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AMEN CORNER: in collaboration with Ventura Village Neighborhood Association

”¦excerpted from a one-year report written by Jason Rodney, Amen Corner.

July 2012 marked the one-year anniversary of Amen Corner at Peavey Park, Thrones Plaza. The project successfully engages residents and visitors in Ventura Village in dialogue, relationship, and action.

The name was derived from the Amen Corner phenomenon which has a long history in American lore. It was made famous by James Baldwin”'s play, “The Amen Corner”, as an arena where an African American minister used her speaking skills to explore truth and obtain the support of parishioners. Supporters of her point of view were put in a special section of the congregation, the Amen Corner, where the people would indicate agreement by shouting in unison, “Amen”, or “let it be”.

The Amen Corner in Ventura Village uses a “soapbox” or “open mic” by which to engage residents.  Listening and documenting is also used as a positive way to reflect the comments of neighborhood people and to support their participation.

The Amen Corner outcomes include:

Learning more about the neighborhood; people, stories and issues

Building relationships with neighbors and community organizations

Documenting perspectives or stories that need to be heard

Creating effective ways of responding to what we”'re learning

Getting people engaged with the Community Engagement Committee and/or Ventura Village Neighborhood Association

Come and Speak Ones Truth on Thursdays & Fridays from 4:00-6:00 p.m., Peavey Park, Thrones Plaza, corner of Chicago & Franklin Avenues.

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