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Community Possibilities

Author: Ann Price

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Welcome to Community Possibilities ®! This In this podcast, I will be joined by community leaders, doing the hard work of social change. We will talk about root causes and dig deep to understand social and health inequities. Let’s imagine all of the possibilities if we learn how to talk to each other, not at each other.
41 Episodes
In this episode, Dr. Michael Quinn Patton (aka MQP) joins me to talk about his work. He is a prolific writer and deep thinker and has influenced the career of many evaluators. In this episode we discuss:How his work has changed over time. You will hear about utilization-focused evaluation,  developmental evaluation,  and the use of a principles approach to evaluation.How he thinks about “community.” Why understanding “systems” is hard for many community members and how those of us who work with them can help them begin to think from a system perspective. Hint: Metaphor and story helps!How operating from principles  can serve as a guide for community coalitions and other community-based organizations.Thinking and acting locally and globally.Why virtual connections are our future.How connecting with each other can help with so many social problems.What he is working on now.BioMichael Quinn Patton an independent evaluation and organizational development consultant based in Minnesota, USA. He is former President of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and author of eight major evaluation books including a 5th edition of Utilization-Focused Evaluation and 4th edition of Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods used in over 500 universities worldwide. He has also authored books on Practical Evaluation, Creative Evaluation, and Developmental Evaluation: Applying Systems Thinking and Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use. He co-authored a book on the dynamics of social innovation and transformation with two Canadians entitled Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed. He is recipient of the Myrdal Award for Outstanding Contributions to Useful and Practical Evaluation Practice, the Lazarsfeld Award for Lifelong Contributions to Evaluation Theory, and the 2017 Research on Evaluation Award, all from AEA. EvalYouth recognized him with the first Transformative Evaluator Award in 2020. He regularly conducts training for The Evaluators’ Institute and the International Program for Development Evaluation Training.  In 2018 he published books on Principles-Focused Evaluation (Guilford Press) and Facilitating Evaluation: Principles in Practice (Sage Publications). In 2020 his new book on evaluating global systems transformations was published entitled Blue Marble Evaluation: Premises and Principles.  He has also co-edited a book entitled THOUGHT WORK: Thinking, Action, and the Fate of the World (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, 2020). Connect with Michael on his website: https://www.utilization-focusedevaluation.orgor YouTube Channel: Connect with AnnCommunity Evaluation SolutionsBe sure and check out our updated resource page! Let us know what was helpful.Have a question or need some help? Book a call.Community Possibilities is Produced by Zach PriceMusic by Zach Price:
Kachina Chawla from USAID joins Ann to discuss her work in India. Kachina and her colleagues work to prevent and treat Tuberculosis, HIV, and other diseases that otherwise might not be provided for in many communities. Communities are the "epicenter" of this work.  Working within communities helps her team reach out to the most marginalized. Kachina offers specific examples as to why drugs alone will not improve health. Kachina educates us on what USAID is, who funds it, and explains her role in the organization as well as her personal outlook on working in communities. Her specific examples will help you think about how you can be more effective in your community work.Items discussed :Why communities are the critical branch of the health systemHow communities provide the feedback needed to bridge the demand and supply gapWhy she chose the Empowerment Methodology and the power of community dialogueThe role of the government in health promotionWe need to let go of our own baggage when working in and with communitiesWhy the power of the collective is the community possibility she seesBioKachina Chawla, MPH, is the Senior Advisor for the Health Office at USAID/India where she works on digital technology, inclusive development and other emerging priorities such as COVID-19, air pollution and urban resilience. She is a public health professional who has spent the last 20 years working extensively in areas of maternal and child health, family planning and infectious diseases across three continents. Prior to joining USAID, Kachina was a founding partner at Lighthouse Health Solutions LLC, an international consulting firm that serviced clients like BMGF, the Packard Foundation and the Public Health Institute. At Lighthouse, she led their investment on using social movements to ignite changes that impact health.  Kachina received her bachelor’s degree in History and Science from Bennington College, Vermont, and a master’s degree in Public Health, specializing in Monitoring and Evaluation from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, New Orleans.Community Possibilities is produced by Zach PriceMusic by Zach Price
Ruth Anne Wolfe has been passionate about social justice in her neighborhood since her daughter attended Pleasant Ridge Montessori in 2006. Between 2006 and 2012, she learned the challenges faced by a public neighborhood school. This experience was the fertile ground for her work today at Community Happens Here. Her journey has been a long and interesting path starting from her mother’s sheep farm to working in Japan, to becoming a Japanese Interpreter in Cincinnati, to getting a law degree and practicing law, to motherhood, and from there to an awakened sense of community work. In this episode Ruth and Ann discuss local schools, social justice, and making change in your community by making personal sacrifices. Podcast highlights include:How her daughter's enrollment in a local Montessori school motivated her to make sure all students had what other had. From starting a foundation to help raise money for the school to buying supplies for the teachers and helping all of the students, Ruth Anne did what it took to support students and