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Building Sustainable Communities: Leadership Development Along the U.S.-Mexico Border

PAQ, Vol. 28 No. 2, (2004)

Much attention to revitalization in central urban neighborhoods
focuses upon economic development and the infusion of economic
capital. Throughout the United States, many organizations and
communities have sent their “best and brightest” representatives to
various types of leadership training programs. Leadership training,
through promising as an investment in human capital, warrants greater
attention as a catalyst for social capital. This study explores the
potential for social capital development in an ethnically diverse
community facing rapid growth, high levels of poverty, unemployment,
severe economic disparity and serious environmental threats. Will
individuals identified as community leaders, if exposed to general
leadership skills training and substantive information about current
problems facing the community, develop consensus over goals and a
unified a commitment to work together to addressed community
problems? Although preliminary results suggest orchestrated cohorts
may play less of a role in evolving value consensus than previous
personal affiliations like ethnicity, participants reported enhanced

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