "Community Weavers". No controversy with 
term - in fact it's attracting a lot of attention. Community Weavers do not
have the power over gene of Alinsky, who's philosophy was to take back that
which was taken away. Weavers tend to give back to community to expand
capacity by tapping creative ingenious of participants to solve problems
within the capacity of the group. They organize to build social capital and
engage citizens to take responsibility for what they love. Some love
tutoring, others love to organize block parties, while others spearhead
social movements. I wrote a paper called Community Organizing: Past, 
and Future on the Comm-Org website. It describes the shift taking place in
community organizing. Robert Fisher wrote a book called, "Let the People
Decide" which describes how "the cause" shapes organizing efforts. John
McKnight's book "The Careless Society: Community and it's counterfeits" is
the impetus for my pioneering work of a social change method called
"Community Weaving" It's Chapter 42 of the Change Handbook (2nd Ed.)
published by Berrett-Koehler.  The "how to's" of community organizing is
shifting with the advent of technology. Move-on and NRDC are great examples
of "techno-organizing" efforts to affect change. You are right about how
some terms are more appealing than others. I just won the Jefferson Award
www.aips.org for my contribution to creating a more caring, just and civil
society through Community Weaving. It's really a community organizing 
with a lot of bells and whistles. The quandry I find myself in is I really
don't know what to call myself. Organizer, activist, peacekeeper or a
creative who finally found an outlet to express what has meaning to me.
Weaving community a new consciousness of people who consume less and share
more and provide a sanctuary where my children will be cared about. That's
my motivation. Appreciate how you sparked this dialogue. \

Cheryl Honey
Master Weaver & 2007 Jefferson Award winner
Bothell, WA
> From: "Carol McCullough" <CMcCullough at TNRC.net>
> Perhaps I am being a little dense here, but precisely how does a 
> "community coach" differ from an organizer?  It just sounds like a new 
> name (albeit one that could sound more appealing / less controversial 
> to funders) for an established practice to me.
> Carol McCullough
> Neighborhood Organizer
> Nashville, TN
>> From: "Emery, Mary E [SOC A]" <memery at iastate.edu>
>> Greetings colleagues:
>> We are asking your help in mapping the world of coaching for community
>> and organizational change. In 2005, a number of coaches working with
>> communities and organizations focused on change efforts gathered in
>> Boise, ID. We identified 220 locations where coaching for community or
>> organizational change was happening. We believe the practice has
>> continued to spread as more communities and organizations grapple with a
>> change agenda. In fact, this may be an approach to community development
>> that you have practiced on your own for many years. Thanks to funding
>> from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, we have an opportunity to learn more
>> about this work and expand our community of practice. Our definition for
>> coaching for community and organizational change came out of a
>> roundtable discussion held in 2006.
>> Community coaches work with local leaders and social change
>> organizations. Working with a coach is a strategy to set goals, take
>> action, make better decisions and develop natural strengths.  A
>> community coach is a guide who supports communities and organizations in
>> identifying and achieving their goals.
>> (The report is available at
>> http://www.ncrcrd.iastate.edu/projects/coaching/index.html)
>> To help us begin to learn more about these efforts, we encourage those
>> of you involved in a coaching for community change effort to fill out
>> our survey. To take the survey, click on this link:
>> http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=919243469038 We will be preparing
>> our report on the results at the end of April.
>> We also invite you to share your ideas, experiences, and suggestions via
>> this BLOG: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/mt/ccc  If you wish to post
>> a piece please contact memery at iastate.edu  If you are interested in 
>> joining our community of practice, please
>> contact mary at memery at iastate.edu   Fieldstone Alliance has also 
>> published a new newsletter issue on
>> coaching for community change at http://www.fieldstonealliance.org/  For
>> more information on the results of the Boise Roundtable, go to:
>> http://www.ncrcrd.iastate.edu/projects/coaching/index.html  Please 
>> let me know if you have questions, suggestions, etc.
>> Our best to you,
>> mary
>> Mary Emery, Associate Director, NCRCRD
>> (515) 294 2878; cell 402 304 1531 Fax (515) 294 3180 memery at iastate.edu
>> _______________________________________________

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