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Megan Ginn: Building a Large-Scale Framework

As a new Project Director for Great Lakes Urban, Megan will be working to build a national network of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) trainers/coaches, as well as to develop resources and tools for communities and connectors. She brings relevant expertise, having built a similar network and platform for Serving With Dignity facilitators through The Aravis Network. Besides her experience, Megan also brings a Masters in Social Work and a Bachelors in Political Science. And, importantly, she practices ABCD in her neighborhood. We caught up with Megan to learn more about her as she begins her Project Director role.

From: Deltona, FL I Hobbies: Reading, re-watching my favorite TV shows (currently Monk), and trying out new locally owned restaurants I My Hero: Hannah Moore who was a member of the Clapham Sect, playwright, and writer I Pets: Juniper is the cutest two-year-old German Shepard--Dachschund mix you will ever find. I Favorite quote: "I will speak to you as if you have gifts and are waiting to offer them."--John McKnight & Peter Block, The Abundant Commuity


Megan, why don't we start with your telling us a little about yourself?

Of course! I have lived in Florida my entire life, and while the heat and humidity aren't my favorite, the people and communities here are amazing. I began my career working with local churches and faith-based nonprofits to strengthen their community engagement approach. I'm extremely passionate about helping others find ways to build life-giving relationships and strengthen the whole community.


You've been in this space for a while now, what attracted you to ABCD approaches?

As a social worker, I was often put in the position of "fixing" or "solving" another person's crisis. It didn't take me long to notice how harmful this was for both the person seeking help and the one trying to provide it. ABCD provided a different approach that gave people permission to be fully human, talents and mistakes alike.


Also, ABCD has a way of attracting some of the most amazing, passionate, and humble leaders I know. I immediately was inspired by not only the knowledge and experience everyone had but how generous ABCD practitioners are in supporting one another.


What most excites you about taking on this role with Great Lakes Urban?

I am so excited to get to know local practitioners better and find innovative ways to build support and community around them! Every person, organization, and neighborhood is unique and seeing how ABCD principles are implemented in such different settings fills me with joy.


As we wrap up can you share your own "Small is Beautiful" story?

My neighborhood is Azalea Park, FL. This community was built in the 1950s and most of the homes, businesses, and churches reflect the mid-century design. One unique part of the neighborhood is how many residents' families have lived here for multiple generations. In a region where most residents have moved in from another state, many families in Azalea Park now live in a house across the street from where they grew up.


Additionally, in the last few decades, Azalea Park has become a thriving neighborhood for immigrants from the Caribbean, Central and South America. Some of the best (in my very biased opinion) Latin cuisine in Central Florida is found in this neighborhood, and the majority of residents, stores, and restaurants are bilingual.


Azalea Park has a resident-led neighborhood association that connects residents to each other, neighborhood organizations, and government officials.


Thanks, Megan! It's great to have you on board!

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