Asset-Based Community Development

In my teaching and writing I often talk about asset-based community development as a way to engage with and transform (or be transformed) within communities. This page contains my favorite links and resources to help students and others learn more about ABCD.

Video Links

This is a great TedX talk by my friend and colleague Bill Stanfield at Metanoia in Charleston. In this Ted talk Bill talks about economic capital and the ways in which an asset-based approach has transformed his neighborhood in North Charleston.

Another great TedX talk is by Angela Blanchard who is the President and CEO of Neighborhood Centers Inc. in Houston, Texas. Angela gives a great overview of the asset-based approach and what happens when we reframe our conversations around community. And here’s a New York Times article about  Neighborhood Centers, Inc.

Occasionally you hear a person’s job title and you think, “I want to do that!” That’s how I felt when I first heard about De’Amon Harges, the “Roving Listener” at Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Start with this news article to learn more, then watch De’Amon’s TedX talk where he talks about his work and the ABCD transformation that happened at Broadway. You can follow De’Amon on Twitter @rovinglistener


This is a great handout published by the ABCD Institute at Northwestern that gives an overview of ABCD. Excellent resource for introducing this paradigm to churches or other groups.

There are more great resources on this page – the new home of the ABCD Institute, now at DePaul University.


One great way to learn more about ABCD is to look at the Abundant Community website that builds on John McKnight and Peter Block’s amazing book, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods. The articles on this site make great exemplars for teaching about ABCD as a way to transform communities.

When you’re reading to jump into the conversation, join ABCD in Action at this site to connect with practitioners from around the world who are doing this work.