Kasserian Ingera! (Are the Children Well)

Community Coalitions

Strengthen youth through coordinated community supports and research-based resources

When Communities Unite

A “village” of support and opportunity is sometimes needed to ensure the success of all youth in a community. Whether the challenges are academic success, prevention of substance use or college and career readiness, Search Institute has conducted research ensuring that the voices, strengths, and needs of young people from marginalized communities are emphasized.

Our resources will assist your coalition in developing and implementing action plans with aligned expectations and measurable goals.

Do you have any idea how many nonprofits exist in Washtenaw County whose sole purpose is to provide services for youth.  Why are 64% of our children below proficiency? How do we coordinate efforts? Through collaboration.

When ever I speak of community, I always define that which I am speaking of.  I always feel the need to clarify though definition, process, dysfunction, and readiness questions.

Our Community Definition and Process

Community is a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to “rejoice together, mourn together,” and to “delight in each other, to make others’ conditions their own.”

— M. Scott Peck
  1. Scott Peck taught me that whether by accident or by design community happens in four distinct stages.
  2. PSEUDO COMMUNITY – Talk but not honest. Here is where people say “How are you doing”, but just keep walking.
  3. CHAOS – Lots of Talk, and everyone needs to be heard. But there is no desire for healing, just talking. Here is where most attempts fall. Few groups get out of the Chaos phase.
  4. EMPTINESS – Free to tell you how I hurt.  This is the vulnerability that creates community. Here is where trust is built.
  5. COMMUNITY – Where I believe you won’t hurt me intentionally.  I am free to both speak and listen. Honesty without Compassion equals Cruelty; Compassion without Honesty equals Co-Dependence.  Community is Honest and Compassionate.

The Five Dysfunctions of Community

  1. Absence of Trust
  2. Fear of Conflict
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Avoidance of Accountability
  5. Inattention to Results

The Five Questions

  1. The Readiness Question: Are We Prepared for Relationships?
  2. The Connection Question: Are We Willing to Focus on Others?
  3. The Trust Question: Can We Build Mutual Trust?
  4. The Investment Question: Are We Willing to Invest in Others?
  5. The Synergy Question: Can We Create Win-Win Relationships?


Our foundational workshops are based on your coalition’s area of focus. These lay the foundation for shared goals, and an understanding of research principles and effective practices for youth success.

Surveys & Focus Groups

Data collection, via focus groups and/or surveys and data analysis and exploration, provide coalitions an understanding of the current community landscape prior to action planning.

Planning and Implementation Support

Search Institute has consultative onsite and remote support to develop, implement, track and improve the performance of coalition action plans.

Learn More

To learn more about us, visit our Search Institute About Us page, our Research or Professional Development pages.

It Takes a Village! Pa-moja tu-ta-shin-da (together we will win)!