teachers. Over time the school became the school everyone wanted their children to go to.Her realization that if she wanted her community to change, it had to start with her.Why she created Community Happens Here, a community space where people are able to meet, entrepreneurs can network, and community happens over a cup of tea or coffee. Just because a community is wealthier doesn't mean the community is more connected or care for each other.The quote that got me? "We can either be a service provider or we can figure out how to stop poverty and other social problems."Teaching people entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship mindset helps alleviate poverty. Ruth shares that if you can teach someone how to own their own business you don't need to give away food. That person will be able to take care of themselves.Why is it worth doing community work? Ruth tells us, "because its also good for you"!NEW RESOURCE: Curious about how to rev up your coalition and truly engage your community? Download Ann's free Coalition Self-Assessment Tool: up for Ann's email list and you will never miss my weekly tips: and production by Zachary Price,
In this episode, Lovely Dhillon joins me to talk about a range of topics from why she made the move from law to work in foundations, and now, consulting. Lovely shares her experience as a BIPOC woman from an immigrant family and how having  breast cancer changed her.  My favorite moment? She advises us to look for the "tender moments" of transition in social change organizations and to consider their impact throughout the organization and community. Lovely offers some great advice for creating social change. We also talk about:Listening for what is behind what's being said. How its different working with large and small organizations.Her profound question: Are we having the impact we want to have and what is standing in our way?Visionary evaluation and how it relates to social change.What is a Theory of Change?Lovely A. Dhillon, JD Bio Lovely is the CEO of Jodevi Consulting, a firm partnering with philanthropies, nonprofits, and businesses globally to create positive social change. Prior to founding Jodevi, Lovely served as the first Deputy Director for Strategy, Planning, Management and Evaluation of the Advocacy and Policy division for the U.S. Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-founded the Civil Rights and Equity Organizations portfolio. Lovely also served as Vice President of ORS Impact, an evaluation firm specializing in advocacy evaluation, where she built and led the Strategic Planning and Businesses with Social Impact areas of practice.As a lawyer, Lovely was the Executive Director of the Law School Consortium Project, that increased the affordability and accessibility of legal services to underrepresented communities and was awarded the American Bar Association’s Louis M. Brown Award for Innovation in Legal Access; served as Assistant District Attorney for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted Hate Crimes and Domestic Violence cases; and was the Executive Director of the California Minority Counsel Program, a collaborative of Fortune 500 companies, law firms, and bar associations working to increase equity in legal practice.Lovely is the co-author of the book “Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future” published in January 2020 by Information Age Publications. Lovely is also the co-author of “Refining Theories of Change” published in The Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation. NEW RESOURCE: Curious about your organization's capacity to engage in evaluation? Download Ann's free Evaluation Capacity Assessment for Nonprofit and community leaders. up for Ann's email list and you will never miss my weekly tips: and production by Zachary Price,
When is student behavior "bad?" Jason Byars, a professional educator, explains why student behavior is really communication. Isn't that true of all of us? The last two years have been hard on students and teachers alike. Jason has been a teacher, a coach, and adminsitrator, and a leader at the state level. In this episode he provides an inside perspective of schools with respect to behavior of students, school climate, social-emotional learing, PBIS and more. We also talked about how to implement a student-centered approach, the barriers he sometimes encounters, and how he works in community.What is PBIS?Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support is a multi-tier approach to supporting students so that they can be successful academically, behaviorally, and having good mental health.Tier 1 What all students receiveTier 2  Extra time with teacher, connecting with a trusted adultTier 3  Intensive 1 on 1 support, Intensive behavior supportWe also discussed:the importance of looking at behavioral or emotional issues with students as skill deficits as opposed to unsolvable issues or issues that cannot be fixed at school.School climate is how we want our students feel and the culture that surrounds them when they come to school. Curriculum is not just what is taught, but the immersive experience of the school overall.Links discussed in this episode:My interview with Micheal WallerGeorgia Appleseed's School Toolkit and discipline data base  Jason's BioJason W. Byars, Ed.S. is the School Climate Director at Northeast Georgia RESA where he leads schools to improve safety and climate.  After graduating from Berry College in Rome, Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science Education, Jason began his career as a secondary school history teacher in the Fayette County (GA) School System.  He then spent 17 years as a building level administrator in Fayette County, serving as an assistant principal, testing coordinator, athletic director, and principal.  Jason served as the PBIS District Coordinator and Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) Director in the Griffin-Spalding County (GA) School System from 2015-2018 where he worked with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to integrate mental health supports into schools.  From 2019-2022 Jason served as the Program Manager for PBIS and School Climate at the Georgia Department of Education where he served as the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Education’s School Climate Transformation Grant and SAMHSA’S Project AWARE Grant. He is the Past President of the Georgia Association for Positive Behavior Support (GAPBS). In his free time Jason enjoys reading, playing golf, and hiking, and has completed two rim to rim hikes of the Grand Canyon. NEW RESOURCE: Curious about your organization's capacity to engage in evaluation? Download Ann's free Evaluation Capacity Assessment for Nonprofit and community leaders. up for Ann's email list and you will never miss my weekly tips: and production by Zachary Price,
