Southport Matters » Entries tagged with "Conversation"

As children of God, we are more alike than different

As children of God, we are more alike than different

My friend and former student, Ashley, is marrying Kevin today. I expect that the wedding celebration will be chock full of ‘different’ sorts of people. I will encounter nonwhites, whites, Hispanics, gays, straights, first-generation Americans and Americans from long-established families, Butler fans, IU fans, Purdue fans and Notre Dame fans. The list can go at length for the different people who will rejoice together. I suspect the reason for such a diverse crowd has something … Read entire article »

Filed under: Community, Conversations

Celebrating culture of volunteerism

Celebrating culture of volunteerism

During major tragedies, publicity about volunteerism often takes center stage. Among events that come to mind are the floods of 2008 and the March tornadoes that swept through Southern Indiana. For the latter, thousands of Hoosiers responded within the first week (and are still going strong), showing their love for their fellow Hoosiers by picking up rubble and rebuilding homes and businesses. The same kind of love for neighbors presented itself in the aftermath of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Community, Conversations

‘Work hard, play by the rules,’ obsolete

‘Work hard, play by the rules,’ obsolete

I JUST arrived in Shanghai, but I’m thinking about Estonia and wondering about something Presidents Clinton and Obama have been saying. Wired magazine reported last week that public schools in Estonia are establishing a program for teaching first graders — and kids in all other grades — how to do computer programming. Wired said that the curriculum was created “because of the difficulty Estonian companies face in hiring programmers. Estonia has a burgeoning tech industry … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conversations

The GIFTS Conversation

Focused on Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), a decades-old strategy used to lift communities to a better place, this conversation starts and is sustained by focusing on existing assets and building upon them. What are the gifts each of us bring to our community? Rather than focus on our deficiencies and weaknesses (which most likely will not go away), let’s focus on the strengths and capacity we have and capitalize on those. Fortunately, Southport still has many assets and advantages that can be leveraged to revitalize our community: • a village-like setting • neighborhoods within a major Metropolitan center • self- government • a safe and secure community • stable schools • residents with a variety of skills, interests and capacity Action must continue though, to protect our assets (both tangible and intangible) from neglect and decline. Focused … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conversations, News, Southport

The REWARDS Conversation

In the future, Southport’s residents, city council and other city leaders must work together to capitalize on the assets that Southport already possesses, rather than worry about our deficiencies and weaknesses. The Reward Conversation focuses on Asset Based Community Development, a strategy used for decades to lift communities up to a better place. This strategy starts and is sustained by focusing on existing assets and building upon those. Fortunately, Southport still has many assets and advantages that can be leveraged to revitalize our community: our village-like setting, a healthy inventory of vintage houses, our close proximity to the major city that surrounds us, the safety and security that our police department provides, and most importantly, the diversity of our residents and their inherent skills and contributions to our community. These assets … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conversations

The OPINION Conversation

The Opinion Conversation is important to me because it allows people the freedom to say “no”. If I cannot accept those that say “no”, then their “yes” will have no meaning. Friends and neighbors must have a chance to express their doubts and reservations as a way of clarifying their roles, needs, and yearnings within the vision and mission being created. I believe that genuine commitment begins with doubt, and “no” is a symbolic expression of people finding their space and role in the strategy. It is only when we fully understand what people do not want that we can fully design what they do want. Refusal is the foundation for commitment. Saying “no” to the continuing decline of our community is where my commitment to my Southport community began. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Community, Community For Life, Conversations

The OPPORTUNITY Conversation

Southport, like all communities, is pulled by the force of the future – whether we want it or not. The Opportunity Conversation focuses on what we, as residents, want the future of Southport to be, as opposed to merely problem-solving the Southport of the past. The conversation about possibilities frees neighbors to innovate, challenge the status quo, and create new futures that make a difference. Each of us must decide if we will participate in the Opportunity Conversation – or if we will allow our past to passively draw us in the same unproductive direction. In other communities that are in the process of rediscovering, of redeveloping, this conversation between residents and city leaders has created opportunities to break new ground and understand the prevailing culture. I can no longer … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conversations, Southport

The OWNERSHIP Conversation

adobe acrobat reader download p>The Ownership Conversation is one that focuses on who is responsible for Southport’s future successes or failure as a healthy, thriving community. We began the journey by asking ourselves the question, “How have I contributed to creating the current reality of Southport’s decline?” I recognize that confusion, blame and waiting for someone else to change are defenses against ownership and personal power. I asked myself, “Am I going to be part of the future solution or, by my inaction, allow Southport to remain mired in the problems of the past?” This conversation with myself is the reason I feel obligated to participate in all of the conversations and to respond proactively rather than reactively. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Community, Community For Life, Conversations