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Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) and the Transition Initiative - Wednesday at 7pm

On Wednesday June 30, a trained practitioner on organizing communities based on the talents and skills that people can offer will present an outline of that work to Transition PDX. Mike Vander Veen, who is an AmeriCorp member serving at the East Portland Neighborhood Office, will introduce this approach to community work called Asset Based Community Development – ABCD.

When we heard him speak last week, Mike told a story about a Chicago neighborhood that has started its own bank, taken over an abandoned hospital building and turned it into a co-housing development, and in general enabled the community to flourish for the past 30 years by listening for and utilizing the human assets provided by members of the community, a struggling community.

Michelle Obama has worked and studied with the developers of ABCD, John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann, becoming a member of the ABCD Institute faculty. Michelle has endorsed the ABCD approach in speeches since becoming First Lady. On Wednesday we will have a chance to ask Mike about finding and utilizing community assets – interviewing people, cataloging their skills, organizing their efforts - and talk about how we might adapt it to communities where we live. This will be one of the great evenings in Transition PDX’ development.