CDF utilizes the model of Asset Based Community Development and uses a number of Community Development methodologies to work with the Clarkston community. Below are key terms and methodologies.
Asset Based Community Development: First, ABCD is an approach to discover local community assets. Mapping is mostly what people do in the name of ABCD. Second and more importantly ABCD is “practices and principles” for mobilizing a local community to move into action with residents at the center… not outsiders. The community is the principal actor not the client. ABCD is a path to “organize an organization” or community partnership of local people and their stakeholder groups to find, connect, and make productive a growing circle of local assets working for the common good. Read More: http://www.neighborhoodtransformation.net/pdfs/What_%20is_Asset_Based_Community_Development.pdf
Participatory Action Research: “When people are the masters of inquiry — the owners of the questions under study – their research becomes a means of taking risks, of expelling visible and invisible oppressors, and of producing actions for transformation.
Participatory Democracy: Participatory democracy tends to advocate more involved forms of citizen participation than traditional representative democracy. Participatory democracy strives to create opportunities for all members of a population to make meaningful contributions to decision making, and seeks to broaden the range of people who have access to such opportunities.
Social Capital: “Refers to those stocks of social trust, norms and networks that people can draw upon to solve common problems. Networks of civic engagement, such as neighborhood associations, sports clubs, and cooperatives, are an essential form of social capital, and the denser these networks, the more likely that members of a community will cooperate for mutual benefit.
Freire Methodology: This methodology is based on actively listening to strong feelings of individuals and communities. The methodology sees problems as opportunities for change. It follows a process in which individuals identify and analyze problems and their root causes and find solutions. It is about recognizing that actions come from emotions, and creating space for people to listen and share their individual realities. Individuals raise their own consciousness of their emotions, and of realities related to social injustice and systemic and structural violence. Through this process they discover their full potential and determine the actions they want to take.
 PAULO FREIRE, Foreward, in NURTURED BY KNOWLEDGE: LEARNING TO DO PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH, xi (1997).