What is Community Crossroads?
The Community Crossroads website was conceived at the final gathering of the Foundation for Community Encouragement ("The Wake at Wake") held at Wake Forest University in July, 2002.
The purpose of the Community Crossroads site was to provide a clearinghouse for information regarding the activities of community-building groups and individuals around the world -- announcements, information on upcoming events, "reports from the field" -- and also to provide a source of related information that may be of interest to those engaged in the Community Building effort.
The domain registration for CommunityX-Roads.org eventually expired and this site disappeared from the web.
If you google search Community Crossroads there are many sites that use variations with those words. The sites range from providing services and support to people who have developmental disabilities or acquired brain disorders to encouraging people to volunteer to help others. Wake Forest University even offers a LENS Global Pre-College Program that includes a Cultural Crossroads program where students confront the challenge of intercultural communication. Professors engage students in sustained dialogue around identity, cultural values, and intercultural communication in an Identity Forum, an Immersion Excursions, and a Writing Seminar. Students examine the meaning of identity and influence of culture in a variety of settings and activities. The program certainly has echoes of this site's original goals.
Recently I discovered that the CommunityX-Roads.org's domain was available, so I bought it with the goal of recreating as much of its original content as possible from archived pages. I did not want someone else to purchase the domain and re-purpose the site for something that had nothing in common with the original website. I believe that the information on the archived pages is still important and should be available online. Perhaps it will encourage others to continue in the footsteps of the original founders of CommunityX-Roads.org.
I was thinking about the four stages of community building the other day as I was signing an online petition to spur congressional action to advance actions against climate change. After a long and spirited conversation with my most famous Ultimate Frisbee buddy and former Queens Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Randall Pred I finally decided I needed to do something other than talk about climate change. Ben relayed a related opinion about what motivates our elected officials - public pressure. As a corporate NYC lawyer, he has a fact driven and convincing demeanor that has motivated me to not only sign this petition, but to also forward it to all my friends. I included Ben's comments which I'm pretty sure carries some gravitas.
While reviewing some of the archived content for this site, a writing credit caught my eye. Looked like someone had inserted some content that had nothing to do with outreach or community building. It was a sales piece for a designer of cabinets named George Vlamakis. My developer thinks this content was added during a hack of the site. I did a search for "George Vlamakis" and found a defunct business Akpon Custom Cabinetry, along with a very unhappy customer. Needless to say I pulled it, but the lesson here is the need for careful scrutiny - misinformation is everywhere no matter how good your intentions.
So as I finished up the online petition, I realized that the four stages of community building on a large scale, is also applicable on a small scale. Personal relationships often go through the same stages, sometimes never transitioning from stage 1 to stage 2 successfully. The most successful relationships move through all four stages, probably recycling through the last three stages numerous times. I appreciate the desire of trying to reach the goal of stage 4, but I wager many folks get lost in the chaos stage or flounder in stage three, "emptiness." But as long as people are willing to try, there is still hope.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PAGE CONTAINS SELECTIVE ARCHIVED CONTENT FROM THE ORIGINAL SITE.
Since the site will not be exactly as you remember it, please be indulgent.
What is Community Building?
"In and through community lies the salvation of the world." -- M. Scott Peck, Introduction, The Different Drum
"...'community' is a group of two or more people who, regardless of the diversity of their backgrounds, have been able to accept and transcend their differences, enabling them to communicate openly and effectively, and to work together towards common goals, while having a sense of unusual safety with one another. Community Building workshops endeavor to create this safe place." -- M. Scott Peck, "Community Building in Brief"
Community Building, in the context of this site, refers to a group process where participants experience and practice communication skills that create the possibility for deep human connection. This process was described by author Dr. M. Scott Peck in his book, The Different Drum. Further information was presented in a later book, A World Waiting to Be Born.
Community, according to Peck, may be described as "a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to 'rejoice together, mourn together,' and to 'delight in each other, make each others' conditions [their] own.'" [Drum, Simon and Schuster, 1988, p. 59.]
The stages of Community Building generally include:
An initial state of "being nice". Pseudocommunity is characterized by politeness, conflict avoidance, and denial of individual differences. Let's be honest -- most of us can't keep this up for long. Eventually someone is going to speak up, speak out, and the dam breaks.
In the stage of chaos, individual differences are aired, and the group tries to overcome them through misguided attempts to heal or to convert. Listening suffers, and emotions and frustration tend to run high. There are only two ways out of chaos: retreat into pseudocommunity (often through organization), or forward, through emptiness.
