A Unifying Vision Creates a Good City

Feb 2, 2016 7:30:00 AM 0 COMMENTS

(Second in the series on 30 Actions and Ideas that Create Good Cities)

Earlier this month I attended a breakfast that honored the Resourcefullness Award winners hosted by the accounting and consulting firm, Eide Bailly. Jill Kohler, Development Director for the Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners (IOCP), told the story of Plymouth, Minnesota's Sleep Out Campaign.

This is one powerful expression of how unifying around what we care about brings a great result. Thousands of people from different churches, faiths, community organizations, businesses, and community members participate in the Plymouth Sleep Out each year to raise money to support holistic family care.

bob fisher church unity

It all started in November, 1996 when local shoe repairman, Bob Fisher (featured in the photo courtesy of IOCP), decided to take up winter camping. The first night he was camping out in his own back yard, he was awakened at 2 a.m. with a clear message, "Take care of the needy people of Wayzata." Bob said, "I didn't even know there were needy people in Wayzata." With this, Bob moved his tent to the front yard and set a goal to raise $7,000.00 to buy holiday meals for 100 families. He commited that he would sleep outside every night until the goal was met.                                                                        

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Topics: Centered Set

1965 Legislation's Impact Has Transformed America and Its Cities

Aug 27, 2015 9:31:00 AM 0 COMMENTS

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Immigration Act also known as the Hart-Celler Act of 1965. The most recent statistics show that 41.3 million immigrants live in the United States. The Migration Policy Institute defines immigrants as “...people residing in the United States who were not U.S. citizens at birth. This population includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), certain legal nonimmigrants (e.g., persons on student or work visas), those admitted under refugee or asylee status, and persons illegally residing in the United States.” They post the following chart on their website.*

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The Migration Policy Institute notes that the number of immigrants living in the US has recently reached historically high levels, however the percentage of immigrants to population has just reached the levels that were common prior to the 1921 Emergency Quota Act (The Immigration Restriction Act of 1921).

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Topics: Centered Set, City Transformation

David Brooks, Social Conservatives and City Transformation

Jul 8, 2015 7:02:00 AM 0 COMMENTS

Last week, David Brooks wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times (June 30, 2015) titled, The Next Culture War. In his column, Brooks advocated for the kind of work that Christian leaders are quietly engaged with in cities all over America.

City Transformation Coach Glenn BarthBrooks' focus was on the decline in Christianity in the United States, the smaller share of Evangelicals in the U.S. electorate, and the recent Supreme Court decision supporting gay marriage. He took the opportunity to advocate a significant shift for social conservatives to make from the front lines of the current culture wars to offering collaborative service, social and spiritual capital in their cities and communities.  

As Americans, Christians are often conflicted when deeply held moral and ethical positions are overridden by elections and/or court decisions. However, being an American and being a Christian represent two very different identities. Recent decisions on public policies should help Christians understand their cultural context and live counter-culturally.

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Topics: Centered Set, Recommended Books, Collective Impact, Community Development, Job Creation, cross sector city movements

For Houston's Kids: Beyond Church and Public School Partnerships

Jul 21, 2014 1:00:00 PM 0 COMMENTS

Steve Capper (pictured below and featured in a 2:40 minute video below) is a GoodCities Community Leadership Coach and serves as the Executive Director of For Houston's Kids. He will be a contributing blogger for our blog site. This article introduces the missional thrust of how this unique collaboration between people of faith and people of good will works together for the good of Houston's children. For Houston's Kids goes beyond church and public school partnerships by forming unlikely partnerships to accomplish their goals.

Steve_Capper
In 2004, a healing of many in the Church of Houston who were blind began.  Like the story told in Mark 8, the restoration of sight was both partially immediate and largely progressive. This miracle followed a simple question, a group conversation, and a massive investigation in search of an accurate picture of our city’s condition.


     Dave Peterson, then the Senior Pastor of Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, had attended a one-day conference featuring a stirring story of one man’s efforts to replace isolation and hopelessness among Baltimore’s inner city youth with caring mentors and a path to a hopeful future. 

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Topics: Community Transformation, Featured Video, city partnerships, Centered Set, Church and Public Schools

North Minneapolis Partnership Uses Collective Impact Approach for Jobs

Mar 21, 2014 5:10:38 PM 3 COMMENTS

Collective Impact for community Transformation

Last week I visited with Rev. Richard Coleman, who serves as the Executive Director for Hope United CDC in North Minneapolis (featured in short video below). Rev. Coleman helped form the Northside Community Response Team (NCRT),  a coalition of the leaders of 60 nonprofit organizations and philanthropists who came together shortly after a tornado ripped through North Minneapolis on May 22, 2011. The NCRT mobilized thousands of volunteers to clear debris and help residents. In addition they received and distributed over $677,000 to assist the area and its residents in its recovery.

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Topics: Featured Video, city partnerships, Centered Set, Collective Impact, Community Development

Collaboration and Leadership is Key According to Federal Reserve Bank Study

Nov 21, 2013 9:38:00 AM 0 COMMENTS

2013-11-20_Boston_Federal_Reserve Collaboration and LeadershipNew York Times Columnist, Thomas Friedman recently wrote, “Now we have record productivity, wealth and innovation, yet median incomes are falling, inequality is rising, and high unemployment remains persistent.”In the new economy, there is global competition for jobs and innovative technologies are replacing positions in manufacturing and in the professional ranks as well.

The Federal Reserve, Collaborative Leadership and Jer. 29:7

In the midst of all this change, we are called to “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7

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Topics: Community Transformation, city partnerships, Centered Set

Building Unlikely Partnerships with Sam Williams

Nov 19, 2013 2:35:57 PM 0 COMMENTS

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Topics: Community Transformation, Church Leadership, Featured Video, city partnerships, Centered Set

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