As part of our 2016 strategic plan, Emergent Savannah is now invested in hosting a “conversationalist in residence,” an individual from outside of Savannah, whose work is relevant to the here and now of our community. Emergent Savannah will collaborate with different organizations in Savannah to “tour” the resident, offering dialogues and visits in different realms. By identifying an “outsider” who can offer a new perspective to people across Savannah, residents are able to have a better understanding of Savannah and it’s citizens, expanding the local dialogue and connecting people to the wider world.
The Roving Listener with DeAmon Harges
For three days, citizens and residents of Eastside Savannah learned what it meant to “remember” community as opposed to “building” it. DeAmon Harges is 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.” Eight residents of the Eastside were tapped to co-lead walks with Harges and Wyldstyle to learn to slow down, listen and pay attention to the gifts and talents of our neighbors, as opposed to looking at their deficits. Walks were held inTwickenham, Live Oak, on Waters Ave., Gordonston, Avondale (state Streets) and down Pennsylvania Ave and all were invited to attend. Each place, each group and each particular day sparked new questions, some we have been able to answer, some we still don’t know the answer to. From porches to Rosette Lounge, W.W. Law Center, to train tracks, living rooms and more, residents who have lived in Savannah all their life to residents who have just moved here, were able to meditate on the question of what is there to listen to?
The Abundant Community with John McKnight
Presented by Emergent Savannah, Step Up Savannah and Savannah-Chatham Citizen Advocacy John McKnight has been called the “dean of community-based organizing.” A storyteller and weaver of community, he helped to create the Asset-Based Community Development Institute and has developed new tools to enhance the powers of families, neighbors and neighborhoods. John McKnight focuses on developing community assets in grassroots/non-profit work. What does it mean to be a citizen in Savannah today? What can we do together that we cannot do alone?
Overbooked: The Elizabeth Becker Tour
Presented by Emergent Savannah, the Downtown Neighborhood Association and the City of Savannah Tourism is fast becoming the largest global business, employs one out of twelve persons and produces $6.5 trillion of the world’s economy. What does that mean for Savannah? Emergent Savannah hosted New York Times journalist and author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Tourism and Travel, Elizabeth Becker, as part of a three-day tour in partnership with the Downtown Neighborhood Association and The City of Savannah. In her groundbreaking book, Becker uncovers how what was once a hobby has become a colossal enterprise with profound impact on countries, the environment, and cultural heritage.