About Us Organizationally:

Tesserae Learning LLC was conceived by Anne Mitchell and De’Amon Harges in the fall of 2011 as we began conversations about how to bring the ideas of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), Theory U and other contemporary practices to the forefront of community and organizational life in the Indianapolis region.

Our Mission:

Our mission is to bring ABCD, Theory U and related practices to the forefront of life in Indianapolis and the surrounding region. We see that many people, neighborhoods, communities and organizations use a traditional, industrial inspired, needs based approach to their lives and work, asking the questions “what is wrong and what might fix it?”. This approach continues to fall short of our expectations and we are individually and collectively left searching for more, facing bigger obstacles and not knowing what to do or how to do it.

Alternatively, we strongly believe in a strengths or gifts based approach in which we ask these questions - “what is your individual gift, where can it be given, what is working well and how do we do more of that?” This approach allows for the creation of opportunities that did not previously exist. It allows for the inclusion of all perspectives. It is simpler and quieter than canned programs, and encourages each of us to do what we love, letting economy grow with us we become more engaged.

The differences in these approaches is far reaching and asks us to see and experience our lives in new ways that hold the promise of social justice, equality, and the creation of economy and mutual delight in our home and work lives.

About Us Personally:

De’Amon Harges:

De’Amon, known as the “Roving Listener” around his community, is skilled at listening, really listening, to learn about what is working well. De’Amon listens for people’s gifts and how they might be given in community or organizational life. His listening skills lead him to connecting people in ways that inspire individual and organizational partnerships that often lead to collective action. De’Amon has 15 years of experience in developing neighborhood resident organizations, congregation based organizations and community partnerships addressing social and economic issues. De’Amon is a Fellow in the ABCD Institute. He is an artist who also uses his art for social change and community building. De’Amon’s philosophy is that if we have practice then we build culture.

Anne Mitchell:

Anne has worked with people who have been marginalized in some way for 30 years. She began her career working in traditional program models and was fortunate to be part of a community that was not satisfied with how things were and made significant and lasting changes to its service delivery model in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. That experience led her to learn more about and strongly support Person Centered, Asset Based Community Development and Theory U practices in creating sustainable change. Anne has had the opportunity to live in Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, South Carolina, Virginia and now Indiana and to work in large and small settings within those states and many others. Anne is committed to assisting individuals and organizations learn about and implement person and community centered strategies so that all people will have the opportunity to enjoy a sense of belonging and lead full, satisfying lives in their home communities.

Anne and De’Amon both believe that we all have the best opportunity to create sustainable social and organizational change when we are having fun and engaging with ourselves and each other in new and creative ways! We hope you’ll join us in a workshop or consultation project to personally experience the power of these practices!