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Civil Society with Chinese Characteristics


Monday, November 23, 2009
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Song Qinghua  宋庆华 is the co-founder and executive director of Beijing Shining Stone Community Action, a civic non-profit organization that provides consulting and training services to facilitate participation-based urban community development in China.
Ms. Song has a decade of experience working in non-profit organizations. Before 1997, she was a engineer working on projects related to energy and environment protection in a large corporation. She got the calling of her new career in 1997, when Ms. Liao Xiaoyi, president of the Global Village of Beijing (GVB -- a well-known civic environment organization), invited her to join GVB as its deputy director. During her time at GVB, Ms. Song organized Green Community, a grass-roots environment initiative to increase public awareness and to educate ordinary citizens to take actions, such as conserving energy and water, and sorting garbage, in their daily life routines.
In December 2001, Ms. Song she visited the United Kingdom with a Chinese delegation to study urban governance and community development. In August 2002, she went to South Africa with the Chinese NGO delegation to take part in the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Ms. Song and a colleague founded Shining Stone Community Action in December 2002 with the mission to "disseminate participatory ideas and methods, promote community participation, and build harmonious community". This marked the beginning of her new journey to promote participation-based approach to community governance and development.
Since 2003, Ms. Song has designed and conducted multiple training workshops on participation-based approach to community governance and development in many cities across the country: Beijing, Wuhan, Nanjing, Qingdao, Ningbo and Shanghai.
In 2003 and 2004, the Ministry of Civil Affairs invited Ms. Song twice as a key lecturer at its "China Urban Community Participation" training program, co-sponsored with the US-based National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
In 2004, Ms. Song was invited to take a two-month (April - June) residence at the Wildflowers Institute in San Francisco to study their theory and practice in socially sustainable community. Based on her learning and observation, she developed a training program on socially sustainable communities and leadership development specifically for Chinese community leaders.
In 2005, Ms. Song initiated a pilot project to experiment the new bottom-up model of community development in Haishu district, Ningbo city. Closely working with the local government agencies, she helped them take the first step in transforming their traditional top-down model to a new bottom-up participation-based approach to community development.
In 2006, Shining Stone launched the Program for Leadership Training and Cooperation for Sustainable Community Development in China. The project's mission is to train mayors, other local leaders, and community residents to work together to protect public health and the environment.
In 2009-10, Shining Stone, with a grant from the Ford Foundation, is conducting a training program in participatory governance capacity-building methods.

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