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book of the month – John Lord and Peggy Hutchinson’s “Pathways to Inclusion…a New Story…”

March 28, 2009

pathwaysOne of our mentors and supporters introduced us to Pathways to Inclusion Building a New Story with People and Communities  by John Lord and Peggy Hutchison by saying “This is the most important book published in Canada about what we do.”   We thought she was exaggerating.   But, really, this is an amazing book.   Thus far every page has a thought or information that I either didn’t know or brings a new understanding.   I can see why people are referring to it as a classic text for our field already.    John and Peggy have a wealth of experience in community development, research and facilitation and in this book that wealth is conveyed through stories big and small, new and old.   I liked how these stories are broken down – there’s a sense of the individual, what their goals were, their networks of support and how these are grown, and then the infrastructure and processes that need to occur to bring these things together, and then how those goals are funded, problems solved and the results monitored.   They might have called it the “whole story” instead of the new story.   A colleague says that what she loves about this book is that the writers break down big ideas into manageable chunks.  Those of us who’s avocation is community building have been give a great gift in this book, the encapsulation of two brilliant and varied careers and thoughtful, innovative minds.   I am excited about further books by this couple.   It would be  a great text for the reading list of a university or college course.    It is available from Captus

Here is a chapter listing:

I   Setting the Stage for Change
1. Pathways to Inclusion: A Framework for Building a New Story
2. Clienthood and Compliance:  The Failure of Traditional Approaches

II   Values and Vision
3. Values and Principles: The Foundation for Change
4. Community and Hospitality: Rediscovering Where We Belong
5. Shifting Power: To Individuals, Families and Communities
6. Compassion and Purpose: Leaving Victimhood Behind

III   Strategies and Pathways
7. Inspirational Leadership: A Key to Innovation
8. “It’s My Life”: Building on Dreams and Gifts
9. Social Networks: Expanding Capacity Through Relationships
10. Together is Better: The Power of New Story Self-help

IV   Creating an Inclusive Civil Society
11. Government and the Common Good: Policies and Funding that Work
12. The Future: Hopes for the New Story

To get a sense of the work of these writers, there’s a number of great articles on John’s site:

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