Loyola University Maryland


Leading by Stepping Back: Building Community Partnerships that Actually Work

Friday, October 7, 2016 & Saturday, October 8, 2016
Sponsored by Messina, the Center for Community Service & Justice and Campus Ministry

About the event:

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is an approach to community building that focuses on discovering and mobilizing the assets that exist in every community. When we focus on what is already there—lift up and mobilize the gifts and talents of everyday people, and build and honor intentional and authentic relationships—we have the opportunity to begin asking new questions that can lead to sustainable and reciprocal community-centered change.  Ongoing and intentional application of ABCD makes our communities healthier, happier and safer for everyone.

Guided by two powerful speakers, Caitlin Childs and DeAmon Hodges, this interactive workshop will take participants through the basics of ABCD while offering practical tools that you can put into practice in your communities, schools and organizations. Choose one of the Part I workshops and consider signing up for Part II on Saturday afternoon for a more intensive training.



Part I of the workshop will be offered twice: 

  • Friday, October 7th from 4:00pm-7:00pm in Cohn Hall 133 (light dinner provided) 
  • Saturday, October 8th from 10:00am-1:00pm in Cohn Hall 133  

Part I participants from either session may also sign up for a the Part II training:

  • Saturday, October 8th from 2:00pm-5:00pm in Cohn Hall 133 

Lunch will be provided for all Part I and Part II attendees on Saturday, October 8th from 1:00pm-2:00pm. 

To facilitate richer conversations, we have reserved equal number of spots for students, employees and community partners.

Register now for the ABCD Workshop

Community partners who are interested in attending this workshop may register here.

About the Presenters:

Caitlin Childs and DeAmon Harges have a friendship based on trust, understanding and healing. Over the past 7 years they have used their connections to make social change with the people with whom they work and live. In their community-building work, they use a variety of tools and practices including Assets-Based Community Development (ABCD), popular education, intentional listening, and art to creatively generate sustainable dialogue and action.

Caitlin Childs is a community organizer, writer and consultant from Atlanta, GA. She has nearly 20 years of experience in grassroots organizing working on a variety of social justice issues. She is passionate about interdependence, intersectionality and building movements that cross identity lines and support communities to create their own solutions to their problems. You can learn more about her by visiting www.caitlinpetrakischilds.com.

At Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, DeAmon Harges is the original “Roving Listener.” By listening, he discovers the gifts, passions, and dreams of citizens in his neighborhood, using them to build community, economy, and mutual delight. DeAmon’s work is based in the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), joining neighbors and institutions to discover the power of being a good neighbor. His organization, The Learning Tree, brings those ideas and others to the forefront of community and organizational life. As an artist, DeAmon uses his art for social change and community building. He characterizes his work as “deep listening” and “positive deviance a big difference from typical models of neighborhood organizing. 

Resources for Attendees:

Recommended books:

  • Portfolios of the Poor by: Stuart Rutherford, Jonathan Morduch, and Daryl Collins
  • The Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits by: John McKnight
  • The Long Haul: An Autobiography by: Myles Horton
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twentieth Century by: Grace Lee Boggs
  • Asset Based Community Development: When People Care Enough to Act by Mike Green with Henry Moore & John O’Brien

Questions for Discussion and Reflection:

  • What is power? Do you think that marginalized people have power?
  • What do you think the phrase “lead by stepping back” means?
  • Is it possible for well-meaning outsiders, large institutions, and people with privilege to be involved with community organizing in marginalized communities without taking over or perpetuating charity approaches and savior mentalities?
  • What do you think communities can do to create and implement their own solutions and supports around folks without relying on the human services or government to do it for them? How do we create structures to support this?
  • Who is missing from the table?
Two students talking with eachother next to a laptop
Advising and Support

7 ways Loyola helps ease the transition to college

A student shares seven ways her first-year experience was enhanced by the people and programs at Loyola.

We are a green office logo