When more diverse voices are part of creating social cohesion, participants can collectively redefine democratic spaces.
Deborah and her colleagues aspire to create an operating system (OS) for the 21st century neighborhood, starting with supporting Block Stewards in United States municipalities: www.blockstewards.com.
Block Stewards are those who welcome new neighbors, organize community events, and liaise with their city officials. You probably know someone in your neighborhood who does some of this already. Deborah wants to support Block Stewards with the tools for setting up the foundations for inclusive Mini Democracies at the neighborhood-level, for neighbors to discuss issues, make decisions, and coordinate action together.
Through the Landecker Democracy Fellowship, Deborah will pilot the first Block Steward Academy, which includes capacity building, community connection, and a catalog of tailored technology tools specific for Block Stewards. She and her colleagues are hitting the pavement to find and interview (potential) Block Stewards to design and curate relevant programming and useful technology tools. Simultaneously, they are also working with local governments and other municipal stakeholders to bring Block Steward Academy to life. They welcome introductions!
Deborah believes that if more people take on more proactive roles in their communities, then more of the unusual suspects will attend these gatherings. These gatherings are the basis for building social cohesion. When more diverse voices are part of creating social cohesion, participants can collectively redefine democratic spaces. Effectively, Deborah thinks a network of more decentralized social fabric, with a greater diversity of voices, will lead to a more inclusive and stronger nation–and world–in the long-term.
Updated November 2021.