I am not sure how I missed this element of the ABCD Institute & community, but I am glad to be here now! I started my work in faith communities from 2013-2018 and towards the tail end of that time I came into contact with ABCD as a philosophy and practice. It resonated with me so deeply, that my whole theology and philosophy around what faith communities can be in the world began to shift. ABCD, along with CCD (Christian Community Development), fundamentally shifted what I was about and the kind of work I wanted to do in the world.
Fast forward, I currently work for a faith-based nonprofit called Building Hope in the City and broadly speaking, we work in the areas of refugee/immigrant resettlement, social enterprise, leader development, housing, and community development. Community building (or development) is my area of focus and right now that means listening and learning from community members & institutions about their community through a variety of means, working on artist residencies that will include community engagement efforts with local institutions, and continuing our second round of micro-grantmaking through an event and grant process called Rally CLE. Rally CLE is an opportunity for faith communities to engage by sponsoring grants and supplying physical support for local residents who apply for grants up to $2,000 to fuel their project. Projects have included community gardens/orchards, new pocket parks, block parties, and community clean-ups. The point of these grants is to prioritize projects that promote resident leadership, justice, equity, and reconciliation. So, that's a snippet of what I am working on now! Thanks for having me and look forward to engaging some of you soon!