Building Community Capacity

The chapter “Building Community Capacity” discusses models of community organizing stressing the importance of working together. I think the chapter raises important issues for our community because it promotes the ideas of collective work, collective interests and simply being together. The paper is very informative and analytic as it offers scientific interpretation of the issues raise.

It is necessary to outline that the author is very persuasive as he uses logical arguments, opinions and suggestions to defend his position that community organizing should be promoted to bring people together, to foster interpersonal relations and to evaluate collective efficacy. I fully agree with the author that common self-interest is the primary reason in building community. Building community is important because people involved are interacting with each other either formally or informally as they are pursuing common interest.

I know that often populist goals are incorporated to call people for affirmative action. Moreover, building community suggests developing leadership from relations among the people who are involved in the process. In my opinion, the main positive moments of organizing community are empowerment of the members, equal distribution of power, democratic governance, etc. Apparent strength of the paper is that author promotes participating in voluntary organizations.

I think that participating provides members with opportunities to express their interest, abilities, talents, concerns and ambitions. Such people are helping other community members contributing them more valuable than monetary assistance. Volunteerism plays crucial role in community organizing because it is some kind of glue holding community members together and addressing their needs. Voluntary activities assist in nurturing and building new communities. As a result, friends, colleagues, or neighbors are working together pursuing the common interest.

The author reviews the main models of community organizing (e. g. civic, women-centered, power-based, transformative, etc. ) and I think all of the models are important as they increase people’s understanding of the necessity to cooperate. Models address the issue of capacity building offering distinct approaches how to form social networks. The potential outcomes of the community organizing are sense of collective identity, mutual support, cooperative action, and expanded scope.

Nevertheless, I am sure that one community is able to succeed only in several outcomes and will definitely fail to achieve others. In other words, community is unable to achieve mutual support, identity and cooperation at once. For me, sense of collective identity means that people are enabled to “perceive their shared fate” and it plays important role in developing relations with other community members. Mutual support is the most desirable outcome of community organizing because it makes people put needs of others above their own interest.

Our current world is certainly lacks mutual understanding and mutual support. Mutual support is needed when it is necessary to develop trust and understanding among community members. Cooperative action promotes group goals and working together as one community. Community members should share objectives. Finally, I think that expanded scope means that social networks are able to expand their capacity by connecting people and available resources with organizations situated outside community.

In conclusion, I would like to stress that the main forces driving people to organize communities still remain desire of power and full control of the built community. In a certain way organizing is bringing new voices to the table. Nevertheless, I think that every person has a sense to belong to something. People are social and they need to belong to a community they are interacting in. While building communities, leaders develop not only managerial and organizational skills; they enhance knowledge of public policy. However, not every person is able to become true leader.

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