Online Videos for Community & Administrative Practice (updated)

in community engagement

This is a list compiled by Professor Dick Schoech of the School of Social Work, University of Texas Arlington. He received these suggestions from members of COMM-ORG and ACOSA. Ten of these videos are available on YouTube, and I’ve organized them into this a playlist, which you can play (in the order listed) by clicking on the video below, or by viewing the series on youtube . Other videos which are available online, but not on YouTube, are also linked below. Several recommended videos are not available online. They may be available in stores, or at a library near you, so I’ve linked to WorldCat entries, when I could find them there. There’s a longer list of videos here and in this playlist of videos on community & engagement.

Shinichi Murota Doshisha University, Japan

  • Make the Road NY is probably the most active and powerful grassroots organization in NYC today.
  • Time’s Up is a bicycle rider’s organization whose activity is basically a public ride to advocate for greener streets and riders friendly urban planning.
  • Common Ground is a famous community development project for homeless. Their approach is not quite “social work” per say, but they have made some impacts in the community.

Ben MacConnell, Direct Action & Research Training Center

  • DART just posted a new video on community organizing. It also serves as decent intro for a new observer, so I thought it may be of use to you.

David William Rothwell

Rich Wood – Lots of resources via PICO website as well, some written some video, see:

Dick Schoech, UT Arlington

  • Online Volunteering
  • Building Enduring Communities: Development, property management, and residence- and community-based human services, nonprofit affordable housing social services.
  • The Charlie Rose show has great interviews with current thinkers and doers. For example, this conversation with Michael Milken & Muhammad Yunus about World poverty.
  • Tracy J. Browns explains the Nine Essential Internal Controls that every Faith Based or Community Organization must have.
  • Circles of Caring
  • The Secret to Getting Things Right (audio) How did the humblest tool for organizing data reduce complications in surgical practice, streamline restaurant operations, and minimize the risks of venture capital? An hour with Harvard Medical School professor Atul Gawande, author of “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right”. I found the discussion very relevant since human services folks routinely handle a lot of complex situations. Almost all the conclusions on the failure to prevent child abuse by CPS come to a failure to do things due to fatigue, lack of training, etc. We could use more checklists in our field to insure we get things right.

Videos Not Online

Elizabeth Beck

  • I use something called Holding Ground about Dudley Street or Streets of Hope to show Rothman’s three approaches,
  • I use Bill Moyers interview with Myles Horton (vol 2) to show community participation, adult education and pedagogy of the oppressed
  • I use a Philip Randolph which is 90 minutes called something like Jobs and Freedom to show among others things coalition building.

Christina Erickson

Nicole Nicotera, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver

  • I like to use Holding Ground about the Dudley Street neighborhood initiative near Boston MA.
  • There is also a book about their process called, Streets of Hope by Medoff and Sklar (1994) South End Press.
  • Another DVD that may be useful, but I have not used in class myself is called “I am a Promise.”

Karen Gray, Asst Professor, OU-Tulsa School of Social Work, Tulsa, OK 74135

Dick Schoech, UT Arlington

Others mentioned

Community roundup: Playgrounds for kids, teens, seniors; welcoming troops and refugees

in community engagement

City residents take part in a pilot project to live longer, better lives

TwinCities.com – Could Albert Lea be a new Blue Zone? For the past 10 months, the southern Minnesota town has tried to adopt the lifestyle habits of such places as Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; and Icaria, Greece, dubbed ‘Blue Zones’ because residents live extraordinarily long and healthy lives. Under something called the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project, sponsored with a $750,00 grant from United Health Foundation, Albert Lea was chosen for a pilot project to see whether a typical small American town could become a Blue Zone, too.

A team effort builds Houghs Neck playground

The Patriot Ledger – With the help of more than 200 volunteers, the 2,500-square-foot playground on Brill Field in Houghs Neck was built in one day – Thursday. Volunteers from the Houghs Neck Community Council, Home Depot and the non-profit organization KaBOOM! worked from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., creating a garden and and a fenced-in play area and spreading wood chips.

