Community Development Society

News and Information

Cindy Lyn Banyai

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Cindy Lyn Banyai is the Evaluation and Design Advisor at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and CDS President.

Chair's Update - Springing into our 50th

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Spring is a time of renewal, an annual ritual of cleansing and reflecting on where we are and where we want to be after hunkering down all winter. As community developers, we are used to change - facilitating it, crafting it, guiding it with our community partners. It may be fair to say that this is our favorite time of year! It's a brief time to get ourselves refreshed and organized to progress with the year ahead and move closer to another one of our favorite times of year - our annual summer gathering. This year we have even more to look forward - our homecoming and 50th Anniversary!

Please register now for #CommDev19 to snag that early bird discount ahead of the June 10 deadline. There are amazing speakers and exciting mobile learning workshops, as well as an opportunity to be a part of history, our history! 

Other exciting news I want to share with you is about our partnerships. As you may have read previously, our board has been hard at work updating our bylaws and policies. With these changes comes some different roles and focus for the leadership. The President (now Chair) will no longer be as involved in the operations and management of our organization, focusing instead on developing partnerships and initiatives.

In that capacity, I have been connecting with our partners at the International Association for Community Development (IACD) to further the interests of community development as their representative to the United Nations. This is an incredible opportunity to emphasize the importance of community development in the success of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for our organizations to become recognized for that voice. It is my honor to take on this important work on behalf the field of community development and our organizations.

Maryam and I meeting in the Delegate's Lounge outside the UN General Assembly with my former classmate and now Deputy Counsellor from Laos, Daovy Vongxay

Director Maryam Ahmadian and I traveled to UN Headquarters in New York in March to participate in the High-Level Meeting on Climate and Sustainable Development for All. It was an amazing experience that helped us both learn how to navigate the UN system and how to best use our role as representatives of a non-governmental organization (NGO) with UN consultative status to bring out the importance of community development. If you have any ideas on how we can continue to serve our organization and field through this work, please feel free toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will do my best to think together with you on how to enact your idea. 

Another partnership and initiative that I have been working on is with the brand new new community development professional networking group called Ticco. This organization reached out to us as a convener of community developers to offer an opportunity to work together to continue to connect like-minded professional in our field. They have an interesting and complimentary approach that you can read more about here. They also have a special deal for Community Development Society members the opportunity to apply directly by using code “SpringCDS” through May 15. We are also exploring additional ways to partner to serve new professionals in our field, so stay tuned!

Board Updates

  • Staff Search - board approved report to move forward with search, Justin Fallon-Dollard is no longer formally employed by CDS, but has volunteered his services pro bono until a replacement is hired
  • 2019 Conference - planning going well, fundraising going great
  • 2020 Conference - Proposal submitted by GP-IDEA to host conference in Fargo, ND, accepted
  • Bylaws and POG - still seeking member input, communique sent
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How We’re Reinventing Professional Networking for People who Improve Cities

By: Katie Rispoli Keaotamai, CEO, Ticco

            Our communities are facing tremendous challenges. Drastic changes in population, a lack of affordable housing, homelessness, public health crises, declining investment in infrastructure, and a loss of historic character are just a few. As community development professionals, we aim to enhance the quality of life in our communities through revitalization, services, and community programs.

            I’ve worked alongside professionals in community development for several years—most recently as a result of my collaborations with real estate developers and property owners looking to reinvest in downtown areas. In my experience, professionals in the community development space are both caring and passionate—and I want to further their impact.

            I’m proud to be introducing Ticco, a new online community for early-career professionals who are improving cities across the United States. At Ticco, we understand that in order to collectively prepare our communities for the challenges that lie ahead and address today’s obstacles, collaboration and knowledge-building is key.

            With Ticco we invite early-career professionals in fields like community development to take their networking to the next level. By reviewing applicants and only admitting individuals whose work aims to enhance life in our communities, Ticco is cultivating a network of professionals who share passions and priorities. As a result, Ticco’s network enables the next generation of leaders in community development to easily identify and collaborate with their peers across disciplines in cities nationwide.

