Empowerment, a funny word that is often misinterpreted. I just completed a book by Mary Nelson of the same title.
One of the first big things that the author takes on is that of labels. She says that "Labels lead to low outcomes. Labels like 'poor people' or 'poor communities' often create a one dimensional impression of people and communities. Often, people locked in low income communities -'labeled people'-can't see God's vision for their community,
or think they have nothing to offer and begin to believe the negative labels about themselves.
This book is highly practical and will help you develop new tools to enable you to gather the appropriate information that will both affirm and empower the individuals in who you are seeking to enhance capacity. The kinds of questions we ask will greatly impact the effectiveness of our empowerment efforts. This short book is clear, succinct and a must-read for anyone invovled in faith-based community development.