FrameworkCommunity Labs

We have written this monograph, Making Visible the Invisible Power of Community, to document the inherent power in communities. We hope this paper will assist communities, funders, and organizations dedicated to social development and will contribute to the ongoing discourse of how best to make communities work. The observations in this paper are based on Wildflowers’ experiences in Asian American, African American, indigenous, and Mexican/Central American communities; in mixed racial and ethnic communities in the United States; and in China and Mexico. We have uncovered an organic community infrastructure for advancing social safety and social health. This infrastructure comprises a group of compassionate and forward-looking leaders, social spaces for renewal and development, and many different kinds of generative activities. It operates in the informal sector of the community and is most often invisible to outsiders.

Download the complete paper
(PDF format)

This paper includes six videos that play within the PDF, and we highly recommend that you watch them. To view the video clips, you will need Adobe Reader 9.0. Please download the application before reading the paper. This application is free.

Alternatively, you can view the videos without Adobe Reader 9.0. And some of you may prefer to print the paper and read it in hard copy. For those of you who prefer reading this way, we have set up this website to house the video clips. The six clips are listed below in page order. As you get to the section that has a video, just clicking on the titles below to activate the clip:

Lastly, you can also see the clips without Adobe Reader 9.0 by clicking “view video online” in the copy of the PDF file.