            For example, Ticco’s functionality offers the most effective search available for professionals who work with cities and the built environment. With over 20 intersecting professions (design fields, urban planning, and historic preservation for instance) represented, Ticco allows members to search the network, filtering by name, location, profession, specialty, and personal interest. We want our members to build real relationships on Ticco—and not just collect “connections” that are superficial in nature.

            Ticco members get to know each other through Discussions, an area of the platform where our editorial team takes input from members and creates prompts which ignite thoughtful conversation and debate. Through Discussions, participants are able to truly dive into the challenges their communities are facing, and identify peers who share and expand their perspective. In addition to Discussions, Ticco plans to roll out engaging in-person gatherings—like outdoor adventures and urban explorations—for members within the year.

            With rapid technological shifts and other impending challenges, our communities will require great leadership and advocacy to succeed in the decades ahead. At Ticco, we know that it’s critical that we help today’s up-and-coming practitioners develop the skills and relationships they’ll need to lead going forward. We hope you’ll consider becoming a part of this community so we can support you in your professional journey.

Applying to Ticco

            If you have between 2 and 15 years of experience and are working in the United States, we encourage you to apply to Ticco and take advantage of our unique, cross-disciplinary networking opportunities to help form a foundation for your successful career. We’re happy to offer Community Development Society members the opportunity to apply directly by using code “SpringCDS” when prompted in our 15-minute online application through May 15, 2019.

About the Author

Katie Rispoli Keaotamai is the Founder and CEO of Ticco. Katie has spent the last seven years completing work that intersects with construction, historic preservation, urban planning, and placemaking. She has managed large-scale, complex projects and in all of her work has focused on the importance of community participation.

Prior to becoming CEO of Ticco, Katie served as Executive Director of We Are the Next where she provided programs that introduced teens and young adults to cities and the built environment. She holds a BA in Art History from California State University, Long Beach and a Master of Heritage Conservation from the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California.

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Chair's Update - Lions and Lambs

I've been reflecting on the old addage for March, "In like a lion, out like a lamb." March certainly has been a lion for many places around the US this year and I'm sure we're all hoping that the month ends in a more gentle, lamb-like fashion. This is particularly true to ease the burden of our friends and neighbors suffering through extreme temperature swings and flooding this season.

Since I live in Florida, I have the pleasure of a constant stream of northern guests through the month of March. It's wonderful to connect with family and friends and bring them a literal dose of sunshine during the deary late winter months. I'm very fortunate to have so many lifelong friends and close family members that make the trip. These connections, our own social captial, are the building blocks of communities and what we as practitioners of community development seek to build and support in the areas we serve.

Lions and lambs also convey symbolism of the weak and the strong, specifically of the weak becoming strong. For me, this also has relevenace to our shared work as so many of us are working with disempowered people - helping to bring out the voice of the lambs to stand toe to toe with the lions. We are often working to develop a community's social capital to enable their self determination - rise and rise again until lambs become lions. 

Board Activities Update

The board and it's committeess have been working together to continue the necessary transitions required with the now formally adopted bylaws, including shifts in scope and consolidation. Committees are working to further develop policies aligned with the new bylaws and further streamline our organization. 

The board approved the scholarship amounts.

2019 conference planning is underway. Accespted session proposals have been sent out, keynotes have been planned, mobile learning workshop development is moving along, and fundrasising is rocking and rolling!

2020 conference proposal for South Dakota was submitted to the board.

Staff search is underway.  

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President's Update - Love is

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"To bow to the fact of our life's sorrows and betrayals is to accept them and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable. As we learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more freedom and compassion than we could imagine"

-Jack Kornfield

Writing this update on Valentine's Day forces a reflection on love and what it means to love. I came to the field of community development out of love. Love for people. A deep rooted desire to ensure all people in a community are loved and valued. This love may have also brought you here.

This desire, however, is not so simple. As we learn in all of our relationships, loving people is complicated. The ones we love can sometimes let us down, betray us, dismiss us, hurt us. Sometimes with intent and sometimes not. The trick for lasting relationships, the trick to community cohesion, the trick to love is to continue to engage with compassion.

Love is the essence of our work. Love pushes us forward. Love builds community.

