DeAmon Harges is the original “Roving Listener” as a neighbor and staff member of the Broadway United Methodist Church, in Indianapolis, IN. His role is to listen and discover the gifts, passions and dreams of citizens in his community, and to find ways to utilize them in order to build community, economy, and mutual “delight.” The bulk of DeAmon’s work is based on the principles and practices of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) that brings neighbors and institutions together to discover the power of being a good neighbor. DeAmon builds on what is already present and in place in the neighborhood, using those formally undiscovered assets to connect and empower rather than working only from the community’s needs and deficits. There is now a core of “Roving Listeners” working in the Broadway Methodist Church neighborhood.
Wildstyle also known as Keith (that’s his government name) is a great example of how we are more than what we see! Wildstyle (appropriately name because of his unconventional skating techniques), is gifted with the skill of being a mechanic. He understands how mechanics and processes in human development works but he is more interested in telling stories through music and visual arts. He uses his time to cultivate young hip hop artists to hone their skills like Jedi Knights. He promotes and manages them. He says that “if I don’t model how to be a productive person how can young people see how to be one?” Wildstyle also partners with The Learning Tree. He plays the role as the Roving Illustrator. His job is to make the invisible visible. Kind of an evaluator with a hip hop flare. Y’all should check out his work.
The Executive Spirit acts as the glue of our mosaic. She facilitates, communicates and brings order to the seemingly chaotic energy of joy by convening the design team of The Learning Tree. The Executive Spirit tracks what neighbors are doing, collects information, does the bookkeeping and helps the team to see the big picture.
The Dream Catcher. People live between the dream realm and reality. The dream catcher is the one who can bring things from the dream world into reality. He is a relationship tactician, connecting people and coordinating efforts. He is the Cultivator of Joy, maintaining connections in the community that support discovery, practice and celebration in order to build community, economy and mutual delight. As the neighborhood scop, he tells stories about the gifts of the people, of these places that are labeled; telling the stories of what happened and taking the minutes of the community.
Caitlin Childs is a community organizer, writer and consultant from Atlanta, GA. She has nearly 20 years of experience in grassroots organizing working on a variety of social justice issues. Most recently she spent nearly 7 years in a funding organization designing and implementing an award-winning community organizing program throughout her home state of Georgia. Caitlin is passionate about interdependence, intersectionality and building movements that cross identity lines and support communities to create their own solutions to their problems. You can learn more about her by visiting www.