The Gifts From Georgia

The blog this week was written by George Martin, President of The Arcadia Institute. A couple of weeks ago I sat in on one of the sessions for our guests on our Learning Journey. Four of the five were from Georgia, three attended my alma mater, North Georgia University.

Chatting with them was like a mini home visit. One of the topics we covered was our common tie to Beth Mount and John and Connie O’Brien.

It reminded me that so much of what we have been doing with community participation and lately community brokering can be traced back to the visits from these three for workshops here in Kalamazoo.

The ‘Georgia Mafia’, as I referred to them, back in the 80’s brought so many of the ideas that have influenced our thinking about people belonging to and in the community and about methods to enhance their participation, including the techniques we are using for person-centered planning.

We constantly remind ourselves that so much of the solid thinking was done a long time ago and that much of what we need to do today was what people like Beth, John and Connie were saying then. It is important to acknowledge the lessons from the past and to continue to draw upon them. It is also great to renew to Georgia connection.