Board activities update

In an effort to make continued change for the betterment of our organization, your board has been meeting once a month. In January, the board approved sweeping changes to the bylaws, which are included in the February Vanguard for your review. With their publication in the Vanguard, these become our current operating documents. The Policy and Governance Committee, chaired by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., crafted the bylaws and will continue to work on related policy updates. The board also approved the shifting of some board and officer terms to accommodate structural changes in the new bylaws.

There are many changes afoot with the CDS business office. There is currently an RFP for IT services related to our website and our current Managing Director, Justin Fallon-Dollard, will be departing in the coming months to take on a new opportunity. We very much appreciate the work Justin has done for our organization and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. 

The board approved the 2019 budget at the January board meeting. 

 

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President's Update - 50 looks good on you CDS!

Happy new year! Welcome 2019! What a joyous year for us here at CDS as it marks the official beginning of our 50th anniversary year celebrations! We have our homecoming conference, Coming Home to Cultivate the Future, coming up July 14-17 in Columbia, Missouri. What a perfect year to honor someone in our field who has made an outstanding contribution through an award (nominations due February 14)! I can't wait to see you in July and to see what the future has in store for us!

Meanwhile, your board has been busy working together to make sure our organization is ready to face the future. We have committees focused on revamping the bylaws and the structure of our organization, as well as preparing us a budget to ensure proper operations through our 50th year and beyond.

We are focused on growing our membership to reach those that have been with us over the years and the next generation of community developer. Our 50th anniversary and homecoming are the perfect time for outreach and we encourage our members to do the same. Will you commit to reaching out to one old colleague and one new to tell them about our annual conference? Imagine how robust our network would be and how lively our conference would be if each and every one of us did this! I'll be making my calls today!

Finally, thank you for your commitment to our field and to our organization. Without dedicated members like you, we would not have made it 50 years - Thank you!! Give yourself a nice little pat on the back - 50 years looks good on you CDS. 

 

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President's update - Back to the Future

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As we are gearing up for our big 50th Anniversary celebration in Columbia, Missouri next July (be sure to get your proposals in by November 30!), this is an opportune time for reflection on our organization - who we are and where we want to go. Your board has been working on this, in particular revising our bylaws and considering the roles of officers, directors, and staff. Keep an eye out for your opportunity to weigh in on the process! In the meantime, please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who are leading this process with any of your thoughts and concerns.

In October, the board discussed finances and staff to keep the organization running smoothly. We are very fortunate to have such a long-standing history of investment in our organization and so many members who care about the society. The discussion on these areas is ongoing and we can't wait to share with you how your leadership is taking this organization forward!

November is a month of thanks. I am very thankful for all our members. For the way that you contribute to our society. For the way that you work tirelessly to improve your communities. For the way that you lead our world. Thank you. Thank you for shining a light on community development and for lifting up us all.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit of timeline and explanation of events that happened over the past couple of years. There have been many transitions in our organization as we all work together to carry forward. Because of these changes, there have been many questions about when, why, and how things have happened. In an effort to help communicate to our members around these transitions, I am writing about some of those items here - to the best of my recollection and using our board minutes as a guide. Hopefully this will help - here we go!

