Journal of Community Psychology

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The neighborhood story project: Co‐creating learning, caring, and empowering environments

Abstract Aims The study examines the Neighborhood Story Project, a facilitated three‐month action research project that engages residents in community change. In particular, this paper identifies design and facilitation elements that facilitated participant growth within the project. Methods This constructivist multi‐case study examines three Neighborhood Story Projects, all located in Nashville, TN. The analysis draws on observational, focus group and interview data. Results Findings suggest that the intentional cocreation of a learning, caring, and empowering environment propelled member gains. The paper identifies specific design elements that fostered these conditions, suggesting a group‐work practice model for intervening in gentrifying neighborhoods. Conclusion This study contributes to theory and practice related to group‐level interventions in neighborhoods undergoing rapid demographic changes. Findings can be leveraged to better understand processes and strategies for fostering place attachments, social ties, and civic action.

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