When a public defender named Jim Sheehan received an unexpected inheritance, he decided to put his money to work for people and the planet. He purchased and renovated a cluster of six buildings in a dilapidated corner of downtown Spokane, Washington and repurposed them for the collective good. For more than twenty years these buildings, now known as the Community Building Campus, have served as an interdisciplinary hub where grassroots leaders run campaigns, build coalitions, host meetings, train activists, and transform their city.
One-Block Revolution honors the chorus of diverse changemakers who show up every day to build their community. Part counterculture manifesto and framework for participatory placemaking, part handbook for nonprofits and social enterprises, this anthology tells one of Spokane’s most essential stories, while providing inspiration and practical guidance for organizations across the world.
Introduction: Community Building Is a Noun and a Verb — Summer Hess
Part One: Community Building Is a Noun
1 The Antidote Is Community — Jim Sheehan
2 One-Block Revolution — Rebecca Mack
3 Beauty and Inclusion in People-Centered Spaces — Patsy O’Connor
4 Beneath the Surface: Green Building Practices — Austen White
5 Coordinating Community — Dave Sanders
6 Building Stewardship — Warrin Bazille
7 The Rise and Sunset of the Center for Justice — Breean Beggs
8 Child Care as Social Justice — Anita Morgan
9 Thin Air Community Radio — Shahrokh Nikfar
10 Launching a Food Co-op with Developer Capital — Megan White
11 Global Fair Trade and the Local Economy — Denise Attwood and Kim Harmson
Part Two: Community Building Is a Verb
12 Capacity Building: The Foundation’s Role — Patty Gates
13 Envision Spokane: The Community Bill of Rights Movement — Kai Huschke
14 Wealth Management for Community Builders — John Bjorkman
15 Raised by Community — Mariah McKay
16 Arts, Entertainment & Social Change — Joe Sheehan
17 Full-Spectrum Leadership — Nina Simons
18 Organizational Leadership from the Heart — Mary Alberts
19 Community Building Legacy — Katy Sheehan
Praise for One-Block Revolution:
“A fascinating collection of pieces about my favorite neighborhood in Spokane.”
--Jess Walter, National Book Award Finalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins
"Over the past two decades I have had a front row seat to watch the transformation of the Community Building Campus and to witness the ripples of positive impacts it has created. This book perfectly captures the long arc of local, grassroots, community-led change sparked by the Community Building, which has helped to make Spokane and Washington State a more just and equitable place for all."
--Senator Andy Billig, Washington State Senate Majority Leader
"This fascinating book puts Spokane on the progressive map. Cities across the country should envy a street given over to nonprofit causes, health food, and leading-edge entertainments. Twenty contributors outline the altruisms they could undertake thanks to the benefactor who bought the buildings so they could mount their little revolution in this once-gritty city."
--Paul Lindholdt, Washington State Book Award-winning author of In Earshot of Water
"The Community Building pulses with its own energy and seemingly emits its own semiochemical that is intoxicating to anyone whose signals bend towards vision, creativity, humanity, social justice, leadership; i.e. community. One-Block Revolution is an inspiring read, not just about how one building cluster changed one mid-sized American city, but also about how many hearts, minds, and souls made it possible for so many people in Spokane to find themselves and their tribe and how those people collectively continue to do good for the world."
--Bart Mihailovich, Organizing Manager, U.S. Waterkeeper Alliance
“Jim Sheehan’s vision of creating space for a thriving community of advocates, visionaries, and change makers was extraordinary. The story of how he brought that vision to life is an inspiring model for the rest of us who say we want to BE the change that we seek in the world. Grateful for his vision, the community of change makers and impact they’ve had on Spokane.”
--Regina Malveaux, Executive Director, Washington State Women’s Commission