Patterson, James, Class of 2005 – (West Virginia, USA)

Practicum Summary:

Can the Partnership of African American Churches use the SEED-SCALE Process to equip Black Churches to become agents of empowerment in their communities in West Virginia?

James Patterson’s research examined the history of the Partnership of African American Churches in West Virginia to determine whether the churches could use their energy to instigate social change. In order to establish parameters for the ability of the churches to implement social change, James used the SEED-SCALE model of community mobilization and empowerment, which stands for Self-Evaluation and Decision Making and Systems for Communities to Adapt, Learn, and Expand. After conducting an analysis of PAAC’s activities and partnerships, James determined that the organization is implementing the SEED-SCALE model at the Stimulating Community Awareness, Learning, and Energy level, but is not implementing the model at the Self-Help Centers for Action Learning and Experimentation and Synthesis of Collaboration, Adaptive Learning, and Extension Levels. Inevitably, the research revealed that the capacity of congregational communities was not being built. In order to build organizational capacity and develop leaders of social change, James recommends the PAAC develop Self-Help Centers and engaging in adaptive learning experiences, which will help address the fundamental issues of empowerment.