Generalist Practice BP11: THE FINAL BLOG

GP2 Final Blog Post

 

What are three things you LEARNED from this course and what is one thing you will DO as follow up?

 

I have learned a lot from Generalist Practice that I will use in my social work career. One thing that I have learned are ice breaker activities. I’ve already started using these in small groups. Although small, these things have been integral in building relationships between the girls and me as well as within the girls’ friendships themselves.

I’ve learned about census tracts and how to read census data to learn about the population I am serving. It would never have occurred to me to use this tool until I learned about it in class. It gives me a better idea of who I am serving, what their assets and unique needs are, and how to formulate an effective intervention.

I’ve learned about the framework of a smart community, and how some communities use their resources and human capital to better themselves in the face of “wicked problems”. I’ve reflected on my own community and the other places I have lived. I’ve also considered my place in my community and what I do to build up the community I live in.

One thing I will do as follow-up is keep in touch with my cohorts who have similar interventions within their communities. I found it interesting that, during census tract presentations, many interventions that were formulated were school based. Those interventions were all unique and can be used to benefit lots of communities. I will use all of these interventions to inform my practice going forward, should I choose to stay in a school setting.

 

Generalist Practice Blog Post 6: Building a Leadership Plaza

Part 1: Please share what 2 changes/additions you made to your website (note if they were peer suggested or your own ideas) and explain your reasoning behind it.

Shelby suggested that I add a pictures, add and About Me section, and delete my test “This is a Test” blog. I did all these things. I added one picture of myself at the end of my About me section. I also added an archive to my sidebar as well as a calendar. I think these changes add personality to my blog. I think they also make my blog a little more user friendly and fun for people to navigate. I’m having fun with this and look forward to making some more changes as the semester goes on.

I also added a Tags and a Categories section to increase ease of navigation.

 

Part 2: Using citations and key points from the Morse Chapter 7 (“Growing New Leaders”) text, explain 3 important elements of building a “leadership plaza.”

According to the text, a leadership plaza is “open, inviting opportunities to put the whole community to work for the community. (Morse, 2014, pp. 166)”

I think the first significant piece of building a leadership plaza is in the leaders that are elected. A good example is from Mayor Joe Riley of Charleston, SC and his commitments to his community (Morse, 2014, pp. 156-157)

  • Open government for everyone, so everyone feels they can participate.
  • Historic preservation, so we can learn from the past and keep those things protected.
  • Strategic, long-term planning and follow-through for the future to keep the community constantly revitalized.

Building a leadership plaza also includes protection of the children in that community. In Harlem in NYC, Geoffrey Canada developed the Harlem Children’s Zone to provide a safety net that would offer support for the kids that live within a 100 block range in Harlem. They offered social, educational, and health support for these kids (Morse, 2014, pp. 158).

Finally, good leaders working within that leadership plaza are looking to the future. Programs like Kansas Health Foundation (Morse, 2014, pp. 162) and Horizons (Morse, 2014, pp. 163) are looking long-term when solving issues like poverty and health. They understand that “wicked” problems can’t be solved in six months. Most can’t even be solved within a year. They create long-term projections and are willing to stick to them and see them through, even during the times when it appears that nothing is happening. It’s hard when we live in a society that is obsessed with instant gratification.

It’s good to read about how these communities have set themselves up for a good future, but it is still a bit frustrating to think of how long one must wait to see the fruits of their labor. But that’s what good leaders do.

Morse, S. (2014). Smart communities: How citizens and local leaders can use

       strategic thinking to build a brighter future (2nd edition). San Francisco:

Jossey-Bass.