ABCD Institute > About > Values Behind ABCD

Values Behind ABCD

ABCD Institute

The ABCD Institute supports a large and growing movement for sustainable community development. We believe that possibility, power, and promise exist in every community. Asset-based community development begins with the gifts of people and their capacity to organize to create the world they want to see.​

Start with Gifts

Assets and strengths, not deficits and needs, are the true building blocks of healthy communities. Every individual, association and institution has assets that can contribute to community well-being and justice. 

Build Relationships for Mutual Support

ABCD believes that relationships are the core of flourishing communities. Relationships create trust and activate gifts and power.

Value Small

ABCD values small, grassroots, resident - driven approaches that use stories as the basis for learning, sharing and acting for change.


Nurture Community-Led Action

When people in a community act together, they demonstrate their own power and leadership and can bring about positive change. ABCD values everyone’s voice and contributions and prioritizes those who live within a community.

Work for Equity and Justice

ABCD fosters a world where all people thrive. ABCD helps people use their gifts to work in their communities to disrupt systemic oppression and regenerate power in new, creative and equitable ways. 


Believe in Possibility

ABCD is rooted in hope. People in communities, even in extreme situations, can use their gifts to imagine ways to create change.


Lead by Stepping Back

ABCD shines a light on residents' power to contribute to and make decisions in their communities.   The work of institutions is to lead by stepping back to support residents' efforts to create and implement the changes they seek for their community.  


Include Everyone

ABCD does not just invite people to the table but builds a new table where everyone has a true place. ABCD celebrates and values dive​rsity. We are better when more diverse voices are present in shaping who we are and how we practice ABCD.