Listening, listening, listening.
Organizing, organizing, organizing.
My work is rooted in the practice of listening to what people are really saying, and helping them organize around their issues and opportunities. A colleague recently said to me, "You're ALL about people!"
Planning and Facilitation
I facilitate strategic planning processes, community meetings, visioning and other forums where people share information and perspectives, make decisions, and craft collective futures. I know how to design processes that engage all stakeholders and get the work done.
Integrating Arts and Culture with Community Development
For the last 25 years, I have specialized in helping communities identify and integrate their diverse cultures with community planning and development. Prior to that I focused on the social, physical, and economic sides of community development. Engaging people culturally (what we feel most strongly about) builds a deeper level of civic commitment and opens options for sustainable community development.
Working with Under-served Groups, Across Many People and Cultures, and Toward Equity
I work with many different people -- across boundaries and through difficult issues. My work often has a bottom-up approach focused on hearing from the people in a place. Working toward equity is essential in my practice.
I have lived in Germany and often teach and work there. In 2008 I received a J. William Fulbright Scholarship Board award to support my research and teaching in Brandenburg, Germany. Many communities in Brandenburg are struggling with declining populations and growing social unrest, very similar to U.S. communities. Working in other countries deepens my understanding and approaches to community work.
Collaborative Practice, Creative Stretch, and Evaluation
I understand how to prepare for complex collaborations and work across disciplines, how to track and measure success, and how to support innovation, risk, and stretch.
Teaching and Training
My focus on listening and understanding culture (what we value most) informs my teaching and training in all sorts of settings from the University of Oregon to forums with teachers and students in Germany, Switzerland and Greece.
Developing Innovative Programs and Needed Resources
I am known for leading all steps of successful program development and management, from initial concept to evaluation of outcomes. Often my programs are "firsts:"
- The first community development training institute in Oregon for emerging leaders creating housing and economic opportunities in low-income neighborhoods and communities;
- The first statewide arts and community development programs in Oregon;
- The first program in the U.S. funding county- and tribal-based arts, heritage, and humanities cultural coalitions;
- The first Pathways Academy for leaders within Oregon community colleges focused on innovation and stronger service to students, and the development of action plans for each college.
- The first cultural plan for many organizations and communities.
Start on time, end on time. I have learned that all people respond to respect, clear communication, follow-through with commitments... and most of all, being heard.