Jessica Nunan serves as the Co-CEO of Caminar Latino — Latinos United for Peace and Equity, a national social change organization that addresses domestic violence at the individual, community and systematic level.  Jessica has been involved with Caminar Latino for the past 28 years, of which she spent 11 as a volunteer in the youth program. Her mother, Dr. Julia Perilla, was a cofounder of Caminar Latino, and a classmate of Ann's at Georgia State. In this episode, Jessica Nunan shares how Caminar Latino helped to reshaped the approach to serving victims and their families of domestic violence.  It all started when Sister Barbara Harringtion asked Julia if she would help lead a support group for women in the local Hispanic community.  Julia said yes and the journey began. Soon the women asked for help for their children, then eventually their husbands. From the beginning, Caminar Latino was determined to listen to the community they served.   At that time, the typical solution was separation from the violent partner which meant the dissolution of the family. This was not acceptable for the women served by the program. In this episode, Jessica relates the pushback from local and national organizations about the way they have provided care to the families they served. Caminar Latino – Latinos United for Peace and Equity is a national trailblazer that carries out its mission by creating safe spaces for each family member to begin their journey towards non-violence and by centering the Latino experience into social change efforts nationally that will transform the social conditions that give rise to violence. Caminar Latino operates in Atlanta and it is Georgia’s first and only comprehensive domestic violence intervention program for Latino families. Latinos United for Peace and Equity, Caminar Latino’s national counterpart, engages in public policy, systems change, and research at the intersection of gender-based violence and Latino identity. In addition, LUPE offers capacity building, training, and technical assistance to other nonprofit organizations, advocates in the field, government agencies, and businesses.Find out more about Caminar Latino here. NEW RESOURCE: Curious about your organization's capacity to engage in evaluation? Download Ann's free Evaluation Capacity Assessment for Nonprofit and community leaders. up for Ann's email list and you will never miss my weekly tips: and production by Zachary Price,  zachpricet@gmail.comBioJessica's main areas of expertise are Violence prevention with youth, leadership development, research, community engagement, and program development.  In 2015, Ms. Nunan was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the State Commission on Family Violence.  In addition, Ms. Nunan served as an advisory committee member for Sesame Street in Communities and currently serves on the Futures Without Violence National Committee and the YMCA Early Learning Policy Council. In 2016, she received an invitation to attend the “United State of Women” event that was convened by the White House and in 2017 was featured as one of Georgia Trend’s 40 under 40.  She was also one of 12 semi-finalist for the Coors Light Lideres National Program that supports, honors, and highlights up-and-coming Latino leaders for their achievements, vision, and commitment to reach their aspira
Episode HighlightsIn 2015, Kassy's husband Greg, a South Carolina police officer, was killed in the line of duty. Kassy was a young Mom and in grad school at the time. Her planned life changed in an instant. In this podcast, Kassy talks about how she moved beyond her grief to give back to others. Kassy Alia Ray went on to found the nonprofit,  Serve and Connect.  Serve and Connect envisions a community where police and community members work as one to ensure community safety. In her TED Talk, and in our conversation, Kassy tells the story of an interaction that helped shape her thinking.  In this episode we talk about:The fact that we all want the same thing: for our communities to be safe, our families to be protected, and our children to thrive.How hard it is to see from others’ perspectives, especially when we don’t agree.Death is a part of life. Because we all live in community, we love, and therefore will experience pain and loss. When we step outside our grief, we can connect and see outside ourselves.How our norms around grief keep us from healing and finding joy. How she learned to lean into difficult conversations by seeking first to understand. What we all need to do to learn to listen and build our empathy muscle. How Serve and Connect seeks to be the bridge between police and those who feel harmed  by police.The community work that Serve and Connect provides support for communities and police and helps them connect in new ways.Why we both love the article, In Praise of Paradox by Julian Rappaport. How we find the courage to collaborate and work towards a common understanding. Dr. Ann Price is a community psychologist and evaluator based in Georgia. She works with coalitions, nonprofits, and foundations and helps them use their data to change their communities and helps them better tell their story. Contact Ann at aprice@communityevaluationsolutions.comNEW RESOURCE: Curious about your organization's capacity to engage in evaluation? Download my free Evaluation Capacity Assessment for Nonprofit and community leaders. up for my email list and you will never miss my weekly tips: and editing by Zachary Price,  zachpricet@gmail.comKassy's BioKassy Alia Ray, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of Serve & Connect, a nonprofit organization focused on fostering positive change through sustainable police-community partnerships. A graduate of the University of South Carolina with her doctorate in Clinical-Community Psychology, Kassy founded the organization after her husband, an officer with the Forest Acres Police Department, was shot and killed in 2015. Under her leadership, the organization has grown from a simple hashtag to a movement dedicated to creating change. Kassy’s work bridges the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and draws on her personal experiences related to the loss of her husband combined with her expertise in Community Psychology to ignite transformative change in police-community relationships. Her work has been recognized nationally, including a feature on NBC’s Today Show and in Time Magazine, for its impact. She is a member of several boards and workgroups, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police subcommittee on Community Policing and the American Psychological Association's Presidential Taskforce
