Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Building Social Capital

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Building Social Capital

Article excerpt

"The future holds great promise for community coalitions as powerful interventions for community change. Community change is envisioned as: working with whole communities; increasing grassroots and civic engagement; promoting diversity, collaboration and, advocacy; increasing roles for professional technical assistance and evaluation; future changes in the role of government; and the building of healthy communities" according to Wolff (2001).

Wolff is quick to point out, however, that community coalition building should not be seen as a quick fix or a cure-all for the challenges that face our society. He stresses that, rather than pay lip service to the idea of coalition building and jumping in with both feet, it is important to examine successful endeavors and use them as models for future projects. Keys to successful coalition building include:

* Work with whole communities: Similar to the motives that gave rise to holistic medicine, community coalition building depends on the incorporation of all individuals and organizations within a community.

* Increase grassroots engagement: The most successful of community coalitions will be those that involve people and groups most affected by the decisions to be made. …

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