  • October 2016 - Conference proposal for El Paso 2018 withdrawn because of difficulty with institutional support
  • December 2016 - Call for proposals for 2018 conference hosts, although there was some interest the call ended with no concrete host proposals
  • December 2016 - AOM submitted contract renewal to the board 15 days ahead of contract expiration with 25% increase in fees
  • April 2016 - I put forth Detroit as a potential host location for 2018 although there was only 1 other active member from Detroit who was able to support the proposal (no institutional support). This was done to avoid losing members by not having a conference because a large proportion of our annual memberships come from new members and renewals associated with the conference.
  • June 2017 - 2016-2017 Board of Directors approves conference in Detroit and signs contract committing the organization to approximately $150,000 in costs to the host hotel
  • June 2017 - AOM and CDS officially part ways after Big Sky conference
  • June - October 2017  - Julie White, formerly of AOM, serves as interim administrator as Vice President of Operations Talmage lead board through development of Managing Director position and staff search
  • October 2017 - Board retreat in Detroit, conference planning on track, board tentatively agrees to re-shape officer roles and committees through revision of POG and bylaws
  • November 2017 - Justin Fallon-Dollard hired as CDS Managing Director
  • November 2017 - President Hains indicates work on bylaws and POG forthcoming to Executive Committee
  • January 2018 - Vice President of Operations Talmage presents summary of proposed bylaws changes to Board of Directors with digital response requested afterwards
  • February 2018 - Proposed bylaws changes were voted on and passed by the board, I expressed interest to properly communicate changes to membership with President Hains and Director Williams agreeing to take responsibility for
  • March 2018 - President Hains and Vice President of Operations Talmage resign
  • April 2018 - Board of Directors agree to revert back to operating under 2004 bylaws because bylaw changes passed in February 2018 had not been published in Vanguard, as required for implementation according to 2004 bylaws
  • April 2018 - Vice President of Programs Cindy Banyai ascends to President as prescribed by 2004 bylaws and confirmed by Board of Directors
  • May 2018 - Jane Leonard appointed by Board of Directors to vacant Vice President of Operations position
  • July 2018 - Conference held at provisional location in Detroit

Although this may not be a comprehensive timeline, I hope that it helps to clarify the timing of events to bring a better understanding of our organization's leadership and management transitions. I am happy to continue discussing these or any other items of concern that our members may have. Please feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call/text (239) 464-6976. I'm listening.

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President's Update - Seasons of change

Hello Community Developpers! It's fall in North America and there seems to be an eagerness to push forward toward the hardiness of fall, shedding the carefree days of summer. Your board was fortunate enough to have some amazing fall weather at our annual retreat at the site of our 50th Annual International Conference at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The local host committee, represented by Mary Leuci and Anita Dunning, were fabulous hosts, even coordinating a potluck with local CDS members and friends - what a treat! We thank them for their hospitality and are very excited about our 2019 conference!

Program Chair, our Vice President of Programs, Jane Leonard, also spent time with the local host committee preparing for the conference. Thank you for your work ad leadership on this Jane! She noted that the proposal process is under preparation and will launch soon - stay tuned for that! 

Otherwise, the board hunkered down for a workshop that focused mostly on restructuring the roles and responsibilities of the officers  and committees and their conveyance with our recently hired staff. The board also agreed upon its regular meeting schedule - every third Friday of the month at 6:00pm eastern, starting on October 19. Agenda items, motions, proposals, and reports are due to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the first Friday of the month to be included in the meeting.

The board also mapped out priority areas and topics related to policy and governance for the meetings. Priority areas for October include staff contracts, the Taylor and Francis contract, and freeing up operational funding for CDS operations. November's focus areas are the FY2019 budget and voting on bylaw changes resulting from the board retreat workshop. 

The board also voted to formally approve Lisa Gilchrist as the Vanguard Editor and Kurt Mantonya to the board of directors to fill one of the two vacant seats. Lisa will also serve on the board of directors in an ex-officio capacity as outlined by our Policies and Operations Guidelines (POG). Welcome!

There remains one additional vacant seat on the CDS board of directors. At the retreat, the board voted to leave the remaining seat open until the elections in spring 2019.

Additionally, the board voted on the creation of ad hoc committees to make reccommendations to the board. The Policy Governance Committee is chaired by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Staff Search Committee is chaired by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please feel free to reach out to the committee chairs, if you wish to be involved.  As noted earlier, both of these topics are the focus of upcoming board meetings. In particular, the board directed the Policy and Governance Committee to update the bylaws, as per the discussion at the board meeting on Saturday, October 6, with the intention of voting on them in November and begin operating under them as of December after their full publication in the Vanguard. 

Thank you to the board for their focused work during the retreat!

As always, please feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.if you have any question or concerns. I'm listening.

 

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President's Update - Crossing the river by feeling the stones

Early in my career I spent time living and working in Taiwan, having initially studied international relations and eventually working as a teacher to gain cultural experience. One Chinese saying has stuck with me this whole time - "crossing the river by feeling the stones." This was the phrase used to describe relations between Taiwan and mainland China. The meaning is that no one really knows the future or how to plan for it, but that one needs to continue reaching out and adapting in order to make progress. This is where I feel we are together as a society. We are jubilantly celebrating our 50th year, but the landscape of our field and the composition of our organization has undergone dramatic shifts that make a path forward murky. 