Meet Sarah Winograd-Babayeuski, a passionate advocate for children and families caught up in the foster care systemSarah founded Together for Families out of her home. With her friends and neighbors, Sarah began supplying needed resources for families in poverty. Now housed at Advocates for Children, Sarah and her small army of volunteers provide the support and resources families need to keep their children. In this episode we talk about:The real reason so many children are in foster care.The risks to children who are placed in foster care.The trauma experienced by children and their families. What do case managers need that they don’t currently have.What it will take to really support families and reduce the number of children in care.Get in touch with Sarah: sarah@advochild.orgFind out more about Together for Families: Dr. Ann Price is a community psychologist and evaluator based in Georgia. She works with coalitions, nonprofits, and foundations and helps them use their data to change their communities and helps them better tell their story. Contact Ann at  Want to know if you are making a difference in your community? Not sure where to get started on your evaluation? Download my free guide: up for my email list and you will never miss my weekly tips: and editing by Zachary Price,  zachpricet@gmail.comSimilar Conversations on Community Possibilities:Season 2 Episode 1 Jen King, ED of Georgia CASASeason 1 Episode 2 Michael Waller, ED Georgia AppleseedSarah's BioAs a missionary kid, I grew up amongst poverty and oppression in the former Soviet Republic of Belarus. Much of my youth was spent leading and translating for mission teams and serving those most in need alongside my parents. In Belarus, I started a program to bring relief to children fighting cancer whose families were struggling with dire poverty. The program continuesAfter returning to the states with my husband and daughter, I completed my bachelor’s degree in psychology at Kennesaw State University. In 2010, I was awarded the The Dr. Nancy S. King Student of Year Award for community service and activism and was chosen as a student keynote speaker at the Nineteenth Annual Southeast Missouri State University Student Research Conference.  In my last year of college, we adopted our son from Russia. At the time, he struggled to ambulate due to cerebral palsy and was dealing with the impact of trauma and PTSD from his time living in an orphanage.  In 2018, I volunteered at Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in the Cobb County Juvenile Court, where for two years I advocated for the best interests of children involved in dependency hearings. I was heartbroken to see so many children separated from loving parents for underlying issues of poverty, and I was determined to help save as many families as I could. Chelcie Griffith, an attorney for children started giving parents my cell number, and I worked to ensure that families had the resources they needed to care for their children safely in their home. What started out as a few fam
In this podcast, Traci Warnberg-Lemm shares wisdom she's gathered from working in communities. Here are some of the things we discuss:Solutions to community problems can be solved more effectively by asking why something is wrong, beyond  surface level issues. How to do root cause analysis and how, often, the answers the community uncovers is unexpected. Here is the YouTube video about the Washington Monument example of the 5 Whys? How Traci deal with resistance to change? Hint: “You can't argue with results”Coalitions and community-based groups must include the community members most affected by the problem.How do we collaborate when change is so hard? Leaders must preface change with  “Yes, change is hard, but what are the things we might miss, or lose, by not changing?” The importance of centering equity in social change work.How do we give people space to grieve change so they can move forward ?What are unanticipated consequences of change: good and bad?LinkedIn:'s Website: socialmotion.coTraci's Bio:Traci Warnberg-Lemm is the owner of Social Motion, a training, coaching and consulting company founded in 2006. Social Motion energizes civic, policy and community-based solutions and supports leaders that drive them. Traci draws upon her MPA education and 20+ years of experience serving communities, nonprofits and government agencies, in the United States and abroad. Social Motion supports individuals and organizations through learning design and development services, social impact planning, individual and group coaching, facilitation, speaking and training.  Traci is the co-host of the Social Change Leaders Podcast.About AnnI am a community psychologist and evaluator. I help communities:Understand their community’s issuesDevelop strategies that workEvaluate their strategiesUnderstand how they can become even more effectiveConnect with me here: Music and editing by Zachary
In this episode of Community possibilities, Stephanie shares what its like to work with businesses through a lens focused on changing communities.Stephanie is all about social entrepreneurship and loves teaching nonprofits and community organizations about the role of community engagement and evaluation (yes!) in this work.  One tip she shares is that you need to make sure the social impact of your business/enterprise is what the community needs and that products are competitive in the market. Social enterprise strategies discussed include staffing models that employ those with barriers to employment, how profits are spent, the sourcing of materials, and fundraisers.We also talk about strategic planning why its important and how they can be actionable and measurable!Finally, Stephanie shares her 5 C's for successfully building a social change business. You will want to have your pen and notebook handy.Stephanie and Traci's podcast: The Social Change Leader's Podcast. Check out my conversation on their podcast here.Website: www.sparkgood.netLinkedIn Stephanie Malon-Rufi, Owner of Spark Good, is a business consultant and leadership coach working with entrepreneurs who want to build their business to be a vehicle for social change.  Stephanie has 20+ years of experience working with social enterprises, start-ups and nonprofits and an MBA with focus on entrepreneurship. She specializes in the areas of strategic business planning, revenue growth, marketing & communications and helping entrepreneurs be the leaders they want to be.  She also co-hosts the Social Change Leaders Podcast, geared for social innovators with tips, actionable ideas, and stories to inspire from the front lines of social change. Music and Production : Zachary
