About Communities Who Know, Inc.™

Communities Who Know, Inc.™ emerged from the Westside Communities Alliance and follows its model for collective community action for urban development and sustainability (For more about this historical connection, check out the link below).

CWK draws inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” where he stated:

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

We recognize the mutuality of our local, national, and international challenges across our incredibly broad range of communities and human conditions, locally and globally.  To prosper, we need to know, not simply our own histories, lives, and conditions, but those of others, understanding that we all share in the responsibility of caring for ourselves, each other, and for the earth.  To prosper, we need the courage and commitment to look beyond our own boundaries to engage with others, understanding that we are part of a larger but still common story.

We anchor the CWK vision in two basic points:  1) Together, we can do better.  2) Together, we thrive.  

Our Goals are to:

  • Leverage the use of digital technologies in building ground level knowledge about communities that is accessible to various stakeholders in decision-making and policy-making venues – as demonstrated by the CWK Data Dashboard.
  • Strengthen the leadership development pipeline – as indicated by the CWK NextGen—ATL Project.
  • Facilitate the documentation and preservation of community history and culture – as illustrated by the CWK Digital Repository for Community Archives™.
  • Address the complex challenges of assuring social justice and genuine equality in ways that allow historic communities to prosper in the face of change – a Development without Displacement approach.

CWK Principles for Action include:

  • Respect (for ourselves and for others).
  • Process (the recognition that time-on-task and time-on-relationships matter, with specific attention to caring, empathy, and compassion).
  • Communication, (with a commitment at our core to listen, respond, and be transparent).
  • Accessibility (for commmunity members with varying technological experience and expertise).
  • Reciprocity (with a presumption that we are all worthy stakeholders and have something to offer)
  • Mutuality (with the presumption that we are operating in common cause and should each expect to benefit).

With the CWK Principles for Action deliberately in mind, we work hand in hand with other community stakeholders to incubate socially responsible, ethically responsible, culturally well-informed, mutually defined, sustainable strategies for community development and progress.  The primary intention of this mission is to interrogate persistently the ways and means of Development without Displacement in a quest for genuine equality and social justice in our nation.