What is this site?


What role can individual development play in community development strategies?

"Things can be different because you are seeing yourself differently. You can get water and sewer lines in your neighborhood because you see yourself differently. And there's a direct connection between those two."

Sister Judy Donovan
Lead Organizer, Valley Interfaith


In my research, I explore the role of individual development and transformation as an entry point for community development. Specifically, I argue that individual development is essential to the success of efforts to develop institutions and communities.

I looked at Valley Interfaith as a way to understand the intersection of human and community development.
I argue that a critical factor leading to the organization's success is its careful attention to leadership development, to individual development. I present my "findings", the voices and testimonies of Valley Interfaith's leaders as evidence that they have experienced profound changes as a result of this approach. I suggest that in the context of community development, changes in individuals and changes in communities are mutually reinforcing. To read more, go to the "thesis" page.

What do leaders of Valley Interfaith say about their own development?


What would a conception of community development look like where we pay the same kind of attention to fostering individual growth as we do to constructing safe highways, designing public space, and building strong schools?




The Rio Grande Valley


Valley Interfaith

The link between individual and community development


on the process