To our members: By the end of February, and will be integrated into the Tamarack website at This is a more accessible platform, where you will easily find more engaging content and resources on poverty reduction and community change.

Questions? Send us a note at

The Gifts of Community

Submitted by Christie Nash on April 13, 2016 - 9:45am

Seekers Journal

Dear christie,

"Every community, no matter its state, has possibility. Every community member, no matter who, has something to offer."

Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is an approach to community building that asks the question where is the beauty? ABCD mobilizes community growth and social change not by focusing on needs, but rather on assets -- it is about empowering people to discover and utilize the gifts that already exist within themselves and their community. It is about finding your own AND you community's superpowers. This month our team extends a challenge to you to discover the beauty in your community- seek out your community's superpowers and name your Neighbourhood Hero. A neighbourhood hero is someone who has mastered the act of caring, who understands the art of neighbourliness and deserves to join us at our national Deepening Community: Resilient Neighbourhoods · When People Care gathering from June 7-9, 2016 in Edmonton, AB. Learn more about this gathering, and be sure to check out all contest details on our #nbrhdhero webpage!

Leading up to the gathering, we are excited to bring you a number of learning opportunities that are sure to challenge and inspire your thinking. On April 19th, Milton Friesen will launch his 4-part learning series entitled Resilience Talks, which invites you to explore the different urban dynamics that contribute to resilient communities and cities. In May, Michael Jones will be convene a number of special guests to bring you a second learning series on Communities of Belonging which will feature stories and perspectives centered around four timeless underlying patterns of place.

We are also hosting two very important webinars that you won't want to miss: An Other Kingdom on April 28th with John McKnight, Peter Block and Walter Bruggeman, and Promise Neighbourhoods with Michael McAfee.

We look forward to connecting with you and don't forget, we love to hear your stories and learn from your resources and experiences! Be sure to connect with us online at or on Twitter. 

Happy reading! 

Feature     Learn    Conversations    Neighbours    Insights    Events

Being Your Own Superhero


By: Sienna Taylor

Have you ever heard of the 'Hero Complex'? The Hero Complex, put simply, is the inherent desire to help others. We see it in Superman, whose superhuman strength and ability to fly allows him to protect the people of earth, Spiderman whose spidey-sense and genius-intellect helps him to save New Yorkers over and over again, or Batman who fights crime in Gotham City with his master-detective skills and incredible strength. 

On the surface, the Hero Complex, along with a few superhero skills, appears to be the perfect solution to the challenges we face in our communities. All we need is someone or something to swoop in and save us! Unfortunately, 'spidey-senses' are few and far between, and in reality the Hero Complex can often have adverse effects in the world of social activism and community change.

The heroic appoach to community assumes that the community is somehow inadaquate and in need of rescue. But, the truth is, every community, no matter its state, has possibility. Every community member has something to offer. When we, as a community, discover our own super strengths, we build resilience that can help us stand up to some of our toughest challenges. It is possible to be our own superheroes

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A Conversation in the Avenues


By: Christie Nash

,On Friday March 4th a group of 12 neighbours from the Avenues in Peterborough, ON gathered together for an après work beverage at a new establishment located in the neighbourhood to discuss what is awesome about where we live and how we can make it even better.

Boulevard gardening, open street parties, street hockey tournaments, plant and seed exchanges, and preserve and canning parties were just a few of the ideas that sprung forward from this fruitful dialogue.

This conversation was hosted as part of the Local Deepening Community Initiative entitled Mapping Assets: You, Your Neighbourhood, Your Community, which aims to inspire neighbours to host conversations that emphasize and celebrate community assets, skills and passions. Both Mark Woolley and I live in the Avenues- Peterborough’s first suburb and we decided to co-host a conversation with a number of neighbours that we already knew and felt would be interested in further exploring the possibilities about being more intentional about how to make our neighbourhood a vibrant, creative, inclusive, sustainable, safe and fun place to live.

