Now the Executive Director of The Learning Tree in Indianapolis – a catalyst for artistic expression, philanthropy, and leadership in community – DeAmon was the original Roving Listener as a neighbor and staff member of the Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. His role is to listen and discover the gifts, passions and dreams of citizens in his community, and to find ways to utilize them in order to build community, economy and mutual delight. The bulk of DeAmon’s work is based on the principles and practices of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) that brings neighbors and institutions together to discover the power of being a good neighbor. DeAmon builds on what is already present and in place in the neighborhood, using those formally undiscovered assets to connect and empower rather than working only from the community’s needs and deficits. He is known throughout the country as a gifted catalyst for meaningful resident inclusion and engagement. As an artist, DeAmon uses his art for social change and community building. DeAmon’s characterizes his work in general as the practice of “deep listening” and “positive deviance” from the typical models of neighborhood organizing.
From 2009-2016, Caitlin served as the Organizing Director at the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. Under her leadership, the Real Communities Initiative went from a dream to reality. She provided intensive, ongoing hands-on mentorship and coaching to community organizers and their groups around the state of Georgia, ranging from one on one support to designing and facilitating workshops, retreats and other learning opportunities. She organized the Disability and Social Justice Summit in 2015 and has spoken nationwide to disability organizations on community organizing, Asset Based Community Development, intersectional and visionary organizing models. In 2016, GCDD was selected by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for their Full Inclusion Award for the work of Real Communities under Caitlin’s leadership. Caitlin was raised and is strongly rooted in Georgia. In 2007, she was recognized by Southern Voice as one of the 20 “Next Generation of Gay Atlanta.” Caitlin is passionate about interdependence, intersectionality and building movements that cross identity lines and support communities to create their own solutions to their problems, particularly in the South. She has been strongly influenced by Popular Education, Visionary Organizing and the work of Myles Horton, Anne Braden, Grace Lee Boggs and The Highlander Center.
With over 30 years of experience in social justice, community organizing and nonprofit work, Lisa is Grassroots Grantmakers’ Executive Director. Currently, she directs work to offer learning and concrete support to community investors – mostly foundations – that seek to better partner with residents. Prior to that, Lisa worked to build Colorado’s immigrant rights movement, building successful and continuing organizations and collaborations around the state. Her prior experience includes service as Executive Director of the Clínica Tepayac, bringing culturally appropriate health care and preventive health services to the medically underserved in the Denver region; work with the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training and the Labor/Community Strategy Center; service on the board of directors of The Highlander Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, and volunteer work with the Building Movement Project. Lisa works to bring together issues of structural racism, equity and inclusion with the need to ensure that those most impacted lead change.
Mike has worked for over 30 years as a community organizer to help groups of people come together for collective action. Mike has experience developing neighborhood resident organizations, congregation-based organizations, and community partnerships to address social and economic issues. He was the training director of the Asset Based Community Development Neighborhood Circle which was a learning ortani9zation of over 20 community organizations across North America to learn “what works and what does not work in applying ABCD to community organizing. He helped start a small public school in Denver where students, parents, neighbors, teachers and the principal were all partners. Founder of 3 successful small businesses, Mike is also a licensed clinical social worker and family therapist.