I had the opportunity to shadow Center for Transforming Communities (CTC) Director, Amy Moritz, on a Friday afternoon in February in the South Memphis Shalom Zone. In the prior week I had begun learning about the community group capacity building and sustainable social change work that CTC engages in, so this opportunity to see the fruit of such labor was a welcomed one. Amy invited me to join her on a visit to the community’s Clothes Closet and we were sincerely welcomed by
Two years ago, Andy planned to volunteer for three months. He changed the construct of his life after being invited to a writing session. He arrived at the session in a suit as an advertising/marketing executive feeling uncomfortable initially, but discovered there was little distance between he and those labeled as chronically homeless. The topic of this session was about finding common ground with fellow members of humanity. His search for service has turned into life's wor
In China's culture the thought is often articulated through the concept and practice of feng-shui -the system that governs spatial arrangements to create a sense of energy or aura. It is believed that when arranged properly with the necessary elements in the most appropriate location then that space has the potential to emit a power linked to prosperity, success, fulfillment. Another provocative idea regarding space, ergonomics, suggests space becomes powerful only when ther
The principles of Communities of Shalom are as applicable in a rural context as they are in an urban neighborhood. In a town of 1400 people, Mason Caregivers Shalom Community is fostering unity, promoting education and dreaming of so much more.
Pastor Billy Jo Jackson embraces the notion that everyone has gifts and skills to share. Nearly breaking into a sermon from the stage of the first annual Mason Unity Festival, Pastor Jackson encouraged the hundreds gathered to comp
Much has been stated about the leveraging power of the emerging generation known as Millennials, occasionally referred to as Generation Y. This group of twenty-somethings has illustrated significant influence in determining the status of elections, impacting economic growth, and shaping the future of technology. They often are credited with fueling social media movements all around the world. Center for Transforming Communities (CTC) recently sat down with the millennial memb
With years of corporate experience, a wealth of wisdom, and a refined lens of perspective Dr. Mary Jo Greil takes a moment to share some insights on her work with Center for Transforming Communities. She has served on the Board of Directors for three (3) years while leading her own consulting firm, Carson Greil Group. An organizational change expert, Dr. Greil assesses the value of the asset-based community development approach as a powerful mechanism of change.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Workshop at the Center for Transforming Communities (CTC). Facilitated by CTC Director, Amy Moritz, the workshop included group discussions, break-out sessions, lunch, and a wonderful tour of the Binghampton neighborhood led by Pastor Billy Vaughan.
Individuals from different neighborhoods across the metropolitan area like Highland Heights, Orange Mound, Germantown, and Grand Jun
Their hospitality was refreshing, captivating even. After an unexpected, delightful lunch in their South Memphis home William and Geraldine Downey took the opportunity to share from a colorful lens of history regarding their enduring connection to their beloved neighborhood.
Both of them speak fondly of their childhood years in South Memphis and now some fifty plus (50+) years later they find themselves helping to shape the quality of life for children there today. Mr. and
Full of energy...full of excitement, Dianne Love takes a few moments to talk about the progressive change happening in her neighborhood. She attributes the growing phenomenon of collaboration to an awareness that shalom is a lifestyle. The partnerships and connections in southeast Memphis are widening with a particular focus to survey the assets existing within the community and maximize the potential therein.
Dennis Ross, Sr. pastor of Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church, shares through an experiential lens what it means to evolve alongside a community as it redefines itself. Pastor Ross engages in committed service to his community by connecting his narrative to a community full of promise. He equates the power of South Memphis to that of a shining beacon of hope.
Much of his story and the story of South Memphis is inherently tied to a way of believing, living, and existing