Founders of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD Institute), both retired Northwestern professors, won Lifetime Achievement awards from the International Association of Community Development.
Evanston resident John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann founded the ABCD Institute at Northwestern University in the early 1990s after publishing their best-selling community development book, “Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Towards Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets.” In 2016 the Institute relocated to DePaul University.
The International Association for Community Development Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to individuals who have provided an outstanding contribution to international community development throughout a significant portion of their career. At a recent IACD board meeting, McKnight and Kretzmann were both nominated by IACD Oceania Director Dee Brooks and there was unanimous agreement to formally recognize their contribution to the field of community development with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
McKnight is formerly the Director of Community Studies at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research. Kretzmann is a former faculty member at the School of Education and Social Policy and IPR Faculty Associate at Northwestern. McKnight and Kretzmann are the co-founders of the ABCD Institute which they established in the mid-1990s at Northwestern University, building on years of community organizing practice and urban neighborhoods research. They have published extensively on their work and produced widely used resources supporting the ABCD approach. The Institute continues to share and grow their teachings around the world.
At the annual general meeting, IACD President Anna Clarke recognized their many years working in the field of community development, in particular Asset-Based Community Development, as well as their contributions as academics, authors and influential leaders and pioneers in this work. Kretzmann accepted via a pre-recorded video clip and thanked IACD for their ongoing work. McKnight attended live and accepted on behalf of all the ABCD Institute stewards and practitioners in the ABCD movement.