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Global Read

The Connected Community

by Cormac Russell + John McKnight


The Connected Community

Discovering the Health, Wealth, and Power of Neighborhoods

by Cormac Russell, and John McKnight

We are so pleased to have both co-authors in this Global Read.


Date: Wednesday, May 24, 9 am Pacific Time
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Cost: Suggested donation $10 US.
We will offer this program free to those whose resources are limited.

Watch a Recording of the Program


We may be living longer, but people are more socially isolated than ever before. As a result, we are hindered both mentally and physically, and many of us are looking for something concrete we can do to address problems like poverty, racism, and climate change.

What if solutions could be found on your very doorstep or just two door knocks away?


Cormac Russell

Cormac Russell is a social explorer, an author and a much sought-after speaker. He is the Founding Director of Nurture Development and a member of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, at DePaul University, Chicago.Over the last 25 years, Cormac’s work has demonstrated an enduring impact in 35 countries around the world. He has trained communities, agencies, NGOs and governments in ABCD and other community-based approaches in Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe and North America.His most recent books are The Connected Community- Discovering the Health, Wealth, and Power of Neighborhoods (Coauthor John McKnight); Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2022, and Rekindling Democracy – A Professional’s Guide to Working in Citizen Space; Cascade Books, 2020.


John L. McKnight

John McKnight In 1969, McKnight’s alma mater, Northwestern University, invited him to return and help initiate a new department called the Center for Urban Affairs where he helped develop the Institute for Policy Research. McKnight and his colleague, Jody Kretzmann, focused their research on urban neighborhoods. This work was documented in a guide titled Building Communities from the Inside Out, describing an approach to community building that became a major development strategy practiced in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. As an aside, it was during this time that McKnight was one of the trainers of Barack Obama as he learned the skills of community organizing.

McKnight is also the author of The Careless Society: Community and its Counterfeits, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods with Peter Block, and An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture with Peter Block and Walter Brueggemann, an exploration of the nature of community life outside the consumer society. He is currently on the board of Communities First Association, the Abundant Community Initiative, and the Asset-Based Community Development Institute.


About the Host Dr. Julian Abel

Dr. Julian Abel became a consultant in palliative care in 2001, working initially at a district general hospital and in hospice. Over the last 10 years he has become increasingly involved in finding ways of building compassionate communities around people at their end-of-life. He has run projects at local, regional and national levels. He was the chair of the organising committee for the 4th International Conference on Public Health and Palliative Care, held in Bristol in 2015 and until recently, was Vice President of Public Health Palliative Care International. He is an international keynote speaker and has published regularly on models on public health palliative care. Abel and Professor Allan Kellehear are the editors for the forthcoming publication of the Oxford Textbook of Public Health Palliative Care.

Since 2016 he has been working with Frome Medical Practice in Somerset in developing a new model of primary care combined with compassionate communities. The health outcomes of this model have been dramatic, with this being the first intervention that has been effective in improving the health of the town of Frome - at the same time reducing population emergency admissions. Increasing compassion, love, laughter and friendship is the most effective way of leading a happy, healthy and long life. The outcomes from Frome have generated international interest and this became the subject matter for The Compassion Project. Dr Julian Abel is joint author of The Compassion Project, along with the prize winning novelist Lindsay Clarke.

Compassionate communities is one of the most effective therapeutic tools we have in improving length of life and well being. Along with Professor Kellehear and Dr. Catherine Millington Sanders, he has formed, and is the Director of Compassionate Communities UK. The charity has been formed to develop the broader roll-out of compassionate communities in both primary care and end of life care. Projects are underway in multiple areas in the UK, and several international projects are under development.


The Project's Website: Compassionate Communities UK




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