The Rite Way

All you need to know you already know, and all you need is already within your community. The RITE way connects the knowledge of the people and the community.

Doing things The RITE Way transform our story and change our future.

Understanding the multiple challenges of youth and community development in contemporary society requires that we see the “big picture”.  Most "programs" focus on just one or two isolated “problems”, which are only a part of the big picture. Our work is unique in that it focuses on youth and community development, which is viewed as reciprocal and through the perspective and practice of rites of passage promotes healthy youth development and a sense of belonging that strengthens a community.

The Architectural structure for youth & community development through rites of passage was utilized as an innovation to empower and bring 10 communities together within a shared story and engage them in new ways to prevent substance abuse and other youth problems by promoting more positive and socially sanctioned rites of passage.

Rites of Passage Builds Understand & Connections to Self & Others

Paths to the Year 2000 was a 2-year community mobilization effort to promote positive youth development through rites of passage. The project was funded through the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The funding category was; Community Mobilization: A program to promote collaboration and build essential skills by focusing on identified community substance abuse problems. The Request for Proposal (RFP) specifically stated that it was seeking ways to put into practice a new paradigm to engage communities in a process for mobilizing their citizens.

Consistent with our orientation it recognized that power, expertise, and leadership reside within the community. Shared responsibility for the creation of teenage substance abuse prevention strategies and positive youth development through rites of passage developed from their own vision would be more powerful and long lasting.

Using the framework for youth and community development through rites of passage 10 communities participated in a two-year process of co-learning about rites of passage and co-creating their own culturally sensitive and contextually relevant rite of passage experience. It was “crowd sourcing” before its time. Four times a year representatives from each of the projects participated in day and weekend retreats. This news report focuses on fostering peace and preventing violence, which was a major issue at that particular time. Over 4000 youth and 2800 adults participated in the project.

For more information go to: “What Happens to a Community Intervention When the Community Doesn’t Show-Up? Restoring Rites of Passage as a Consideration For Contemporary Community Intervention,” Family Science Review, 11 (3), August 1998. Blumenkrantz, D. & Wasserman, D