In this episode of Community Possibilities, guests Breanna Lathrop and Veronica Squires share personal and professional experiences that inspired their book,  "How Neighborhoods Make Us Sick: Restoring Health and Wellness to Our Communities."Breanna Lathrop is the Chief Operating Officer at Good Samaritan Health Center and is a nurse practitioner. In this episode she gives a perspective on the social determinace of health from a healthcare worker's perspective.  So many of the factors that impact our health actually have little to do with access to healthcare.  Our health is more closely tied to factors that exist outside of healthcare. Things like access to jobs, housing, and healthy food. There are some things, like stress, that take a toll on the body and which people living in poverty cannot avoid. Veronica Squires learned this first hand. Veronica is the Chief Development Officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer for The Good Samaritan Health Center. Veronica shares her past experience moving to a low resourced community and how she and her family became part of the community. She shares her successes and frustrations and came to understand that while change can be made by individuals,  there must be collective action that adrress the broader systemic issues that impact the health of communities.Connect with us:Breanna Squires:vsquires@bcma.org their book here: and production by:  Zach PriceWant to know if you are making a difference in your community? Not sure where to get started on your evaluation? Download my free guide: up for my email list and you will never miss my weekly tips:
Geri Lynn Peak PhD, is Chief Insight Facilitator at Two Gems Consulting Services. Geri is a consultant with over 30 years of experience providing evaluation, technical assistance, training and applied research to her clients. Dr. Peak’s work focuses on racial justice and equity as well as young people, women, families and communities.Dr. Peak founded Two Gems Consulting Services (TGCS) in 1997 and practices evaluation through a process she developed called Strategic Insight Facilitation. Individuals using this process are aptly named Insight Facilitators.In this episode of CPP: Ann and Geri discuss the spiritual and functional power of getting people together to find a solution to a community challenge, and the steps that must be taken to get to that solution.Questions and topics discussed are:How do we treat others who disagree?How do we treat men vs. women in leadership roles?What questions do we(communities) refuse to ask?“The global culture does not ask “”what didn't work?””“We dont ask questions beyond the norm or already known”What questions SHOULD community members ask?“What can we agree on?”Dr. Peak details what services TGCS offers their clients, including the Virtues ProjectThe Virtues Project teaches 5 strategies, 1. Speaking the language of virtue2. Recognizing teachable moments3. Setting clear boundaries4. Honoring the spirit5. Art of companioningGeri’s Personal Biography craft-y (spinner/crocheter/knitter/metalsmith-ish/beadworker/dyer/weaver/sewer) designer, poet, african/modern/middle eastern dancer, djembe drummer, handpan newbie, guitar pretender, avid organic vegetable gardener, cat whisperer, native angelina, baltimore import, world traveler, introvert, nerd/blerd, trekkie, techie, gamer, afrofae, wisdom conjurer, spiritual warrior, collaborator, action-taker, maker, evaluator, coach, guide, degree-holder, scientist, entrepreneur, daughter, mother, wife, elder, learner, empathetic, recovering-sarcastic, bahá'í, black/pupil-of-the-eye, cis woman transforming.  Connect with Geri: to know if you are making a difference in your community? Not sure where to get started on your evaluation? Download my free guide: Sign up for my email list and you will never miss my weekly tips: Possibilities is produced by Zach PriceMusic: Zach Price
Jimiyu Evans, Co-CEO of PCCI (Project Community Connections, Inc.) joins me to talk about his journey from working with adolescents in trouble in the law, as a case worker for the Division of Child and Family Services, and now at PCCI. PCCI is nonprofit and leader in serving those with out homes. Their award-winning approach is a model for other homeless service providers in the nation. Jimiyu explains the many terms in this space and explains how we should talk about people experiencing homelessness. He explains the rapid re-housing is a housing first model, moving people quickly into housing and then addressing wrap-around services to meet their needs to support housing stability. The rapid rehousing removes the many barriers of past models that moved people into shelter, then to transitional housing before finally arriving to permanent housing. During the pandemic, PCCI used the rapid rehousing approach to move people  out of shelters and into homes. Their services to Veterans has been highly successful. PCCI has a new initiative called Thrive Sweet Auburn, where they will be building 117 units of affordable housing along with office and community spaces.We talks about how to talk about people experiencing homelessness, the stereotypes we have about them, who is actually homeless in our communities, and how we can help. We delve into the shortage of affordable housing units and what PCCI is doing to help.  Find out more about PCCI at  Want to know if you are making a difference in your community? Not sure where to get started on your evaluation? Download my free guide: Sign up for my email list and you will never miss my weekly tips: Zach PriceProduced by Zach Price
