Engaging Residents in Community Change: The Critical Role of Trust in the Development of a Promise Neighborhood


by Joanna D. Geller, Bernadette Doykos, Krista Craven, Kimberly D. Bess & Maury Nation - 2014

Background: Currently, there is great enthusiasm surrounding place-based initiatives for school reform, such as the Harlem Children’s Zone, Promise Neighborhoods, and other initiatives that attend to the multiple contexts that influence child development. However, past efforts to bridge schools, families, and communities have been undermined by mistrust between and among stakeholders. Although trust is a building block for effective collaboration, there is little deliberate attention to cultivating it.

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to use a case example of a low-income neighborhood currently developing a Promise Neighborhoods initiative to explore how variations in trust between and among community residents, local institutions, and school staff in the problem definition and assessment phase may threaten or facilitate the success of the initiative.

Setting: We conducted this study in a low-income, predominantly African-American neighborhood in a midsize southeastern city.

Participants: There were 44 participants, including parents, school administrators and staff, service providers, and high school students.

Research Design: We used qualitative research methods, including eight focus groups and observations.

Data Collection and Analysis: Focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Multiple researchers coded the transcripts. Trust emerged as a key theme through open coding, and we used focused coding to explore this theme in detail.

Findings: The findings corroborate previous studies that have found relatively low levels of relational trust between residents, between residents and local institutions, and between residents and school staff. Additionally, we identified “seeds of trust” that indicate opportunities to cultivate trusting relationships between stakeholders that can be developed and replicated in this neighborhood and others undertaking similar initiatives.

Conclusions: Promise Neighborhoods and similar initiatives should intentionally address low levels of trust through activities such as community asset mapping, programs with a deliberate relational focus, and partnerships with agencies that address the systematic roots of trust.



To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Sign-in
Email:
Password:
Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
 
Purchase this Article
Purchase Engaging Residents in Community Change: The Critical Role of Trust in the Development of a Promise Neighborhood
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
$12
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
$25
Visitor
Choose this to join the mailing list or add an announcement.
$0
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.
$210


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 116 Number 4, 2014, p. -
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17412, Date Accessed: 10/16/2019 4:21:50 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review