Powerful conversations for Memphis’ Carl Awsumb - "I’m excited by what’s going on in this city&

​​ One of the first questions posed to the gathering of 300 community members in Memphis on Nov. 14 urged attendees to consider the gifts they have to offer of themselves, and that introspective concept sits in Carl Awsumb’s mind as he looks back at what inspired him most during the event. “I thought that was a very, very powerful way to bring you to the present moment,” Carl says. “I’m as guilty as a lot of people are of thinking in terms of what I’ve done to help me define myself, and I think this conference helped me realize that there were lots of strings attached to that.” A week later, he attended a meeting hosted by Latino Memphis, and though he knew nobody in the room he found

Memphis Faith Community Inspires - At a crossroads between deep commitment and finding their voice,

​​ “I was inspired by a faith community, by mostly Christian churches, who’ve decided to extend their property line to include the neighborhood and their local community.” That is how thought leader Peter Block says he left a gathering of about 300 Memphis residents who had come together to discover the resources and wisdom already existing in their neighborhoods and how those can be connected for greater productivity. The gathering was facilitated by the Center for Transforming Communities (CTC), which has been working primarily with faith congregations to have similar conversations on a smaller scale across the city. Peter Block “The idea that the churches are forgetting about their ce

"Deep Satisfaction" in Planting the Seeds of Change, Says Amy Moritz - CTC Director Soaks

​​ Amy Moritz describes the past six months as a period of deep preparation as she and a core of volunteers connected to the Center for Transforming Communities in Memphis prepared to plant seeds of change. Through their many connections to people in the city working to strengthen local vitality, one neighborhood at a time, they have been cultivating the soil, so to speak. When 300 people gathered for a conversation about the possibilities last week, she could see these efforts paying off. Thought leaders Peter Block, John McKnight and Walter Brueggemann helped guide guests through a conversation about the creation of a new Memphis narrative that looks beyond problem-solving to one that hon

An Abundance of Possibility as New Memphis Narrative Unfolds - 300 People Gather to Shape Vision for

There was a young man who joined around 300 community members and leaders from in and around Memphis on Nov. 14 for conversations about the creation of a new narrative — one of hope, possibility, connectivity and the aesthetics of interdependency. His mother had died of cancer the day before, yet there he was, with gifts of self to offer in a room filled with an abundance of generosity. At the end of the day, one of the event organizers, Mary Jo Greil, carried a microphone to him, not knowing of the loss he had just experienced. She was eager to hear his description of what the day meant to him; what he might have gained. “He said that he came in at a certain level and the day moved him up t

Timely Conversations for a Church at a Crossroads - Jacob's Well Founder Looks forward to New Co

Jacob’s Well is a church that today finds itself at a crossroads in its mission to serve the people of Memphis, and as its founder, Rev. Jamey Lee looks forward, he finds hope in the connections he might make during a gathering of community leaders hosted by the Center for Transforming Communities. Jamey founded the church in Memphis back in 2010, and its heart is given to the service of God by offering reconciliation, rehabilitation and reciprocation — bridging the racial divides of the city, and offering hope for people struggling through the pangs of addiction and poverty. “The city of Memphis is a city divided,” Jamey says, but Jacob’s Well is discovering people of all backgrounds coming

Why Could November 14 be a Good Day for Memphis? - Pastor Marlon Foster Shares His Excitement

The countdown is on to what could be a turning-point for Memphis, Nov. 14, when more than 300 people will gather to think and talk and make plans around pulling their city to a new greatness. If that sounds highly aspirational, that is just what it is, although there are “feet on the ground” behind this dreaming. The people and ideas out of which this dream arises include the Center for Transforming Communities, which has been working in Memphis for more than 20 years, and is spearheading the Nov. 14 event. The asset-based community development (ABCD) which will be integral to the gathering has been at the center of CTC’s work and is yielding the results it’s intended to. That is, people

Drawing Spirits of Change Together in Memphis - CTC Chair Looks to Transformative Conversations on N

That perspectives change and people will consider the meaning of community in a different light using the language of asset-based engagement rather than deficit: this is but a sampling of Wayne Puckett’s hope as the Engaging Community Narrating Change event draws near. With little more than a week to go before the long-planned conversation gets underway at Memphis’ Rhodes College with thought-leaders Walter Brueggemann, John McKnight and Peter Block, Wayne is feeling excitement, expectation, and a little pressure as the final logistical details are worked out. As chair of the Center for Transforming Communities (CTC) board of directors, and member of the planning committee organizing the Nov

The Antidote to Isolation in Memphis

There is something to be said for a community where neighbors know each other and wave from their front porches to passersby as twilight invites post-supper strolls.It makes for a comfortable place to call home, and it is part of the reason why Anthony Gilbert was drawn to the Memphis neighborhood of Binghampton, where he’s lived for about a year now. “In Binghampton, as opposed to other parts of the city, there’s much more of a feeling of knowing your neighbors,” Anthony says, pointing to the diversity of the neighborhood as part of its charm. In the neighborhood where he grew up, “people have forgotten that cultural knowledge of what it means to be part of a community,” he adds. “It has di

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Center for Transforming Communities, Inc.

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