Broadcast 10/25/2017 at 2:03 AM EDT (16 Listens, 18 Downloads, 2740 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast
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I've been wanting to interview Cormac Russell for a while. He's a kindred spirit who gets Bottom up and Top Down thinking better than most. Even better, he has developed brilliant approaches to apply Bottom up thinking to healing, strengthening and building community. His thoughts on how Top down approaches to community, particularly professionals work, are brilliant and a huge threat to the existing system. I love disruption.
Rough, VERY Rough, notes from the interview and pre-interview.
Start by telling us a story based on ABCD--Asset Based Community Development.
You say that it's better to start with strengths and resources, capacities and abilities, rather than problems, or what is broken or pathological.
The top down obsession with what is wrong has caused huge harms to millions of people. Four kinds of harm:
1-defines people by their deficiencies and problems
2- money which is intended to go to those who need the help goes not to the needing people but to those paid to provide the services to those who need help.
3- active citizenship, the power to take action at the grassroots level, retreats in the face of ever increasing technocracy, professionalism and expertise.
4- entire communities defined as deficient come to believe that the only way things will happen is some outside professional with right program and right money comes in to rescue them.
Making change happen from inside out.
Six building blocks
Assets that must be identified, connected and mobilized if we're going to see real change happen in our world.
Find the hidden treasures that exist in that community.
Too often we re-define people out of community as a client to a service system.
The solution to the most intractable problems we face starts from the grassroots, from inside out, and it starts with the belief of the fact that there is no two-tiered society where one group of people with all of the problems are rescued by another group with all the solutions, There is no them and us. There is only us.
Lilla Watson: "If you've come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you've come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.
We are the people we've been waiting for. We are sufficient unto the challenge and we are becoming the change we seek.
One of the great enemies of community building is like-mindedness.
Diversity is one of the challenges and promises of building community.
If we want to change our practice we have to practice the change.
I have a dream speech". All social change happens in small ways, when individuals get connected not on the basis of their problems but on their assets.
Our communities have been monocropped.
Community is not a noun It's a verb
Shift the narrative from mass production to production of the masses.
We need citizen-centric
Connectors are the unsung heroes who are holding the community together
Professionals fear Bottom up movements, need ethical line-backers
Professionals castrate, disempower and take away the agency from communities.
Need to teach children to understand how to deal with professionals so that doesn't happen. Need to teach professionals how to not disempower clients.
"The only change that is truly sustainable is community driven change." - Cormac Russell
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