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The Power Shift Overview Session

This session is designed to introduce organizations to Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) principles and the Empowered Communities Approach to implementing these principles. This training event can be tailored for audiences of any size. Participants will be introduced to these concepts which are explored in greater detail in our Power Shift Training Series:

  • The Four Bedrock Principles of ABCD that lay the foundation for the Empowered Communities Framework (Power Shift - Foundations Series). 
  • The Five Community Capacity Building Processes used to bring ABCD principles to life in a way that strengthens communities from the inside out (Power Shift - Implementation Series). 

The Power Shift Training Series (Foundations & Implementation)

Learning Levels: 

The full-length Power Shift Training Series is offered at 2 different levels of depth and commitment, each one designed to accommodate where participants are in the ABCD learning process. 

The Introductory Power Shift Series is an introductory level training series for those who are new to or need a refresher in Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) principles and tools of practice. The series covers the Foundations materials of the Power Shift core curriculum. This series is offered bi-annually in the spring and fall for members of the Empowered Communities Network and their guests. This level training can be scheduled at additional times upon request for new clients at an additional cost. 

The Practitioner Power Shift Series is a practitioner level training series for individuals and small groups who want to implement the Empowered Communities Framework principles and tools into their community engagement and development work. This series covers the Foundations materials with the option of continuing through the Implementation Series of the Power Shift core curriculum.  This training is offered in an ongoing fashion through a self-paced video-based training platform that is combined with facilitated discussions scheduled to meet participant objectives. It is also offered as a learning cohort as a part of the bi-annual Empowered Communities Network training.  Training sessions are capped at 12 participants to ensure deeper sharing and learning. This series is offered upon request for new clients at an additional cost. 

The Train the Trainer Power Shift Series is a more advanced level and in-depth series for those who want to learn how to train others in the Empowered Communities Framework and customize the tools for their unique context. This series covers all of the Power Shift core curriculum in either 90 minute or 2 hour sessions depending on group size, and there is approximately 1 hour of advanced preparation expected between sessions in the form of readings and practicing the use of the training tools. Training sessions are capped at 12 participants to ensure deeper sharing and learning. This series is offered annually each only to those who are members of the Empowered Communities Network. Completion of a Train the Trainer level series is required for all who are seeking to become certified coaches or trainers in the Empowered Communities Framework. 


Foundations Series: A basic understanding of Asset Based Community Development including:

  • The seven basic needs found in every community and an understanding of current investments in addressing these basic needs: Physical, vocational, environmental, social/emotional, the need for power and control, the need for collective voice, and psycho-spiritual needs. (Framework of Understanding Community Needs)      
  • The difference between relief, individual betterment and community development approaches and when each is most appropriate. (Shift #1: Relief to Development)
  • How one-way giving approaches can undermine an empowerment effort and how to shift to an approach that fosters mutual interdependence. (Shift #2: Doing For to Doing With)
  • The importance of place and narrowing the scope of the development effort to a specific geographically defined group, neighborhood or sub-group of a school, neighborhood, or organization. (Shift #3: Cause to Community)
  • Basic understanding of the six types of assets and gifts found in every community (individuals, associations, institutions, physical environment, methods of exchange, and culture) and the role each plays in a development effort with particular attention on the importance of the "gapper" role. (Shift #4: Needs to Assets)

Implementation Series: An overview of the five capacity building processes: Listening, Leadership Development, Team Building, Support Raising and Storytelling

  • How to conduct a listening project to discover the hopes, dreams, gifts and talents of the community. (Shift #5: Working our Plan to Discovering Dreams)
  • The three components of an effective leadership development process: one-on-one coaching, peer-to-peer communities of practice, and ongoing training through learning cohorts. (Shift #6: Participants to Owners)
  • The four CARE practices for effective team building: creating safe space, ask self-awakening questions, reflect collectively and enact the next faithful step. (Shift #7: Committee Building to Beloved Community)
  • How to build partnerships that can help sustain a community-defined, constituent-driven community development effort. (Shift #8: Outside In to Inside Out)
  • How to tell stories in a way that shifts harmful narratives (both at the community level and the larger narratives that shape society) to more hope-filled ones.  (Shift #9: From Divided to United) 
Training Sectors

We have tailored our Power Shift Training Series into 5 specific contexts where the Empowered Communities Framework can be applied. Each training will follow the Power Shift core curriculum and session structures outlined in the previous sections with stories and tools tailored for the organization's specific context. 

Community Engagement Professionals - All Sectors: Tools used and stories shared will be focused on identifying and mobilizing community members in a way that leads to the development of a shared community vision and action teams designed to bring that vision to life. 

Educators: Tools used and stories shared will be focused on how to engage students, parents, and the broader community in the educational process. 

Faith-Based Organizations: Tools used and stories shared will be focused on community empowerment and delivered with a spiritual lens that aligns with the organization's mission, vision, and values. 

Youth Development Organizations: Tools used and stories shared will focus on how to identify, equip and mobilize high school youth to support or lead a community or school empowerment effort. 

With our 3 levels of training customizable for these 5 distinct community engagement contexts, Embrace is able to design a training experience that will meet your specific needs. 

Contact Us

If you would like to set up a training for your organization, please reach out to us here