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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Episode 86 (Epilogue): Thriving Neighborhoods

Tonight, Ryan and Carmela focused on thriving neighborhoods. Before we started on the topic of our show tonight we spoke to Amy Romano about the third Listening to Mothers survey. The survey, which was given to thousands of women, focused on trying to gain more knowledge about women’s experiences with birth. A second, more detailed follow-up survey, which focuses a great deal on the postpartum period, will be published in early June. Visit in order to learn more about the survey!

                Our main guests tonight were Tim Dutton and Allison Pinto. With a Master’s degree in social and applied economics, Tim Dutton spent the first twelve years of his career as a hospital administrator in Ohio and later in Haiti. Tim’s experience in Haiti changed everything for him and reinforced the long-standing commitment to equity and social justice that continues to shape Tim’s thinking and decisions. Tim moved to Sarasota nearly two decades ago and now stays in the Central-Cocoanut neighborhood. He was the founding CEO of SCOPE, a community engagement organization in Sarasota, and shepherded it through a dozen years of development until the fall of 2012. Allison is a licensed clinical child psychologist with a specialization in infant mental health.  She earned a Ph.D. at UCLA, and joined the faculty of the Florida Mental Health Institute at the University of South Florida after moving to Tampa. Dr. Pinto also worked at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, facilitating community change efforts throughout the county.  She served as Principal Investigator of the "Communiplexity” Initiative, a collaborative established to develop complexity-informed resources for community sustainability.

                Allison and Tim joined us tonight to discuss the Central Coconut neighborhood and the Sarasota Community Studio. Our guest described what and who comprises the Central Coconut area, and then discussed how efforts for community change have been different here, focusing on a grass roots approach, instead of the typically unsuccessful top down model for community change. In specific, they noted the radical ways that they Sarasota Community Studio has focused on children as a guiding force for change. On top of this, children are some of the main implementers of change within this community- creating connections, coming up with ideas, and choosing to find and implement ways to make the neighborhood better. Allison explained the concept of a “neighbor kid,” or an area youth who actively and intentionally takes on the identity of a neighbor.  Sarasota Community Studio, which was described as a neighborhood hub, is unique in its approach to trusting children to lead community change.

                In ending our program tonight we also talked to Chelsea Clarkson, a local doula and mama, who was active in Resident Community Changemaker Fellowship through SCOPE. Chelsea described her own efforts with community change, and the importance of focusing on the specific needs of a community when trying to create change. Chelsea also emphasized the unique and valuable role that children play as community leaders.


TONIGHT’S RIGHT: Every woman has the right to receive maternity care that is appropriate to her cultural and religious background, and to receive information in a language in which she can communicate. To learn more about your rights, please visit


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