As I noted in my last update, your board has been working to try to paddle together and we will be meeting for an intensive workshop and to tour the upcoming conference facilities in Columbia, Missouri October 6-7. Our workshop will focus on moving the organization toward Policy Based Governance, helping to craft clearer boundaries and expectations of board members, staff, and committees. If there are pressing issues or thoughts that you have about our organization, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or any member of our Board - we are here for you!

We will also be releasing an annual board meeting calendar - stay tuned! Members and committee members are always welcome to join and to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. proposals for the agenda and motions and issues. Reports, motions, and agenda items must be received no later than 5 days before the scheduled board meeting. We look forward to engaging you on this!

Another way we will be "crossing the river by feeling the stones" is to engage with our members through some online "townhall-style" discussions. To plan these, I am asking those of you interested in this to give us some guidance through this brief questionnaire. We will share more information on these as we plan them out - stay tuned!

Thanks again for all that you do and for being committed to our organization. I know we can cross this river together!

 

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Meet the new Vanguard Editor - Lisa Gilchrist

While it has been my honor and my pleasure to serve as the Vanguard Editor for the past five years, the time has come to pass the torch to a new bearer. I am happy to announce that through inquiry, proposals, and interviews, the CDS Communications Committee in partnership with the CDS Secretary, Caitlin Bletscher, have reccomended Lisa Gilchrist, Director of Stony Plain Family and Community Support Services, to be the next Vanguard Editor. Lisa has some exciting ideas about how to improve Vanguard to ensure it continues to serve our members as the primary communications piece for our society. She and I have been working together over the past couple of months on this transition and she will take over as solo editor October 2018. Congratulations and welcome Lisa!

More about Lisa

Lisa Gilchrist has been Director of Stony Plain Family and Community Support Services since May 2016. Her team’s community development efforts center on preventing and reducing poverty, ending family violence, supporting positive mental health, and enhancing inclusion and diversity with a focus on volunteers, seniors, and youth. Stony Plain is located in Alberta, Canada just west of the provincial capital of Edmonton. Previously, Lisa spent fourteen years in leadership with the federal government at Service Canada to deliver employment programs for youth, people with disabilities, unemployed workers, and in community engagement with the temporary foreign worker program.
Lisa completed a Bachelor of Arts at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada and a Masters of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development through the Pennsylvania State University. She has been a member of the Community Development Society since 2015.
Lisa has two stepsons in their early twenties who are slowly moving into careers with the military and as a welder/ranch hand. Lisa and her husband John share their rural home with three Labrador Retrievers, three barn cats, and two horses.

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President's Update - Paddling Along

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As summer winds down, I find myself reflecting on the adventures I’ve shared with my family this year — visiting Detroit, camping in Northern Michigan, and all the memories we made together. Spending time with my children and parents also brought back summer memories from years past. One summer, when I was a teenager, my parents took us whitewater rafting. It sounded so exciting and I was certain that we were going to have the adventure of a lifetime, and I suppose we did, except, not the way I anticipated. Rather than facing the rapid together and triumphantly making it through the course as I envisioned, we crumbled. I accidentally knocked my dad out of the boat, we argued, my brother became disengaged, and at one point we weren’t going anywhere because each of us were paddling in opposite directions. We did eventually make it to the end, together and in one piece, but it took us putting aside our squabbles to communicate and collaborate.

As your pilot, I’ve worked with our staff and leadership to land the CDS plane to get us through an enriching and engaging Detroit conference. Now, I’m feeling like we are in a boat on a river, all paddling in different directions. Through this coming year, a year of celebration of our 50 years as an organization, I pledge to continue to work together with our leadership and staff to ensure that we are all paddling in the same direction.

Currently, your board is working to improve policies and procedures through exploring policy based governance. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) The board will also be working to engage members through the committees to keep energy flowing to our organization. Here is an outline of our committees. Please let me know if you want to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. one!

As your President, I will focus on communications and engagement to continue to enrich our organization and to look for places to engage for sustainability through our 50th and beyond. We have been through a lot of changes over the past few years, leaving many of our members looking for more information. I’m hoping to provide that information through a series of short, videos and blogs. Additionally, we will be hosting some townhall-style dialogues for members to answer questions and provide a place for your input on happenings in our organization. Stay tuned for more info!

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President's Update - Coming together, moving ahead

Our annual time of gathering nears. It is the time that we take to learn, share, and become enriched with like-minded collegaues and friends in community development. We honor the outstanding in our field. We discuss our work and listen to that of others. We also come together to think and consider the future of our field and organization, engaging in the critical dialogue necessary to make each other better. I cannot wait to see you.

We will celebrate during our awards ceremony and honor traditions during our lively auction. We also celebrate our new members and students, as well as our international students and past presidents in a special reception ahead of the conference opening. Things like member and IACD President Paul Lachapelle giving his raffle-won hotel room to a student volunteer, Janna Parke, (who won a random draw among student volunteers) fill us with hopefulness and comradiere as we connect across fields and generations.

Members have been engaged in honest thought and reflection on proposed changes to our bylaws. We will continue this dialogue during our conference, in a special workshop and during out business meeting. I am confident that we will find the best path forward for us through this process. 

We have colleagues and leaders that will be joining us and those that will departing us. There are those that wished they could be with us, but cannot - like our dear departed colleage Karen Tinsley from the University of Georgia who itended to shared with us her work on data and community, but lost her life in a truck-bicycle crash earlier this year. Together we will make memories and share those from years past. 

Renaissance is upon us. Our annual time together of renewal. I cannot wait to see what we will become.  

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President's Update - Detroit here we come!

We are rocking and rolling preparing for our annual conference coming up in Detroit July 21-25. I am excited to share with you that our night out event will be held at the Detroit Historical Musem, an amazing venue! We also have secured some wonderful musical acts to demonstrate the arts and local talents in our host city, including the very special Daybreaker Rave and Fitness event featuring the Godmother of House Music, DJ Hotwaxx Stacey Hale. Early bird registration ends June 15, so get those registrations in!

Your leadership has also been working on the elections and planning for the transition of new directors and officers. Be sure to join us at the Business Meeting luncheon on Tuesday, July 24 for their installation.

In order to continue to improve our organization, a committee was formed to review our current bylaws. The group is working on a document to share and crafting interactive discussions at the conference to get your input and feedback and proposed changes. We hope you can get involved!

Thanks again to all our wonderful members for the work you do in our communities! I look forward to seeing you in Detroit!

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Statement from CDS on IACD's "Towards Shared International Standards for Community Development Practice"

The recent publication of the International Association of Community Development's (IACD) "Towards Shared International Standards for Community Development Practice" (Standards) is a monumental step forward to continue to define and refine community development around the world. Building off the definition of community development that was developed by the members and accepted by the Board of IACD and CDS, the Standards are an important piece, articulating the boundaries of our field. IACD and CDS members were invited to comment on the Standards as they were being developed, so many perspectives are represented. An important next step that CDS can take from here is to build off the Standards to describe jobs and roles that take on responsibility in community development, particularly from the context of CDS being an international organization based in the United States of Amerca. I encourage our membership to participate in discussions such as this through our own CDS Connect and through our partners at IACD.

Definition of community development - “Community development is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes participative democracy, sustainable development, rights, economic opportunity, equality and social justice, through the organisation, education and empowerment of people within their communities, whether these be of locality, identity or interest, in urban and rural settings”.

Here is a link to the Standards.

 

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President's Update - Flying the plane together

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I read recently that flight instructors tell student pilots to “just fly the plane” when problems arise in the sky. They do this to remind the pilot to not become so distracted by problems that they crash the plane. I’m writing this President’s Update as your new pilot working to ensure our CDS plane does not crash. Although we have been through some turbulence, we are back to flying this plane together – our conference is on track, our leadership is strengthening, and our management is streamlining. Your Directors and Officers have re-committed themselves to working for the members, actively designing more and better processes for engagement. Here we go together!


We have launched the registration for our 49th annual international conference in Detroit (#CommDev18) with the help and support of our Conference Planning Committee, Local Host Committee, and dedicated staff and vendors. The conference includes an engaging line up of keynote speakers highlighting community development in Detroit, mobile learning workshops that will take us to see activities around the city, and an array of interactive and informative presentations. Details are being finalized, so keep an eye out for updates!

Recent leadership resignations left some temporary gaps. Following our current guiding documents, the bylaws enacted in 2004, and confirmed by our committees and board, I assumed to the presidency and will continue through my elected term ending July 2019. It is my honor to continue to serve CDS. I promise to bring to my presidency the same effort and commitment to our organization that has guided me thus far. I will work to improve our governance, organization development, and meaningful member engagement. I strive to listen to our members and work in the interest of our organization. Please feel free to reach out to me directly (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (239) 4654-6976) if you have any thoughts or concerns or see a role you can play to help us achieve these goals.


The Conference Planning Committee, with the support of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the past presidents, is taking on the responsibility of stewarding our 2018 conference to success in lieu of appointing a Vice President of Programs. I will also continue to serve as conference chair to coordinate these collaborative efforts.


The Board has appointed Jane Leonard to serve as Vice President of Operations. She has accepted the appointment and is currently working with the Executive Committee and Board to ensure we have a conference location for 2020. She brings not only her professional experience as a “prac-ademic” to the role, but the experience of having been part of the CDS leadership in the past. She will no doubt add a bridging dimension to discussions on the advancement of our organization. I really appreciate Jane’s willingness to step up for our organization in a time of need.

Elections for new CDS leadership are coming up shortly. Please be on the lookout for the email containing your ballot information and vote for the candidates that you know can help lead our organization though our 50th year and beyond!

The Board has also been exploring ways to update our guiding documents, including our bylaws and our Policies and Operations Guidelines (POG). Although some work has been done in this respect, the Board wanted to ensure that proper member engagement was part of this updating process, so a committee has been formed to design a process around updating our organizing documents. This will include interactive sessions to gather member input during the 2018 conference, a clear transition plan for any structural changes, and transparency and communication in relation to proposed changes. We look forward to including you in the process of updating and improving the functioning of our organization.

I am appreciative of the work of our new Managing Director, Justin Fallon-Dollard. He jumped right in supporting the conference proposal submissions, registration, and logistics, as well as processing memberships, working with our finances, and looking for ways to streamline and improve our administrative processes. Management transitions are not a simple undertaking and I want to acknowledge the commitment Justin has made to support CDS through all our recent transitions. The Executive Committee and the Board will continue to work with Justin to ensure that all the operations of our organization are running smoothly and improving moving forward.

This has been a challenging time for CDS and for me personally. I look at what has happened recently, and I can hardly believe what we have been through. I do know we learn from mistakes and we become stronger through challenge. The committed remain to drive us forward together. I am proud to be a part of CDS, where we have been and where we are going. It is an honor to serve our members and our field. Although I can’t promise to never make mistakes, I can promise to always work for the best interest of our organization and its members. This is as true today as it’s always been. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve. Let me know how I can better serve – I’m listening.

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Call for Papers for Edited Research Volume - Community Supported Enterprises

By Norm Walzer

Stagnant economies and population declines combined with an aging population including retiring business owners has seriously affected the ability of many rural areas to retain access to vital enterprises such as grocery stores, restaurants, and social services that affect social capital and the quality of life. In response, community leaders have organized groups of residents to pool their funds and invest in businesses they consider adding to essential to quality of life. These enterprises become self-supporting with residents donating time and efforts into related management activities. Community Supported Enterprises (CSEs) have a social purpose and add to social capital but operate with a business model intended to be self-sustaining without continued financial contributions by local investors.

            While some successful CSEs have been documented and studied already (http://cgs.niu.edu/Reports/Emergence-and-Growth-of-Community-Supported-Enterprises.pdf), more information about their motivations, purposes, and keys to success in both rural and urban neighborhoods is needed to systematically analyze their full potential. Especially important is to understand their applicability in other domestic and international locations. Key is to understand types of investors, desired outcomes, organizational structures, and successful management practices under different environments and social systems.

            To obtain a more complete picture of how CSEs developed, operate, and were effective in helping improve the potential of communities, Norman Walzer is organizing an edited research volume on these issues. Contributions should include analyses of important factors, rather than only describe case studies with limited ability to determine ways to generalize or apply successful experiences in other areas. The main topics of interest include (but not limited):

            a. conditions in which CSEs were organized;

            b. organization patterns, e.g. nonprofits, cooperatives, for profits;

            c. groups that have been involved in these enterprises;

            d. state and local assistance or direction for CSE efforts;

            e. reasons for successes and best practices; and

            f. implications for use of CSEs in other places.

            The chapters (not more than 30 double-space pages inclusive) will be refereed prior to acceptance. Authors interested in contributing chapters to this research volume should send an abstract (not more than 500 words) preferably before July 1, 2018 to:

                        Norman Walzer

                        Senior Research Scholar

                        NIU Center for Governmental Studies

                        148 N. Third Street

                        DeKalb, IL 60115

                        815-753-0933

                       This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Community Development Data Viz - February 2018

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://www.comm-dev.org/blog/blogger/cds23#sigProIdfebb53b7a6

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Get involved with #CommDev18!

 

 

Every year, the CDS annual international conference is our time to come together as colleagues to learn and share. The 2018 CDS Annual International Conference in Detroit is no exception and there lots of great things on the horizon! However, we want to make sure that our members’ voices are heard and that this conference really hits the mark. With that in mind, we are extending an invitation for members to join the Conference Planning Committee. Committee members will meet by phone once a month leading up to the conference and will review current plans, make suggestions to tailor the conference program to needs and expectations of the members, as well as to provide support as needed. Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

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Community Development Data Viz - February 2018

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://www.comm-dev.org/blog/blogger/cds23#sigProId25494955b2

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Explore Detroit at #CommDev18

I am so excited that we will be meeting in my hometown of Detroit for #CommDev18! Detroit has been nothing short of a hotbed of innovation in community development and revitalization. Holding our annual international conference there will ebable us to learn and explore community development alongside our local counterparts -- engaging with urban agriculture, equity activists, and planners to see how people and neighborhoods in Detroit continue their renaissance. 

As Chair of the Conference Committee, I am happy to be leading the process of engaging membership and local stakeholders to make this conference a success. Our first round of proposals has closed and the Scholarly Activities Committee and other reviewers are hard at work vetting proposals to make sure we have the highest quality presentations for #CommDev18.

We recieved an amazing number of formal presentation and poster proposals, but also a trove of the newly concieved Roundtables, Think Tanks, and Birds of  Feather proposals. Be sure to check them out as the program takes shape early next year! For now though, you can check out the schedule at a glance here

You can still be actively involved in the conference by signing up to be a student volunteer or part of the new CDS Mentor Program (mentor, mentee). All student volunteers will be put into a drawing for a free stay at the conference hotel during the conference -- what a deal! All senior Society members are encourages to sign up to be mentors to students and newer members of our organization to help them connect during the conference and grow in their careers in community development. We need you!

We have some great Mobile Learning Workshops taking shape, including the Dequindre Cut Bike Tour, Henry Ford Museum, and more! We will be partnering with Visit Detroit to help coordinate some of these tours. Also, be sure to check them out to find out about other great things to do and see during your trip! 

This year, we are truly getting back to our roots by coordinating service events in our host city ahead of the conference. So, plan on getting in and getting to work on July 21 with one of our service project locations, including farmwork with the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network or blight removal with Life Remodeled. More opportunities may become available, depending on interest, so stay tuned and be sure to sign up to serve when you register! 

There's so much more underway, -- including amazing keynotes, sponsors, events -- but I'll end here for now. Keep an eye on our website for more! Registration will be here soon!

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Community Development Data Viz - November 2017

Thanks for tuning in! This month's selection of interesting data visualizations focus on gender-based violence with a special look at transgender issues, and sexual harrassment. 

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://www.comm-dev.org/blog/blogger/cds23#sigProIdf31e3296cc

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