Sunday, October 7, 2007

Summary of Participants Reflections from John McKnight's Presentation on 10/1/07


What I learned I didn’t know or acknowledge before...

  • my day-to-day experience in a labeling environment is affecting how I regard people and approach problems
  • the value of communities needing and utilizing everyone’s gifts
  • the many gifts of citizens in a small community
  • the source of John and his work
  • it’s easy to focus on gifts of others rather than focus on deficits
  • the work of connecting is one person at a time
  • limits of thinking as a server verses a connector
  • key to effective connectors
  • very helpful to carry the image of half empty/half full as deficit/asset descriptions
  • resistance can occur even within organizations designed to help others
  • the idea of giving gifts and helping people see what gifts they have to offer – even when others may not see them as valuable
  • a different perspective, way to gain insight
  • the various stereotypes (phrases) that we make without even knowing it – like “homeless”
  • 2 new thoughts connecting people were important – I’ve known but felt wrong to say that groups honor problems.
  • the importance of connectors for community building
  • gifts of “effective connectors”
  • how I could use in my job every day in the school setting
  • the tremendous power of positive thinking
  • how much the Puerto Rican community became involved with the disenfranchised in their neighborhood
  • what asset based community building is
  • how open some of the communities were
  • the devastating effects of labeling
  • it begins in neighborhood; doesn’t have to be on some grand scale
  • as John said, so many of these things we probably already knew but he “reminded” us of them and challenged us to apply & reflect upon them so beautifully and effectively
    the devastating impact of labels
  • how important we are to each other
  • programs are easy to manage, fund, and control, but individualized connections take effort from the community and need to be micro-managed

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