About

A team committed to Growing the Good
Resonja Alma Lilia Linda Susan

Taking a break at a Key to Community planning meeting last year at Berkeley READS: Resonja Willoughby, Alma Miller, Linda Sakamoto-Jahnke, Lilia Hernandez and Susan Clark

This Key to Community website is a service project of Common Knowledge, an organization committed to the research and practice of inclusive community engagement and thriving local communities. When we center our work around community members’ collective insights from lived experience, we find new approaches for positive social transformation.

Here is a one minute overview of the project, as interpreted by our friend Barbara Church:

Read short bios of some of the current grassroots leaders who are helping the Key to Community Project evolve to meet the needs of our times. Learn more about the Common Knowledge team and friends who are committed to pioneering community-driven design that proves that greater inclusion leads to sustained innovation.

We thank everyone who has donated their time to this collaborative effort. We share the resources at this site in gratitude to the inspiring local leaders who have contributed fresh perspectives that have led to new breakthroughs in civic participation. We have connected with these extraordinary “ordinary” people through partnerships with Berkeley READS at the Berkeley Public Library, Second Start at the Oakland Public Library, and California Library Literacy Services, which have supported aspects of the Key to Community materials for 100+ library literacy programs across the state.

Beginning in 1994 with the Bay Area New Readers Council, hundreds of adult learner leaders and emerging leaders have helped develop more effective approaches to voter education and community engagement. Current and former library literacy students—drawn from adult education settings across California—have played an integral role in the design of the popular Easy Voter Guide and created a complete engagement model that doubled voter participation. Equally important, the Key to Community Project continues to pilot and refine new ways to enliven community members’ energies and capacities for broadly shared goals.

“We co-create fresh solutions to stale problems.

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