Center For Community Renewal

Scaling Community Renewal International To Communities Across The Country

CRI and Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) created the Center for Community Renewal (CCR) through a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) signed February 1, 2014. During the first 5 years CCR will grow its capacity through partnerships, donations, development of new tools / services, program registration fees and new content publication.

The Shreveport-Bossier demonstration city is the CRI living laboratory for visiting communities to observe: how to start a CRI program; the patterns of growing a customized local CRI program; how to assess, plan and scale an entire community. Over 200 cities have visited Shreveport to see the CRI model at work. Representatives of every visiting community want the CRI program. The challenge for these visitors is first how to get started, then how to grow the new workforce to nurture and strengthen the relational foundation of their communities. To date there is some replication activity in other communities. The current method of replication from one community to another is dependent on staff resources from the SB demonstration city to advise and guide. While necessary due to funding limitations, this tactic splits the focus of the local program work with the work of national replication, slowing progress on both fronts.

Deploying the CRI model to the communities across the U.S. will require a trained workforce of approximately 250,000 with skills for the important work of renewing the relational foundation of society. This paid workforce will nurture leveraged work of approximately 25,000,000 volunteers from the full socio-economic strata in their communities. To support the interest and belief in its model CRI will launch The Center for Community Renewal (CCR). The important roles of CCR in replication are:

  • To provide a means of preparing this new workforce, both paid and volunteer;
  • To grow both knowledge and resources for renewing communities; and
  • To provide pathways for communities, individuals and organizations to become part of a CRI network committed to ever-renewing community.

CCR serves 3 primary functions in scaling the work of Community Renewal International (CRI) to communities across the country:

1. CRI Training Programs

CRI Training Programs are designed to deploy a new national work force of paid “community renewers” with skills needed to replicate and customize the CRI model in other communities of the U.S. and around the world. Training programs for unpaid volunteers are also included. Estimates for number of volunteers based on the demonstration model city are approximately 100 volunteers per paid staff. Immersive educational experiences in field and classroom settings prepare both staff and volunteer workforce with skills and tools to transform their communities. Engaging students with the CRI working model in Shreveport / Bossier, Louisiana provides first hand exposure to all facets of the working model. Three educational tracks include:

  • CRI Nurturing Workforce educational programs include:
    • Introduction to the CRI theory of change and actualized model – joining the “We Care Team”;
    • Workshops for becoming Haven House Leaders;
    • Organizing Civic Leader Core Teams to launch and sustain the CRI program in replication communities;
    • Director Certification for Renewal Team and Haven House programs;
    • Neighborhood Community Coordinator Certification (Friendship House / ICU program);
    • CRI Program Coordinator Certification
  • Connecting Elements of the Village StructureExisting Careers Enhancement – educational programs of institutional intervention that include:
    • Introduction to the CRI theory of change and actualized model
    • Filtering existing careers through the CRI relational foundation filter. Activating feed-back loops to better connect work with positive community outcomes.
    • Creating an environment of trust to find new opportunities discovered by crossing boundaries.
    • Strategic Doing workshops
  • Comprehensive Caring Community Systems educational programs:
    • Collaborative seminars in the work of reinventing the systems of community to more intentionally build physical contexts, ownership frameworks, governance structures and policies that strengthen the relational foundation. Partners in Caring teaching workshops for planners, builders and leaders of ever-renewing communities.
    • These seminars and /or workshops will be developed as outcomes of Think Tank Charrettes TM (TTC) and other collaborative initiatives as tools of change are developed through the institute.
2. The Institute for Community Renewal

The Institute for Community Renewal (ICR) is organized to:

  • Grow the body of knowledge and tools for ever-renewing communities.
  • Organize and facilitate periodic Think Tank Charrettes (TTC) to connect the work of individuals / organizations that are pursuing transformative work in one or more of the village structure elements.
  • Produce publications and other content development to improve the capability and impact of the CRI model as a relational foundation filtering system for ever-renewing communities.
  • Develop or assist development of new tools that emerge from TTC’s with potential to advance the work of CRI toward ever-renewing communities. For example, emerging from the first TTC in 2008 is Agile Planning, a new co-created planning process that is based on 3 innovations: the relational strategies of CRI including the “village structure” framework; the discipline of “strategic doing” to guide open loosely joined networks; and physical planning methodologies that better connect planning to implementation with link and leverage design strategies.
3. The CRI Resource Support Center

The CRI Resource Support Center will provide the following support services to replication communities:

  • Field Resource Teams for supporting CRI model start-up communities, assessing communities for customizing strategies and for quality assurance of replication programs.
  • Marketing and communications to create a brand experience that include: CRI online communities, kit of tools that shows how the CRI approach works, sharing CRI experiences of communities and individuals across the country.
  • Publishing for curriculum, top shelf journal in “social technology,” monthly “Renewal News” magazine, as well as books and videos.
  • CR Foundation for seed funding of site start-ups, sustained home support and “scholarships”.
  • Strategic gatherings that include forums, retreats, and yearly “conventions” to grow the community of all CR personnel and partners.