Co-create the 21st century neighborhood
Join other pioneers interested in re-imagining municipalities in the USA - from the bottom-up, together with your neighbors.
Become a Block Steward in your local neighborhood!
Do you think trust in the USA could be strengthened?
Right now, researchers say only one in four US Americans trust most people.
Even less trust the government.
However, 84% of Americans believe it is possible to improve the level of confidence people have in the government. And even more exciting, 86% believe it is possible to improve peoples’ confidence in each other.
We believe change starts local.
We are inspired by stories of neighbor-to-neighbor mutual aid, City Council and staff who go the last mile, non-English communities, random acts of kindness, and those small daily interactions among neighbors and acquaintances that cut 'across the aisle.'
With just a little block stewardship, together we can amplify this trust.
Block Stewardship is based on a long history of neighborhood network support.
From block captains and block parties, to neighborhood planning units and block clubs, to religious places of worships and community centers, there is a long history of localized support in the neighborhood.
We propose a model to build upon those: block stewards who intentionally cultivate the well-being of their neighborhoods - by borrowing the asset-based, deliberative, solutions-driven, empathetic mindsets of design-thinking and tech.
What do Block Stewards do?
Block Stewards enter the Block Steward Academy to learn about case studies of local resilience, attend hands-on workshops, and exchange knowledge with fellow Block Stewards.
Block Stewards immediately apply these skills to host local gatherings to build social trust, discuss challenges, and take actions, together with neighbors.
Block Stewards collaborate with local government, businesses, non-for-profits, and other stakeholders, to form a more cohesive backbone for the entire municipality.
What is the Block Steward Academy?
Block Steward Academy is for those who think we can do more to strengthen the social fabric in our municipalities - and want to use their local communities as laboratories for trust-building.
It is a 6 month immersive experience, similar to driver's ed.
There is the theory component: you will discuss examples of local resilience with your fellow Block Stewards. You will practice active listening, asking questions, and other skills of leadership. There will be workshops on leveraging a curated set of tech tools to support your work.
Then there is the practical component. In fact, this is the bulk of your experience: in the driver's seat. This will be hands-on, in your municipality, working together with your neighbors. Just like the driving instructor, coaches and mentors will be there to help you reflect on your choices and actions.
Throughout the experience, you will have plenty of opportunity to share back with your peers and facilitators at the Block Steward Academy - to ask for support, propose collaborations, or simply to celebrate wins!
We are looking for a few pilot partner municipalities, with the capacity to implement.
Like all change, it starts with one person's interest.
Is that you?
We partner with community organizations or committed champions to bring Block Steward Academy to your municipality.
We welcome older people, younger people, City Councilpeople, local businesspeople, students, employees, people without houses, city staff... let us know who we missed!
Your job title or background doesn't matter, but what does matter is your dedication to working with your neighbors, and your desire to embed yourself deeper in your local municipality.
We created the Block Steward Academy so you have the space, mentorship, and support to figure out the rest 😊
If you're interested in becoming a Block Steward, please reach out to us by sharing your email address below.
© Block Steward Academy. All rights reserved. Header image from The Fifth Sacred Thing by Jessica Perlstein www.jessicaperlstein.com
Thank you for joining us on this mission!
We will reach out to you soon.