Tag Archives: community capacity building

Community Power, Empowerment, and Models of Capacity Building

October 27, 2015

5:006:30 p.m. 

Room K214 – 232 King St. North, Waterloo ON

Dr. Brian Christens is associate professor of Civil Society and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Human Ecology. He is faculty director of the UW Center for Community & Nonprofit Studies, and holds affiliate appointments in departments focused on population health, sociology, and environmental studies. His research is on community power and empowerment – particularly the ways that local groups can build power to make beneficial changes to systems that affect their lives.

In this talk, Dr. Christens will discuss models for capacity building such as coalition action, collective impact, and grassroots organizing – and consider them from the perspective of community power and empowerment. He will describe how recent research is informing efforts to build local power for community change.

All are welcome to attend! Light refreshments will be served. Learn more at www.wlu.ca/ccrla

New Papers on Food Systems

From Nourishing Communities members Connie Nelson and Mirella Stroink:

Accessibility and Viability: A Complex Adaptive Systems Approach to a Wicked Problem for the Local Food Movement

There is a tension between enhancing vulnerable people’s access to local nutritious food and ensuring viable incomes for local farmers. This tension arises as a result of interactions and processes scaling outward to the broad level of economic and political ideologies (Ikerd, 2005; 2012). We suggest that by conceiving of this tension as a wicked problem and employing complex adaptive systems theory, we create space in which community members are empowered to share existing knowledge and develop new knowledge as they innovate potential solutions and discuss constructive change. We introduce this space as the beginnings of a dialogue-driven, shared journey through four features of the back loop of the adaptive cycle. Read more

… and from international partner Samina Raja et al.

Rustbelt Radicalism: A Decade of Food Systems Planning Practice in Buffalo, New York (USA)

Pressure is increasing from nongovernmental actors to incorporate food more concretely into municipal policies and plans. A qualitative case study of Buffalo, New York (USA), demonstrates that incremental, persistent food systems practice and advocacy by nonstate actors, a group we call the “rustbelt radicals,” followed by their collective engagement with municipal planning, can lead to transformations in municipal policy and planning for strengthening food systems. The paper concludes with seven factors that enable “rustbelt radicals” to transform local food systems plans and policies. Read more