I started this podcast because I wanted to have hard conversations.  So when I saw the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative (TDI) Center post on LinkedIn, I knew I wanted to learn more. In this episode, Dr. Marisa Rinkus joins us to talk about her work at the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative (TDI) Center at Michigan State University.Marisa's early experience with the Peace Corps working in small communities in Guatemala and then later, with the Wildlife Foundation, prepared her for her work today.  Marisa's worked  to understand community needs. She learned she was a "connector" and enjoyed serving as a resource for communities. Marisa learned that there is often disconnect between resource managers or policy makers and communities often because of the assumptions we make about others.   Now, as an Associate Director of TDI, Marisa helps teams, particularly research teams, to be more effective and function more collaboratively. TDI works with groups who are working towards a common goal by conducting workshops and  strategy sessions. Based in philosophy, the team is multidimensional and brings that perspective to their work through the science of team science.The aim of TDI workshops are to enhance:Cross team communication and collaboration through dialogueTwo-way communication The identification of root causes of problemsWorkshop participants learn that they are more alike than different. They learn to deal with assumptions and to recognize "unacknowledged differences" through perspective taking and getting curious. Workshops help build individuals' and groups' capacity to be open and communicate more effectively. We need to do the hard work of imagining things differently. Focusing on tasks alone won't get us to community change.Links: The Toolbox Dialogue and InitiativeToolbox Dialogue Rinkus is an Associate Director of the Toolbox Dialogue Initiative (TDI) Center at Michigan State University. Her work involves designing and facilitating Toolbox Dialogue Initiative workshops and studying the impact of structured dialogue on cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration. As a lead facilitator and researcher with the TDI since January of 2017, she has led team science related research and client-based projects for the National Science Foundation and multiple universities in the US. She was also a contributor to the recently published book, The Toolbox Dialogue Initiative: The Power of Cross-Disciplinary Practice. Marisa was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to Brazil for her doctoral research which examined how gender, attitudes, and agency influence community participation in sea turtle conservation. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Human Ecology, Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oryx, Society & Natural Resources, and Water Policy. Prior to joining academia, Marisa worked with non-profit and government organizations in the US and internationally on conservation and development issues, including 2 years of service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala and 5 years with the National Wildlife Federation. She holds a PhD and an MS in Human Dimensions of Fisheries and Wildlife with specializations in International Development and Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change from Michigan State University, and a BS in Wildlife Science from Purdue University. Community Possibilities is produced by Zach PriceMusic by Zach
Welcome back to Community Possibilities!In this episode I am joined by my evaluation colleagues, Dr. Sharon Attipoe-Dorcoo and Norma Martínez-Rubin. They are amazing evaluators with a heart for equitable evaluation. They also have very interesting backgrounds! They speak from their intersectionality as a Ghanaian-American (Sharon) and a Mexican American (Norma). They met at an American Evaluation Association Conference and since then, have developed the I.M.P.A.C.T. Framework.   IMPACT stands for work that is: Inclusive, Manumit, Practice-based, Accessible, Community-focused, Timely and Inclusive. They walk us through the model and explain how it can be applied as part of culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE), We also dig into Norma's experience serving on her city council and Sharon's other interests (She has a children's book, ya'll). These are two dynamic and interesting community leaders! I know you will learn from them.Bio:Sharon Attipoe-Dorcoo, Ph.D., MPH, Principal of TERSHA LLC, is first and foremost grounded in her cultural identity as a Ghanaian-American and embraces her other intersectional facets of being a wife and mom in her work. She is a former board member of AcademyHealth, a member of the Education Council, author of a children’s book, poet, and consultant. As a community scholar-activist, she found her path from engineering into public health and her work involves engaging national mobile clinic programs. The vision for her work is rooted in culturally responsive and equitable tools for co-designing research and evaluation initiatives with communities. As a speaker, and facilitator Dr. Attipoe-Dorcoo has also presented at several conferences, published several articles, chairs and serves as an advisor for a number of entities, and facilitated a number of trainings.Contact info/social media: Sharon Attipoe-Dorcoo, Ph.D., MPHPrincipal, TERSHA LLCAuthor of the children's book; Koli and Bosco "the Dog": Rescue from the Fire: KoliBosco Twitter: @KoliBoscoInstagram: koli.boscoLinkedIn: Martínez-Rubin, M.P.H., M.B.A.  Norma is Principal of Evaluation Focused Consulting, a sole proprietorship serving nonprofits, foundations, and community benefit enterprises. As a bilingual and bicultural (Mexican American) evaluator, her engagements ordinarily require clients to think through why they do what they do, how that fits with achievable outcomes, and how to assess effectiveness among under-resourced communities.   Viewing developmental and utilization-focused evaluation approaches through a culturally responsive lens, Norma guides client efforts at measuring operational processes to improve service quality. Norma’s consultative work is derived from experience in public health education program planning and design for disease prevention and health promotion, grounded in qualitative research, behavioral sciences, and strategic management theories. Her professional background spans decades having worked cross-culturally with staff in public health departments and university-based initiatives to effect individual and systemic changes.  She is a member of the American Evaluation Association and Advancing Culturally responsive and Equitable Evaluation Network. Her academic degrees are from Loyola Marymount University, the UCLA School of Public Health, and John F. Kennedy School of Management. Contact info:  Produced by: Zach PriceMusic By: Zach
