The CBI Change Agenda —
Community Building Initiative (CBI) continuously refines its own policies and practices while maintaining a singular sense of purpose rare in grantmaking. CBI’s purpose is to increase community power. This is accomplished by building the capacity of people residing in marginalized communities to gradually and continuously engage in joint efforts to change conditions, policies, and practices that result in neighborhood distress.
Continuous Community Power & Self-Reflection
Like other grant programs, CBI is advancing a theory of change. Community power is achieved by increasing community cohesion, growing individual and collective leadership within a community, strengthening relationships with partners outside the community, and building influence with those who make decisions impacting the community. While this theory of change remains constant, CBI engages in consistent and continuous self-reflection and refinement of the model to support the Initiatives investment goals of neighborhood empowerment. CBI embodies a fundamental commitment to advancing the greater good. This self-reflection and enthusiasm for making needed changes is a shared agenda. CBI is deeply committed to ownership by individual neighborhoods. Providing resources without also providing control will not contribute to a community’s power.
The CBI model is continuously assessed and refined. In addition to operational adjustments, these refinements clarify the Initiative focus on building power, the equity and social justice frame, and a community centered investment approach. Refinements are also encouraged at the community level. CBI’s neighborhood-specific plans have a strategic outlook with clear and precise activities and outcomes. While action is oriented toward specific changes in a neighborhood’s health and safety, CBI takes to heart the fact that residents’ needs are constantly subject to new or varying influences and opportunities—both positive and negative. CBI allows changes in local plans and promotes the greatest flexibility possible within a given neighborhood setting.
Ownership by Community
Sustained Post-Grant Capacity