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Featured Article: Let the Children Come to Me: How We Saved Our Catholic School - It was September 2007. I was three years into my pastorate at the historic St. Augustine Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Washington. Our school had just received its notice of termination: with 175 students, it would close in June 2008 along with seven other parish schools serving predominantly African American students. Flash forward nine years. We did not close but are still here today alive and well! Read Full Story

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The Fundamentals of Appreciative Inquiry, Part I

Last month we began an online presentation/discussion on Appreciative Inquiry and how it can become a very positive force for strategically designing and implementing change in our parishes, families and communities. Excerpts from Dr. Christopher Anne Easley's keynote address for the National Black Catholic Convocation Conference set the stage for understanding some of the critical issues facing African Americans and why alternative strategies for change are needed. Dr. Easley also provided a brief overview of Appreciative Inquiry.

Many of you have already echoed our belief that AI can be a powerful change lever for implementing the action imperatives set forth by the National Black Catholic Congress as we work to develop change in our parishes, families and communities, and as Dr. Easley pointed out in her keynote address, it is time for us to challenge our assumptions regarding past strategies. Therefore, the intent of this month's Appreciative Inquiry follow-up is to provide you with more information on the theoretical and practical premises of Appreciative Inquiry (AI). Through the next two months Dr. Easley will present a summary of the work that she did with youth in gangs, and begin a more practical discussion of the theory and practice of AI. She, along with Dr. Terry Armstrong and some of their Organization Development colleagues have agreed to serve as our "technical support" as we begin the learning and implementation processes of Appreciative Inquiry.

However, as we all believe, to continue the momentum from the conference means that we need to hear from you. We want to hear about the work you are doing in your parishes and communities using AI. We want to hear about the positive change that is occurring. So please, contact the NBCC office with your success stories or volunteerism to write an article for the AI forum. Articles must be in by the 10th of each month in order to insure that the Webmaster has sufficient time for development. We are also looking to develop a threaded discussion sometime in the near future. But in the meantime, in addition to articles and success stories, questions for Drs. Easley and Armstrong and other AI experts who will work with them can also be posted on the web site.

(Note: The research from this article is derived from the following publications/dissertation)

Easley, C.A. (1999). The Role of Appreciative Inquiry in the fight to save our Youth. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Benedictine University, Lisle, IL.)

Easley, C.A., Yaeger, T. F. & Sorensen, P. F. (2002). "Appreciative Inquiry: Evoking New Ways of Understanding, Valuing and Loving and Changing the Youth We Have Lost to Gangs", Abstract publication of the conference proceedings, The Management Centre, Kings College, University of London, July 24-26, 2002, Organizational Discourse: From Micro-Utterances to Macro-Interferences. ISBN: 900089 05 X

Fundamentals Of Appreciative Inquiry, Part I (Continued)

Article Index

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Article Index

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.

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