Emptiness refers to the process of recognizing and releasing the barriers (expectations, prejudices, the need to control) that hold us back from authentic communication with others, from being emotionally available to hear the voices of those around us. This is a period of going within, of searching ourselves and sharing our truths with the group. This process of "dying to the self" can make way for something remarkable to emerge.
"In my defenselessness, my safety lies." In this stage, individuals accept others as they are, and are themselves accepted. Differences are no longer feared or ignored, but rather are celebrated. A deep sense of peace and joy characterizes the group.
Services offered by Community Crossroads include:
- Support for Community Building events
- Facilitator Database
- Community in Action -- spread the word about your project
- Online Resources -- find other Community Builders, and help other Community Builders find you
Support for Community Building Events
- Planning a Community Building event? There are several things we can do to help you.
- Post a listing on the Community News page
- Post a banner link on the Crossroads home page
- Build a page just for your event, including:
- the latest news about the event
- downloadable brochures, flyers, and newsletters
- a form for online registration
- links for making registration payments through Paypal
- maps to the event site
Contact Crossroads for more information about how to get started.
A message to those planning an event: Please consider posting as much information about your event as you can. A new visitor, contemplating their first community-building event, may be more comfortable finding out as much as possible about the event before making a personal contact via email or phone. Try to avoid having the only source of information about your event be "email (or call) for more information." If you have more information about your event, and you're not uncomfortable about posting it on the Internet, then please, let's post it. Not only will this provide more information to someone trying to decide whether or not this is an event that they want to attend, but it may also relieve the event planners from having to respond to quite as many inquiries. Everybody wins!
Crossroads offers a listing of facilitators available for conducting Community-Building events.
Note: The individuals listed offer their services as facilitators for Community Building. All of the information about their backgrounds and training has been provided by each facilitator. Community Crossroads has not checked or confirmed that the information provided is accurate. These listings are provided as a resource only. We ask that prospective users check or confirm any information provided as appropriate.
Interested parties may submit information for inclusion in the Facilitator Listings via the form provided here.
Community In Action
Crossroads would love to share your Community-Building success stories with the world on our Community in Action page. Have a CB-inspired project that you're proud of? Come away from a Community-Building event with a renewed sense of purpose? We want to hear from you! Please send us your stories so that we can spread the word about how Community Building is making a difference.
Crossroads would like to encourage our users to let us know about their CB-related websites, forums, mailing lists, and other online resources of interest, so that we can include them in our Online Resources listing.
NEWS Circa 2004
Welcome to Community Crossroads!
Community Crossroads is an information clearinghouse site maintained for the use of the international Community Building effort. We exist to provide a place where those sponsoring Community Building events and services can make contact with those seeking them out.
The Community Crossroads website is here for you, the community-building community. We encourage you to contact us with questions, suggestions, ideas, news, announcements, and whatever else you think that we should know about! The more input we have, the better this site will be.
Guide to Crossroads Services posted
March 10, 2004 -- Ever wondered what kind of services are available through the Community Crossroads website? Not sure how to make the best use of online resources to promote and organize your event? Check out the new Crossroads Users Guide.
Community Crossroads Store opens
March 6, 2004 -- Community Crossroads and CafePress have teamed up to offer mugs, t-shirts, mousepads and other items for sale with the Crossroads logo and community-related messages printed on them. Keep a reminder of the community building spirit on your desktop. Makes a great conversation-starter and a thoughtful gift.Proceeds from the sale of Crossroads merchandise will be used to defray the cost of webhosting for the site. Any additional funds raised will be used for scholarships for community-building events, and other related activities.
Summer, 2004 CBG planning continuing
Feb. 10, 2004 -- Planning continues for the Community Building Gathering scheduled to take place July 7-11, 2004 at the San Damiano Retreat Center in northern California. Read the latest newsletter and find more information about this and other upcoming events on the Community News Page.
Facilitator listings updated
Feb. 10. 2004 -- The Facilitator Listings page has once again been updated with many new entries. The Community Crossroads site would like to encourage facilitators who are interested and available to conduct community building events to submit information for inclusion in the listings.
Circa 2007 What's New?
October Community Building Workshop announced
September 13 , 2005 -- A community building workshop is scheduled to be held October 21-23, 2005 in Sebastopol, CA.
New Community Building Organization announced
August 10, 2005 -- Community Crossroads is happy to welcome Community Building Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit, educational organization championing Community Building technology, employing it to encourage youth to acquire tangible, life-affirming skills. Improving neighborhoods, one house at a time.
Nifty new stuff at the Crossroads Store. All proceeds from the Crossroads store (and also the Crossroads donation account through Paypal) are now going directly to the Crossroads scholarship fund, for the support of community-building events. (Read more about that.) Stay tuned