Chat ‘n Chews provide brainstorming sessions for city revitalization group

The Parthenon – Create Huntington, a grassroots organization focusing on the revitalization of the city, relies on the public, not city officials, for ideas on how to make Huntington a better place. The group hosts weekly Chat ‘n Chews, a time for members to gather and discuss potential projects and ideas. “The idea is that anybody can come and bring an idea they’re passionate about and try to get other people to join in with their passion,” said Carter Seaton, Create Huntington volunteer.  Many of the projects Create Huntington has implemented got their start at Chat ‘n Chew sessions. Projects such as the dog park, Trees for Tomorrow and the Adopt-a-Block program were brainstormed in Chat ‘n Chew meetings.

Learning center for refugees opens on Syracuse’s North Side

The Post-Standard – “As soon as we opened the door, we knew it would be like this, based on the research,” Yusef Soule said. He is one of six friends who created the center to serve the neighborhood refugee population. They’ve done it, Soule said, with money from their own pockets, help from their families and nothing but volunteer labor. The majority of the students are refugees from Burma, Iraq and Somalia, but, like the sign on the doors says, all are welcome, he said. The organizers didn’t want to step on toes or duplicate services and researched what the community needed most, he said. “Because we don’t want to hand out, we want to hand up and get them going and giving back to the community,” he said.

Soldiers home from Iraq get big welcome in Irvine - Orange County Register – A support battalion returns to Irvine’s Camp James. Video by Lenin Aviles

Volunteerism is Archambault’s only hobby

South County Independent – The wall beside Marc Archambault’s Wakefield desk tells his life story, even when he doesn’t want to. He’s red in the face, slightly embarrassed. A legion of his friends have nominated him for the South County Independent’s Independent Spirit Award. “Did I apply for this?” he recalled saying when he found out he was one of three people selected. It’s nice, he said, but he does what he does – volunteer, tend to family, work ceaselessly – because that’s where his gladness grows.

School goes beyond sports, music with clubs

The Indianapolis Star – The after-school clubs on Wednesdays at Washington Community School include cooking, fitness and music production. Dancing, swimming or drama on Thursday. Movies, video gaming and jewelry-making on Fridays. During the week, students attend poetry slams, tutoring sessions, discussion groups and personal finance lessons. Every Friday, the Urban Explorers group heads out on field trips. It’s part of a coordinated effort by the school and neighborhood groups to infuse after-school clubs into the school — one the school says pays off in giving kids more connections to school.

More Ways to Make Friends

World of Psychology – Earlier this year, World of Psychology contributor Therese Borchard wrote a popular entry entitled, “10 Ways to Make Friends.” Inspired by her advice and based upon my own experiences throughout life, I present to you another 10 ways to make friends in your life. No matter what method you try, making new friends requires something I can’t give you in this article — courage. It takes courage to go out and actually take a leap of faith by introducing yourself to someone new and taking a chance you may be rejected. That’s why smaller groups are almost always easier — you can figure out who might make a good friend in such group situations.

Click here for more community stories

KaBOOM! – Empowering Neighborhoods and Restoring Play

in community engagement

Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College. He has conducted and published research in comparative, evolutionary, developmental, and educational psychology; published articles on innovative teaching methods and alternative approaches to education; and is author of Psychology (Worth Publishers), an introductory college textbook now in its 5th edition.

Peter Gray

In Empowering Neighborhoods and Restoring Play, Psychology Today columnist Peter Gray asked his readers to help him develop a proposal to build a neighborhood play and learning center “that could serve as a model that communities everywhere might emulate”. I said I’d help, and after putting in a few hours, recommended that he check out KaBOOM!, a nonprofit founded by Darell Hammond, who studied under John Kretzmann, Director of the Assets Based Community Development Institute (ABCD Insitute) at Northwestern University.

