Urban Leadership Capacity Development A 25-year old foundation explores a new approach to addressing the needs of urban youth, families, and communities

Taming a wicked problem. Working closely with pastors and social program directors from the targeted Black and Latino communities, we used human-centered design approaches to translate an abstract problem—how to help churches do more—to a concrete, testable set of solutions.

Validation through human research. We designed the concept of a gathering place for urban clergy on the insight that for churches to become more effective, clergy needed a place to focus, rest, interact, explore, learn, and grow.

Prototyped habitats that would foster new habits. The use of low-budget pilot spaces enabled us to validate program design concepts with local clergy, including a gathering place, leadership and operational training and curriculum, and emotionally and spiritually restorative programing.

A changed conversation. The foundation’s investment in a physical space co-designed by urban clergy created a more equal conversation between the foundation and urban church communities—growing trust and diminishing insecurity.

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