Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peter Block at CADCA Forum

One of the highlights of the 19th Annual CADCA Leadership Forum was listening to Peter Block's plenary session talk. He talked about creating public conversations that are not based on what is wrong with our communities and our youth, which focus on blame and deficiencies, but to focus on what is right with our communities and our youth and to build on those strengths. Community conversations that can create positive change should be about:

-- how citizens can take ownership of their communities;

-- what possibilities exist, focusing on the positive;

-- commitment to the community;

-- what gift each individual has to offer (it's not about the money). "Youth are gifts waiting to be delivered."

Check out -- LaDonna Coy has a good post about his presentation.

Peter Block's talk was preceded by an invigorating presentation by Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services. She spoke passionately about the need for agencies and organizations to work together on common issues -- "communities of solution".

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Inga --It was great to meet you at the CADCA Forum - what an honor. Peter Block's message felt like a breath of fresh air to me and I know we have it in us to do as he suggests - host more public conversations that will build on our community strengths rather than convening only around problems. Best of all, we don't need a grant or lots of money to do this. Such a simple action - to host a community conversation. I'm especially drawn to his questions about belonging and how we create a sense of belonging in our communities.

The book, Community: The Structure of Belonging, is phenomenal with guidance and example questions - I hope everyone working in communities will get a copy, read it, share with friends and colleagues, talk about it and finally, start those conversations -- they are the seeds for creating the future we really want.

I hope to see you again and perhaps have time to sit down together for dinner and conversation. In the meantime, I'm grateful we can connect virtually. Be well.