When the NRP commemorates its 10-year Anniversary on February 24, it will do so with a keynote address from Northwestern University Professor and Institute for Policy Research (IPR) Co-Director John McKnight.
For nearly three decades, McKnight has conducted research on social service delivery systems, health policy, community
organizations, neighborhood policy, and institutional racism. He currently directs research projects focused on asset-based neighborhood development and methods of community building by incorporating marginalized people.
McKnight has been associated with many of the Institute's major research projects since he joined the organization in 1969. These have included research on the urban determinants of health, law enforcement, urban disinvestment and metropolitan government, deinstitutionalized child welfare services, police anticrime programs, and the effects of the perception of crime upon community responses. He also directed the Chicago Innovations Forum, an IPR-based dialogue among neighborhood leaders and innovators in economic, political and social development.
Much of McKnight's work on asset-based community development is captured in a book he co-authored in 1993: Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. The book has circulated through a broad range of community, government, business, nonprofit, and educational institutions in the United States and Canada. McKnight serves on the Board of Directors of numerous community organizations including the Gamaliel Foundation and The National Training and Information Center. Before joining Northwestern, McKnight directed the Midwest office of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.