Danyetta Najoli walks in her purpose. She is a community builder in so many ways. From her work at Starfire lifting up and helping to create space for people with disabilities, to her coaching, to her work in helping people have courageous conversations, you will be inspired by her community leadership.Here are some learning lessons for community leaders:1) Connect people, including those with disabilities on common interests. 2) No one wants to be labeled by a negative.3) People want and need to be named and known.4) Invest in neighborhoods through community councils and mining for the treasure that is our neighbors.5) Attract community members in a variety of ways, such as hospitality.6) Learn about John L. McKnight and the Asset-Based Community Development Institute and and why viewing the assets of neighborhoods is important.8) Learn about Wolf Wolfensberger and social valorization and how all of this led to the Black American Tree Project.9) Learn about her coaching process that she talks about in her new book: Release, Allow, Attract, and Act.10) Her vision for communities - bring on those front porch conversations!Episodes mentioned in this conversation: Listening 4 Justice with Dr. Folami Prescott-Adams.Get to Know Danyetta Najoli:Danyetta is a senior community builder at Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati in Ohio where she works with people with diverse abilities to showcase their talents, explore their interests, develop their passions, and maximize their strengths.  In her role, Danyetta discovers ordinary citizens who are interested in building community with the people she supports, around common areas of interest, community projects, and key neighborhoods. Danyetta co-wrote The Black American Tree Project, a visceral history lesson that depicts the Black Experience dating from pre-colonial Africa to present-day in the United States.  It takes a hard look at and offers courageous community conversation about the institutional forces and systems that have long oppressed people and from which many people need collective healing.  Since its inception in 2019, the project prototype has been hosted 18 times, for over 445 participants from several states in the US, including where the Menomonie and Ho-Chunk nations originate, various territories in Canada including, Ontario, Kitchener and Winnipeg, Perth, Australia, The Netherlands, England, Scotland, and the indigenous lands of Baawating, Robinson Huron Treaty Territory, Anishinaabe Akiall.Danyetta has written several books and ebooks on personal growth and development. She will publish her new book on Feb 18th called, MicroShift: Small Mindset Changes for Big Results along with another book in April.  On a personal note, Danyetta enjoys traveling, writing, singing, and spending time with her husband and two children.To learn more about Danyetta Najoli, my free course for nonprofit and community leaders - Use Data to Help Tell Your Story. Community Possibilities is produced by Zach PriceMusic by Zach Price
Kathleen M. Sullivan is principal of Fine Gauge Strategy, LLC (Fine Gauge), a consulting firm based near Boston, Massachusetts. Since 2010, Fine Gauge has provided learning, measurement, evaluation, and strategy services for policy advocates, community organizers, legal and law-reform organizations, and philanthropic foundations. Fine Gauge clients include leaders in the civil rights, human rights, migration, and social change sectors. Fine Gauge has reviewed organizing and advocacy programs and grant portfolios serving, among others, undocumented immigrant youth, LGBTQ+ children in out-of-home placements, activists countering white nationalism in small and rural US communities, and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities facing the challenges of the Trump Administration. Most recently, Fine Gauge completed a review of the Ford Foundation’s 2015-2020 Immigrant Rights portfolio strategy. With her colleague David Shorr, a local elected official in Wisconsin, Kathleen writes for public policy blogs on strategic lessons from policy-reform campaigns. Kathleen is a lawyer by training. Earlier in her career, Kathleen represented low-income people in immigration court, taught immigration law as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, advocated before Congress and federal regulatory agencies, and served briefly as Counsel to the US Senate Subcommittee on Immigration. As a nonprofit program manager she supported human rights investigators examining physician complicity in “national security” torture during the Bush Administration, and a nationwide project that deployed lawyers to represent children and asylum seekers in immigration detention.Outside of work, Kathleen enjoys hiking, skiing, and the Boston area’s remarkable music and art scenes.Are you a Nonprofit/coalition leader drowning in data but no idea with what to do with it? My FREE mini-course will spark you creativity and show you many ways to use your data, Infographics, dashboards, success stories and more. I will walk you through what they are and why they help you communicate to your key audiences.Connect with from me for weekly tips and resources:   Want to know your making a difference? Grab my free guide on developing a strategy that works. Produced by Zach PriceMusic by: Zach Price
Georgia CASA is one of my favorite non-profits and in this episode, you will meet Jen King, Georgia CASA's dynamic and passionate Executive Director.  Now serving 156 out of 159 Georgia counties, the more than 2700 CASA volunteers support children in care.Jen and I talk about the support CASA's provide to hurting children and how the organization sees themselves as a healing partner for hurting families. Jen emphasizes the need to see the strengths of families that find themselves involved in the child welfare system and to understand that just like many of us, they have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACES). "When families are in crisis, it's important to offer hope and healing and not to villainize them," says Jen. Georgia CASA is leaning in to addressing disparities and ensuring that all children in care receive the support you need. We also talked about what communities can do to support families in care and the policy work Georgia CASA is doing with their partners.  Bio: In May 2018, Jen King was selected to succeed Georgia CASA's longest serving Executive Director (18 years) as the 5th director in the organization's 30-year history.  Jennifer 'Jen' King, served as the Program Operations Director, coordinating training and support services for local CASA affiliates, including 200 staff, 500 board members and 2700 volunteers.  Her leadership over the past 20+ years has helped to propel the statewide CASA organization into a dynamic, well-respected network. With degrees in nonprofit administration and child development, Jen has dedicated her career to making connections with and on behalf of children and families, alongside advocates and nonprofit leaders, and the larger community.  She has worked with United Way of Greater Atlanta, National CASA, and many groups and committees involved in strengthening communities.Are you a community nonprofit leader that needs help in defining your strategy?  Check out my free guide and discover how you can learn to use strategy to drive social change. In just four easy steps, turn your hunches into action.Music: Zach PriceProduced by: Zach Price
