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Featured Article: Our Black Shepherds - Given the traditional European/American profile of the Church in the United States, there has always been urgings from the smaller ethnic groupings, Hispanic, African American, Italian, Polish, Asian, etc to have episcopal representation. And each group has its own story to tell with getting bishops appointed. Read Full Story

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 NBCC Featured Article

Appreciative Inquiry: Become a Positive Force for Change; In Your Parish, In Your Family, and In Your Community

During the National Black Catholic Convocation XV Conference, which was held in St. Louis, Missouri from April 27-May 1, 2003, 175 participants had five wonderful days to explore how Appreciative Inquiry, an organizational behavior intervention strategy, can facilitate their work for building positive change in their parishes, families and communities.

During the course of this conference, participants were challenged to examine current paradigms that frame their change strategies. We examined the concept of Appreciative Inquiry as an alternative change strategy, which was first developed by Dr. David Cooperrider in the mid 1980s at Case Western Reserve University. While the theory and practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is considered to originate from the behavioral sciences, during the course of our conference, we were easily able to correlate how the use of an appreciative perspective and the fundamental principles of AI, versus a deficit orientation not only brings forth rapid change, but is grounded in Biblical text, supporting the values of the Catholic Church and the National Black Catholic Congress.

To keep this wonderful momentum going, we would like to periodically provide you with information on Appreciative Inquiry, for those of you who did not have the opportunity to attend the conference as well as for those of you who want to refresh your learning. We believe that AI can be a powerful change lever for implementing the actions imperatives set forth by the National Black Catholic Congress.

We also are looking to open a dialogue through the web site that examines the successes people are having with the implementation of Appreciative Inquiry in their work.

Dr. Christopher Anne Easley, RODC, who presented the opening keynote, set the stage as to why a positive orientation to implementing change is critical in African American communities. With her permission, we have provided you with excerpts of her opening address, which sets the stage for the reasons we need to explore options to implementing change.

We also invite you to contact us with perspectives on future articles on Appreciative Inquiry…those that explore the specifics of Appreciative Inquiry as well as success stories relative to the use of Appreciative Inquiry within our communities, parishes and families.

Appreciative Inquiry (Continued)

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Become a Friend of the National Black Catholic Congress

Pastoral Letter: "What We Have Seen and Heard" Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Fundraising as Ministry: Vision, Invitation and Conversion

The Experience of God's Presence

The Basics of Being Married in the Catholic Church

Building a Bridge over Troubled Waters

Reading as a Subversive Act: Libraries as the Guide to Liberation

Son, They Have No Wine! Reflections on the Importance of Devotion to Mary

Tenth National Black Catholic Congress

Appreciative Inquiry: Become a Positive Force for Change

Catholic Campus Ministry

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part I)

Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry (Part II)

His Greatest Gift

Joannes Paulus II, Magnus

Lent to Easter: Preparation for Celebration

Mary - Mother, Woman, Disciple

Research That Matters

Silent No More: A Major Crisis in the African-American Community

The Best Kept Secret

The Food Crisis in Niger

The Passion of Mel Gibson's "Passion"

To Marry or Not To Marry - That is the question!

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Article Index


by Christopher Anne Easley, Ph.D., RODC.
Excerpts from the Keynote Address Titled
"Loving and appreciating our families, youth and communities as we define our future"

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