Building community capacity through the strengths of people.
The 40 Developmental Assets?
What is Social Capital?
to Build Social Capital
1. RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
Since isolation and segregation of citizens inhibit the full development of community, our training, mapping, project, and program design work functions to build and deepen relationships between citizens. Creation of intergenerational links between youth and elders, for example, helps them find their common ground and mutual interest, i.e., their own particular basis for real communication and interaction.
2. INCLUSIVENESS & PARTICIPATION
All members of the community have gifts and therefore can make a positive difference in the community. Our work encourages communities, first, to increase their awareness of the diverse gifts citizens have to offer, and second, to create opportunities for the power of these gifts to be released.
3. YOUTH—AND ALL PEOPLE—ARE RESOURCES
Youth are optimistic, energetic, creative and inspiring to others. Adults and elders have the wisdom of experience to negotiate life’s difficulties. By training people to lead change in their schools and neighborhoods, both of these strength-sets can be leveraged. When all people are viewed as resources and assets—as problem-solvers, not problems to be solved—positive community change can occur.
4. BUILD FROM STRENGTH
Resources, including human capitol, creativity, money, ideas, organizations, businesses, networks, and social institutions, already exist for community change. There is talent on every block, in every neighborhood. When neighborhoods discover, develop and connect their assets, they can then focus them on a common effort toward community transformation.
5. PROVIDE OPPORTUNTITY
Asset based community development experiences release creativity, talent and energy and help to transform communities at their grassroots. People connect and expand networks. They build neighborhoods and schools that invest in youth and families. Ordinary people do extraordinary things.
6. KEEP CONTROL LOCAL
Neighborhood residents are closest to the issues affecting them and their children and should play a leading role in efforts to address those issues. Citizen-led, community-driven processes ensure the highest degree of community ownership and success.
7. PROMOTE A “CAN DO” ATTITUDE
Across Connecticut, a team of people is growing who share common attitudes and values. For people who believe in youth and families, who focus on opportunities, and who desire positive outcomes that measurably strengthen neighborhoods, the glass is always at least half full.
8. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
When beginning a journey, we consider certain basic questions. Where do we want to go? What’s prevents us from getting there? What strategies can help us achieve our goal. How do we know we’re progressing? And what will help us sustain progress? When grassroots community partners commit to contributing resources for mutually beneficial problem solving, community work has the best chance of sustaining success.
9. LEARNING COMMUNITY ATMOSPHERE
We learn best in vibrant, supportive environments where people can share their experiences and learn by example. Learning communities also create a forum for acknowledging our efforts.
10. OUR STORIES CONNECT US
One of our primary goals is to measure, share and celebrate our accomplishments. Story mapping is an evaluation process that uses a relational approach to these ends, reflecting the core of our asset-based philosophy, i.e., the recognition that “programs alone don’t change lives; people and relationships do.”