Center for Community Renewal
(Click here to watch a video fly-through of the proposed building!)
The Center for Community Renewal will bring civic leaders from across the nation and the world to Shreveport, La., to learn more about building and restoring safe and caring communities. The Center will serve as a comprehensive facility providing training and technical support for community leaders who want to apply the model established by Community Renewal International in their own city. The building will house offices, conference centers, classrooms, a library, museum, gift shop, guest rooms for overnight accommodations and more.
The building itself, the historic Petroleum Tower, is also a symbol of renewal. The building was donated to Community Renewal in 2001 and is being restored for a new life as an environmentally friendly “green building,” using solar panels, taking advantage of outside lighting, recycling its wastewater and incorporating other energy-efficient measures. The self-sustaining building is expected to be the first in Louisiana to earn a platinum-certified rating, which is the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard.
Cities across the world are already building their own programs based on the Shreveport model. Community Renewal initiatives are now underway in Austin and Abilene Texas; Elk River, Minn., Knoxville, Tenn., and other cities. And in Cameroon, Africa, the chiefs of five remote villages have united to bring Community Renewal to their corner of the world.
Community Renewal has signed a cooperative agreement with OCCAM, the Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication, making CRI the community-building model for the Infopoverty Programme worldwide. Infopoverty is coordinated by OCCAM, a charter office within the United Nations. The partnership will promote healthy communities throughout the world, starting in Cameroon, which is also the launching pad for Africa Community Renewal.
The Center will have three components which interact dynamically to give the very best hands-on learning experience possible:
Beginning with a one-day "Introduction to Community Renewal" conference, CRI lays out the concept, philosophy and methodology of its model. This conference is open to everyone. Additionally, special three-day seminars are tailored for government, academic, business, faith-based and professional groups. Further training which continues past these introductory conferences will become graduated in intensity and content. Full replication will require certification-with-standing in Community Renewal. Academic degree plans and Continuing Education Units will also be available.
A vital part of the training for community renewal involves community-building with everyone who participates. We have a special responsibility to walk in community together with all who are living this renewal movement. CRI's commitment is to provide personal and technical help to individuals and groups who are seeking to replicate this model. Support will include webinars, annual conventions, CRI on-site teams, course videos, training manuals and materials and the Virginia K. Shehee Foundation for Renewal.
Charles Milton Hamel Institute for the Development of Social Technology
CRI uniquely offers the missing ingredient to sustainability - a social technology. CRI believes that there must be a total commitment to the disciplines necessary for rigorous, courageous and clear thinking if we are to perfect this social technology and reverse the declining cycle of human society and learn to grow ever-stronger communities. CRI will be on the cutting edge with our Institute in bringing the greatest thinking, research and interdisciplinary synergy to bear on the issues of renewing human community.
As the think tank within the Center, the Institute will facilitate dialogue and research from a variety of fields to evolve the model's design to systematically initiate, grow and sustain safe and caring communities.
Artist renderings of the National Center: