A Proposal to Strengthen the Linkages among Community Development Scholars and Practitioners
The following is an excerpt from the Kellogg Diversity Final Report, the full report is available here as a PDF.
During the past three years the Community Development Society (CDS) has undertaken a broad and ambitious campaign to address a variety of diversity issues that directly affect the Society as an organization, and the field of community development in general. This campaign has been funded mainly with grant funds from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and has been primarily carried out through the efforts of volunteers with some backup from paid consultants. The journey undertaken by CDS has come to be known as the CDS Kellogg Diversity Initiative. The previous two Progress Reports to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation set the context for the Diversity Initiative, outlined the goals that it hoped to accomplish, and reported on the various activities that were key elements in the strategies employed by CDS to reach Diversity Initiative goals. Because the CDS Kellogg Diversity Initiative was both ambitious in what it hoped to accomplish, and complex in the variety and mix of strategies it employed, the Year 1 and 2 Progress Reports provided important background for those seeking to understand this important work in progress. In this, the third and final Progress Report, the emphasis will be less on reporting what happened during Year 3, and more on analyzing the cumulative impacts of the Diversity Initiative on the CDS organization, and to a lesser extent, on the field of Community Development as a whole.
GENERAL PROJECT BACKGROUND:
In April of 1998, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded a grant to the Community Development Society (CDS) to “increase the diversity of membership in this professional organization and strengthen the linkages among community development scholars and practitioners throughout the United States.” CDS, founded in 1969, is a professional association of community developers, researchers, practitioners, and citizen leaders who individually and collectively represent a variety of fields: education, health care, social services, government, utilities, citizen groups, and more. Because the organization is essentially run by volunteers, the Kellogg funding has enabled CDS to aggressively pursue two goals: (1) to increase awareness around diversity issues within the community development profession and (2) to develop initiatives that facilitate the inclusion of minority populations into the community development process and the Society.