"Doing together, that which we cannot do a part." That statement is the core of this episode. Dr. Tom Wolff is a community psychologist and expert in coalition building who has spent a lifetime working in communities in seemingly intractable social problems. We talk about how he got started working in communities and the power of coalitions. We dig into the challenges of working with community coalitions and the "tricky business" of community change.  We talk about what real community change is - involving people most affected by the problem - and how to do that.  Changing the status quo is hard when systems seek to maintain themselves. Tom explains why he has been so critical of one  popular approach, Collective Impact, and how collaborating for equity and justice is a better alternative.  In this age where we no longer talk to those with whom we disagree, the "Hands Across the Hills" initiative might be a model for all our communities. People from Tom's hometown and those in a community in Kentucky, came together in the wake of the 2016 election to seek common ground.Dr. Tom Wolff's BioTom Wolff, Ph.D. is a nationally recognized consultant on coalition building and community development, with over 30 years’ experience training and consulting with individuals, organizations and communities across North America. His clients include federal, state and local government agencies, foundations, hospitals, non-profit organizations, professional associations, and grassroots groups.Tom has published numerous resources to help communities solve their own problems. His most recent book is The Power of Collaborative Solutions – Six principles and effective tools for building health communities  published by Jossey Bass-John Wiley in early 2010.His earlier writings on coalition building include From the Ground Up: A Workbook on Coalition Building and Community Development (with Gillian Kaye, 1997) and The Spirit of the Coalition (with Bill Berkowitz, 2000; American Public Health Association). He is passionate about looking at issues from a community perspective and empowering local communities to solve their own problems. His writings combine theoretical understanding with rich stories and on-the-ground experience.Links Mentioned in this Episode:Tom's website Hands Across the HillsTen Places Where Collective Impact Gets in WrongCollaborating for Equity and Justice
Dr. Sal Alaimo is a professor and teaches in nonprofit administration and philanthropy and evaluation.  In this conversation, Sal and I talk about the role of nonprofits and giving in our society.  An experienced nonprofit leader and evaluator, Sal has a passion for growing nonprofit leaders and exploring the role of giving in our society.Robert Payton said that philanthropy is "Voluntary action for the public good." Any giving intended for the public good is a philanthropic good. Sal embodies this in his work.  In addition to teaching and consulting, Sal uses the medium of film to explore the meaning of philanthropy and giving.   "What is philanthropy?"  Sal's first film, he explores the concept of giving within the American context.  The film is a feature length documentary that portrays and discusses the concept of giving  through a critical lens and a variety of perspectives. Contributors to the documentary include; actor Mike Farrell, NFL quarterback Alex Smith, Evelyn Lauder from the Estee' Lauder Companies, Civil Rights Leader Dr. William G. Anderson, Nell Newman, co-founder of Newman's Own Organics, US Senator Charles Grassley, as well as leading scholars and average citizens.  In his second film, "Sew What?" Sal explores the mutual benefit of what we, as individuals gain from our support of nonprofits - relationships, social connection, skills, values, and perhaps a changed perspectives.   We also explore the need for nonprofits and foundations to value and implement evaluations and for evaluators to help build evaluation capacity. Sal encourages nonprofits to ask for evaluation support if it is not included in a proposal and that evaluation actually a program expense. He also provides a thoughtful critique of the role of foundations in solving the intractable problems of our society. It will take nonprofits, foundations and community members who understand their communities all working together to solve the root causes of our problems. Dr. Sal Alaimo BioSalvatore Alaimo is an Associate Professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University, in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in philanthropy and nonprofit administration. Professor Alaimo has published book chapters in The Jossey-Bass Reader on Nonprofit and Public Leadership, Volunteer Administration: Professional Practice, Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations: A Reference Handbook, Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management, and International Encyclopedia of Civil Society. He also published journal articles in New Directions for Evaluation, Journal of the Grant Professionals Association and Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership.Hs background in evaluation includes teaching graduate course in program evaluation at GVSU, serving as internal evaluator for a large nonprofit, consulting and engagement with AEA affiliates in Atlanta and Michigan.He earned his Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University, and his M.S. in Urban Studies from Georgia State University. He can be reached at or (616) 331-6582. Music for Community Possibilities was written by Zach Price who also produces the podcast.
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