A 2008 study authored by Deborah Puntenney found that “when implemented appropriately, the KaBOOM! Community-Build process creates a lasting impact on the communities it partners with, both in terms of building capacity, enhancing community pride and cultivating leadership, as well as enhancing the play experience of neighborhood children.” Dr. Puntenney’s researchers conducted site visits and telephone interviews with 110 playspace builders, and reported that:

  • Nearly 100% believe that their KaBOOM! playground positively impacted the quality and quantity of children’s play
  • 94% believe that their playground project helped strengthen relationships among neighborhood residents and among community partners
  • 91% said that the KaBOOM! Community Build model and tools work

The KaBOOM! model (Road Map) comprises eight steps:

  1. KaBOOM! Road MapResearch – Why play matters, the “community-build model,” benefits of a community build model, play equipment appropriate for specific ages, abilities, and types of play, playground safety hazards in old equipment, make the case for a new, community-built playground.
  2. Conceive – Create a project vision and mission statement, form a planning committee, choose a playground site, choose a surfacing and equipment vendor, estimate the project budget, establish a project timeline, create a fundraising strategy.
  3. Organize – Organize and hold the first playspace meeting, start fundraising, finalize planning committee teams, determine the necessary site preparation, create a project website.
  4. Design – Holding a Design Day, working with an equipment vendor to select a design, press materials and media involvement, accelerating youth involvement through the Design Day and service learning projects.
  5. Coordinate – Recruiting Build Day volunteers and captains, creating a contingency plan for bad weather and emergencies, mapping the build site and the Build Day “matrix,” creating a maintenance plan with the landowner and staff, leveling the site and removing old equipment.
  6. Energize – Planning final fundraisers, writing and sending out a media advisory to notify local newspapers, radio, and TV stations, ordering side project materials, confirming delivery schedule for equipment and surfacing, training build day captains.
  7. Build – Equipment and surfacing delivery, organizing materials one to two days before the Build Day, motivating volunteers, rehearsing the ribbon cutting ceremony, taking pictures of the site and securing the area.
  8. Maintain – Sending official thanks you’s, starting your maintenance program, hosting a final planning meeting, supervising, playing and enjoying, RALLY!-ing for play.

The website’s toolkit provides resources (including samples) for every step on the map, including pre-planning, community involvement, volunteer recruitment, fundraisingconstruction, and maintenance.

KaBOOM! also provides free online training, and a Project Planner: a free website that aims to help you plan each step of your project, communicate with your team, recruit local volunteers, raise money, get free advice from the professional playground builders at KaBOOM!, and connect you to a community of people like you who are building playspaces around the country.

KaBOOM! Project PlannerClick here to read news articles on KaBOOM!

The Charter for Compassion – An Introduction

in community engagement

What is it?

Crafted by people all over the world and drafted by a multi-fath, multi-national council of thinkers and leaders, the Charter for Compassion asks that we practice the Golden Rule: to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It reminds the faithful (and the faithless, like me) that founders and leading sages of all the major traditions believed that the Golden Rule was the essence of ethics and religion, that everything else was “commentary”, and that it should be practised “all day and every day”. They insisted that any interpretation of scripture that led to hatred or disdain was illegitimate.

Why chart a charter?

The original reason was “so that people can look at their tradition, reclaim it, and make religion a source of peace in the world, which it can and should be”. This purpose is evolving as the charter movement evolves.

Who’s behind it?

Karen Armstrong pitched the idea, for which she won the TED Prize. Over 150,000 people from over 180 countries contributed their words. A “Council of Conscience” crafted these words into the Charter. Eighteen people formed the Council: Salman Ahmad, Ali Asani, Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Sadhvi Chaitanya, Bishop John Bryson Chane, Sister Joan Chittister, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, Mohsen Kadivar, Chandra Muzaffar, Baroness Julia Neuberger, Tariq Ramadan, Rabbi David Saperstein, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Rev. Peter Storey, Ha Vinh Tho, Weiming Tu, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jean Zaru. More credits here.

Does the Council of Conscience have a secret handshake?

Of course.

So where’s this Charter?

All will be revealed on November 12. Click here on 11:12 of 11/12 to win a prize.

What do I do in the meantime?

