Community participation using networks is an effective method of connecting people to the political process. Power brokers are the leaders who operate as unofficial intermediaries or behind the scenes to accomplish their goals. Some power brokers are skillfully able to exert strong political or economic influence to achieve their goals to make their communities better. This qualitative phenomenological study with African American female leaders as participants provided the descriptions and meanings of their community participation using networks and collaborative partnerships in a Southern metropolitan city. Three main reasons emerged to explain why the leaders participate in their communities: to give back, help others in need, and do the work that needs to be done. The participants stated that they had a responsibility to lead within the communities where they serve and to mentor others by providing direction. They also expressed the importance to them of being a voice for those who need someone to speak for them. They communicated that their advocacy and ability to connect with others through networks and collaborative partners made them social capital generators. The study revealed the attributes of an effective network and necessary actions that ensure the preservation of the network's value. The participants shared how they used collaborative partnerships to extend their reach into communities to address problems like housing, health and wellness, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, domestic violence, job training, services for children and seniors, as well as small business development.
|Adviser||Rubye H. Braye|
|Subjects||Black studies; Management; Organizational behavior|
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