Communication ETDs


Sarah Upton

Publication Date



The purpose of this study is to identify practices of invitational rhetoric that create sustainable solutions to community-identified needs. Working with East Central Ministries, a Christian community development organization in Albuquerque's international district, I used a co-conspiring method of research; meaning I worked alongside community members to jointly create projects, discuss theory, and create shared understanding of themes which emerged in my analysis. My analysis showed that the community surrounding East Central Ministries is characterized by bordered elements; by choosing to encircle the border space, co-conspirators create opportunities for practicing invitational rhetoric. Initial practices used by co-conspirators at ECM to cultivate the soil of possibilities include the creation of an invitational environment, intention setting, leaving space for what emerges, focusing on feelings, approaching faith in new ways, and being community minded. From the soil cultivated in these initial practices, emergent practices--making space for agency; focusing on what is wanted; sharing, giving, and trusting; and ultimately building a conspiring community--are able to bloom. In order to further illustrate the significance of these practices, I offer a model for the three Cs of invitational transformation through transcendence: (1) community; (2) consciousness; and (3) conspiratorial acts.




Invitational rhetoric, East Central Ministries, Conspire, Community, Sustainable

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Foss, Karen

First Committee Member (Chair)

Milstein, Tema

Second Committee Member

Gandert, Miguel

Third Committee Member

Rodriguez, Ilia

Fourth Committee Member

Trinidad-Galvan, Ruth