  1. Learn about it
  2. Attend or host an event
  3. Attend, ask for, or host a service
  4. Share the love
  5. Hang out on the Facebook, the Twitter (follow @TheCharter), the YouTube, and the Flickr

See also: Charter-related videos on TEDNews and blog posts on the Charter

Variations on a Theme
from the Wikipedia

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. – Luke

Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. – Baha’u'llah

Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing. – Thales

Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. – Baha’u'llah

Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others. – Isocrates

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. – Leviticus

Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him. – Pittacus

Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. – Muhammad

It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing ‘neither to harm nor be harmed’), and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life. – Epicurus

Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others. Knowing this principle of equality treat other with respect and compassion. – Suman Suttam

Love thy neighbour as thyself. – Luke

Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself. – Confucius

One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires. – Brihaspati

One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him. – Socrates

Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill. – Dhammapada

Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. – T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien

That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn. – Hillel

That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind. – Muhammad

The truly enlightened ones are those who neither incite fear in others nor fear anyone themselves. – Guru Granth Sahib

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. – Matthew

What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others. – Epictetus

What you wish your neighbors to be to you, such be also to them. – Sextus the Pythagorean

The basis of faith-based community building

in community engagement

Excerpts from TED Talk by Karen Armstrong: What I’ve found, across the board, is that religion is about behaving differently. Instead of deciding whether or not you believe in God, first you have to do something. You behave in a committed way, and then you begin to understand the truths of religion. And religious doctrines are meant to be summons to action; you only understand them when you put them into practice.

And it is an arresting fact that right across the board, in every single one of the major world faiths, compassion — the ability to feel with the other in the way we’ve been thinking about this evening — is not only the test of any true religiosity, it is also what will bring us into the presence of what Jews, Christians and Muslims call “God” or the “Divine.” It is compassion, says the Buddha, which brings you to Nirvana. Why? Because in compassion, when we feel with the other, we dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and we put another person there. And once we get rid of ego, then we’re ready to see the Divine.

Every single one of the major world traditions has highlighted — and put at the core of their tradition — what’s become known as the Golden Rule. First propounded by Confucius five centuries before Christ: “Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” That, he said, was the central thread which ran through all his teaching and that his disciples should put into practice all day and every day. And it was the Golden Rule would bring them to the transcendent value that he called ren, human-heartedness, which was a transcendent experience in itself.

And this is absolutely crucial to the monotheisms, too. There’s a famous story about the great rabbi, Hillel, the older contemporary of Jesus. A pagan came to him and offered to convert to Judaism if the rabbi could recite the whole Jewish teaching while he stood on one leg. Hillel stood on one leg and said, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the Torah. The rest is commentary. Go and study it.”

And “go and study it” was what he meant. He said, “In your exegesis, you must make it clear that every single verse of the Torah is a commentary, a gloss upon the “Golden Rule.” The great Rabbi Meir said that any interpretation of scripture which led to hatred and disdain or contempt of other people — any people whatsoever — was illegitimate.

Saint Augustine made exactly the same point. Scripture, he says, “teaches nothing but charity, and we must not leave an interpretation of scripture until we have found a compassionate interpretation of it.” And this struggle to find compassion in some of these rather rebarbative texts is a good dress rehearsal for doing the same in ordinary life.

But now look at our world. And we are living in a world that is — where religion has been hijacked. Where terrorists cite Qur’anic verses to justify their atrocities. Where instead of taking Jesus’ words, “Love your enemies. Don’t judge others,” we have the spectacle of Christians endlessly judging other people, endlessly using scripture as a way of arguing with other people, putting other people down. Throughout the ages, religion has been used to oppress others, and this is because of human ego, human greed. We have a talent as a species for messing up wonderful things.

So the traditions also insisted — and this is an important point, I think — that you could not and must not confine your compassion to your own group: your own nation, your own co-religionists, your own fellow countrymen. You must have what one of the Chinese sages called “jian ai”: concern for everybody. Love your enemies. Honor the stranger. We formed you, says the Qur’an, into tribes and nations so that you may know one another.

And this, again — this universal outreach — is getting subdued in the strident use of religion — abuse of religion — for nefarious gains.

There’s also a great deal, I think, of religious illiteracy around. People seem to think now equate religious faith with believing things. We often call religious people believers, as though that were the main thing that they do. And very often, secondary goals get pushed into the first place, in place of compassion and the Golden Rule. Because the Golden Rule is difficult. When I’m speaking to congregations about compassion, I sometimes see a mutinous expression crossing some of their faces. Because a lot of religious people prefer to be right, rather than compassionate.

The excerpts above are from a longer version of this speech, found here: Karen Armstrong makes her TED Prize wish: the Charter for Compassion.

The Charter for Compassion launches on November 12, 2009.