Fred Blackwell gives an insider look at managing local conflict and community change as a site coordinator for Casey's 10-year, 10-city Making Connections initiative.
A Reflection by Former Making Connections Oakland Director Fred Blackwell
The delicate balancing act between local engagement and national expectations.
The challenges of including residents in preconceived community change outcomes.
How Oakland, CA implemented Casey's Making Connections community change initiative.
"People pay a lot of attention to understanding what’s working and why, and copping to the fact that there’s stuff that is not working."
"The foundation is really doing a series of experiments and learning as they go and then trying to apply what they learn in the Making Connections sites."
This process of experimenting and learning and adapting is one of Making Connections’ strengths and gives the work its potential.
Changing the standards of how to transform struggling neighborhoods and achieve “broad scale adoption” could be Casey's most important outcome.
Linguistic challenges and cultural differences affect how you approach the work and design your interventions.
"Program design that works well for immigrant and refugee families may not work at all for families who have been in this country for multiple generations."