Read the full post

Learn more about Local Deepening Community Initiatives

Redefining Your Neighbourhood


By: Isaac Winterfeld

What does the word neighbourhood mean to you? Is it synonymous with gathering at the park or on your front porch, great possibilities, or deliberately engaging with others to develop a more vibrant and healthy community?

To the 30+ people who gathered one early March morning in the Kitchener Public Library, that’s exactly what they think of. On March 3rd, members of the community gathered for the second neighbourhood strategy meeting, which involved the mayor, several councillors, police officers, and many neighbourhood organization affiliated people excited to see what we could come up with in just under two hours.

Read the full post

Read more about the Kitchener Neighbourhood Strategy

Regenerative Leadership: Learning from craftwork


By: Michael Jones

Every leader - explicitly or implicitly - has a theory that serves as a framework for how they lead. For some leaders that framework may be military strategy. For others it may be competitive sports or technology. But for some it comes from the work of craft. Craftwork is neither whimsical nor abstract. It is the primary force of our natural innate vocation announcing itself.

Craft is regenerative. Where many resources in our organization, including policies strategies and programs, may be exhausted through use, craftworkers are constantly renewed through their craft. And anything can be a craft. When they write a poem, they want to write another poem. When they write a book, they want to write another book. They love what they do, and they need to do what they love.

Read the full article

Join us for Michael's 4-part Leanring Series on Belonging

Upcoming Events


Deepening Communities: Resilient Neighbourhoods ♦ When People Care

June 7-9, 2016 in Edmonton, Alberta

Join together with neighbourhood leaders, community builders, civic leaders, academics, municipal leaders, and other passionate learners to explore ideas that will accelerate the communities agenda.

This gathering will provide you with inspiration, connections, knowledge and specific tools to offer the leadership required to connect, engage and mobilize residents in your community and beyond to generate a shared vision and action plan; in turn, developing programs and policies for change.

Register here!

Coming Soon - Stay Tuned for Details!
 The Community Change Institute | September 26-30, 2016 | Toronto, ON 

Upcoming Webinars 


Resilience Talks

Speakers: A 4-Part Learning Series with Milton Friesen
April 19th - June 14th, 2016 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST

In this powerful Learning Series, our host, Milton Friesen, will explore four urban dynamics that contribute to resilience with thought-leaders from across Canada who specialize in the areas of place-making, social networking, measurement of social resilience, and economics that will generate insight for planners, policy makers and community leaders who are seeking to increase the adaptive capacity of cities. Join Milton for this insightful Learning Series that invites you to explore the different urban dynamics that contribute to resilient communities and cities.

Register here!


An Other Kingdom
April 28, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

Our seduction into beliefs in competition, scarcity, and acquisition is producing too many casualties. An Other Kingdom provides a new narrative, a shift in our thinking and speaking, to take us out of a culture of addictive consumption into a place where contract is replaced by covenant, consumption is replaced by neighbourliness, and our time is reclaimed as our own.

Join authors Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann, and John McKnight for an intimate conversation about their new book An Other Kingdom. Discover what has inspired them to write this book together and explore their vision for their proposed paradigm shift.

Register here!


Promise Neighbourhoods
May 4, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

Please join Michael McAfee, Vice President for Programs at PolicyLink and Co-Director of Promise Neighbourhoods Institute for an in-depth presentation on this innovative neighbourhood program, his journey to build a legacy grounded in equity, and how PNI is using Collective Impact as a framework to build communities of opportunity.

Register here!


Communities of Belonging

Speakers: A 4-Part Learning Series with Michael Jones
May 27th - June 24th, 2016| 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

In this profound Learning Series, our host, Michael Jones, will feature stories and perspectives centered around one of four timeless underlying patterns of place. The purpose of these patterns is to inject life energy and soul into the body of community. Each reveals the underlying energy flow and network of relationships which, when made visible contribute to a communities’ sense of vitality and well being.

These patterns include: Homecoming, Belonging, Regenerativity and Transformative Celebration.

Register here!

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