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“Empowerment is the word. I’ve been forced to break out of my own circle and see more. I have a direction now in my community, more involvement in activism.”–student evaluating the Henson College Certificate in Community Development.
This course was designed to sharpen social analysis and develop skills in leaders of low-income and marginalized communities in Nova Scotia. Taught by two experienced community workers and funded by two major Canadian foundations, it graduated 50 students over four years. Many joined the program’s advisory committee and helped the course evolve further. Grassroots Leaders Building Skills includes the complete course, with agendas for 25 three-hour sessions, detailed directions for facilitators and spiral-bound handouts for photocopying. Many sessions can stand alone as workshops on topics such as diversity, ideology, community development and building strategies for social change. Plans are included for adapting the sessions to middle class participants, post-secondary classroom settings, or as a series of intensive workshops. Introductory essays explore the theories behind the program and its pedagogy, the logistical organization and the experience of graduates. This powerful course is a valuable resource to anyone teaching social analysis and community organization skills.
“Empowerment is the word. I’ve been forced to break out of my own circle and see more. I have a direction now in my community, more involvement in activism.
— student evaluating the Henson College Certificate in Community Development.