Turning the Tide on Poverty: Community champions as critical elements of success in economically distressed communities

Sheri Lokken Worthy, Laura Downey, Patricia Hyjer Dyk, Pamela A. Monroe, Crystal Tyler-Mackey, Rachel Welborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Turning the Tide on Poverty is designed in part to expand the number of new voices in community dialogs and to spur those individuals to become leaders in their communities. In this article, we explore the degree to which the success of the Tide project is linked to the emergence or presence of a local champion. We defined a champion as a catalyst or sparkplug and then examined the extant literature and our data to determine the qualities of a champion. When a person (or persons) who was enthusiastic, rallied others, and provided momentum and passion for the project emerged, that person often was identified by other community members as a key element in the success of Tide. We argue that such a person is a community champion and discuss our findings within the Community Capitals Framework. Implications for spurring improvements in distressed communities in the southern US are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-357
Number of pages17
JournalCommunity Development
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 26 2016

Keywords

  • Civic engagement
  • Community Capitals Framework
  • community champions
  • community development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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