Community Development Society

News and Information

Congratulations CDS Awards and Scholarship Winners!

Dear CDS Members,

We are pleased to announce to you the winners of this year’s scholarships and awards. We had an amazing group of applicants for both scholarships and awards; however, we were limited in how many of each that we could give out in particular categories and some awards categories did not receive nominations this year. More information on these amazing winners and how to get even more applicants for categories unfilled this year will be provided at (and after) this year’s conference in Big Sky, Montana.

Scholarship Winners

Nette Nelson Travel Scholarship – Clare MacGillivray

CD Scholarship Fund – Alan Twelvetrees

Ted Bradshaw Travel Scholarship – Ganga Dutta Acharya

George Nickolaus CD Graduate Student Award – Celina Tchida

Award Winners

Current Research Award – Ben Winchester

International Community Development Practice Award – Cornelia (Cornel) Hart

Outstanding Community Development Educator Award – Margaret Stout

Innovative Program Award (Two Winners) – E-Discovery and the FutureMakers Coalition

Outstanding Program Award – Island Institute

Joint NACDEP-CDS Award (Two Winners)* – Ripple Effects Mapping and Michael Dougherty

Unfilled Categories

Six awards were not given this year due to lack of nominations: (1) Community Development Achievement Award, (2) Donald W. Littrell New Professional Award, (3) Duane Gibson Distinguished Service Award, (4) Ted Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award, (5) Student Recognition Award, and (6) Friend of Community Development Award. The committee believes that this remains part of a larger trend we noted last year regarding decreased engagement in the individual person awards. We are considering options for future years to make the awards more attractive and competitive. Please send us your feedback regarding garnering more interest and excitement around these awards. Please also reach out to us in the coming year if you are interested in nominating individuals for these awards. We, as a committee, are here to help you!


Craig Talmage

CDS Awards and Recognition Co-Chair

*Two award winners were selected for the one-time only joint award with NACDEP. The committee chairs from both NACDEP and CDS recused themselves from the discussion, but awards committees from NACDEP and CDS met and decided on having two award winners.


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Community Development Data Viz - May 2017

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Volunteers Sought for NACDEP/CDS Conference

Volunteers are needed to help with the 2017 NACDEP/CDS Conference, “Big Skies: Bold Partnerships – Moving Mountains Together,” on June 11-14 in Big Sky, MT. The conference is set to highlight the synergistic energy between two professional community development organizations, the Community Development Society (CDS) and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP). Conference highlights will include thought provoking speakers and artists, experiencing Montana community development initiatives first hand through mobile learning tours, and networking opportunities with professionals nationally and internationally.

Your skills and expertise are needed to help make this event a success for everyone! We are seeking volunteers to moderate sessions, work registration, assist with mobile and pre-conference workshops, and more. Volunteering offers faculty the opportunity to log service hours and for all volunteers to network with even more colleagues! For more information or to volunteer, contact Carrie Staton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow the links below to sign up to volunteer!

· Session Moderators (Help direct questions and discussion!)

· Registration Table (What better way to learn everyone’s names?)

· Silent & Live Auction (Get a first look at all the goodies up for grabs!)

· Poster Judges (Channel your inner Simon Cowell!) – Contact Anne Silvis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Community Development Data Viz - April 2017

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CDS President Update - Be Bold, Thoughtful, and Celebrate!

Hello Community Development Colleagues,

As we face challenges with our work, we need to maintain a positive outlook as we show the difference we make.  We need to be accountable for our work, focus on deliverables, outcomes, successes, acknowledge shortcomings, and understand areas which need improvement.  We are faced with many pressures, deadlines, problems with projects, communication, relationships, and more--it can seem overwhelming at times.  At the same time, we do our best, have great passion for what we do, and shine.  I think one of the most important aspects of community development work involves balance--balance between being bold with what we do, being thoughtful in acknnowledging others, and celebrating success appropriately.  We all have different approaches, different ways of understanding the world, what is going on, and expectations.  I am quite sure that each person reading this has a slightly different interpretation of this message.  Part of the role, and challenge, in community development work is being open to these differences, and learning to work through them, whether at the community level, organizational level, or individual level.  This can take time and patience, as there are always other ways of looking at things.  Another challenge is knowing when to move on to action.  Decisionmaking is a tricky process, and as community developers we can use facilitation skills to listen, acknowledge, check back, clarify, gain agreement, and move forward.  This is a process we go through every day, and it is important to maintain that openness, while being bold and assertive, to balance interests in decisions, and move toward action which is meaningful, productive, and rewarding.   As we approach the Community Development Society (CDS) and National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) Conference; Bold Partnerships, Moving Mountains Together, June 11 - 14, 2017 in Big Sky, Montana we all undoubtabley have challenges, whether it be in research or practice, we all have "learning opportunities".  I am very much looking forward to the CDS NACDEP Conference in Montana to learn--to see the wonderful colleagues I have come to know over the past decade, meet new, bright, aspiring community development students, professionals working for extension services, and leaders involved with education across the country and around the world.  There is no better place to rejuvinate the mind and body than the fesh mountain air of Montana.  I have been to Big Sky and can assure you it is a place to appreciate, especially with the many people who share a passion for community development.  It will be an opportunity for reflection, rejuvination, sharing, learning, and moving forward with new understanding, skills, and patnerships in the traditional spirit of CDS and NACDEP--two organizations with a rich history in community development.  We have over 300 people registered with more coming.  Join the crowd, be bold, make new friends and partners, cliimb to the moutain top--or take the tram.  I hope you decide to make the trip to Big Sky, and you find this message insightful, helpful, and inspiring to be the best you can be in your work, and person.  Be bold, thoughtful, and celebrate!

Chris Marko

CDS President

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Come to the Mountaintop

In June of 2017, people from all over the world will be convening on a mountaintop in Montana. They will come from farms, towns, and cities. They will come from businesses, governments, and universities. Young and old, of all races and ethnicities, of different political persuasion, of different life experiences and world views- they will come. They will come from near and far to gather on a mountaintop.

And on that mountaintop, they will listen. They will listen and talk, describe and debate and deliberate. They will teach and learn from one another. They will reflect and inspire. And when they return to their farms, towns and cities they will be better people. More informed, more empathetic, and more determined to make their communities stronger. Be one of these people. Join us. Big Skys: Bold Partnerships, Moving Mountains Together

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Request For Proposals ($4000) for CDS Advancement Grants

Community Development Advancement Grants -- Request for Proposals

2017 is the inaugural year of the Community Development Advancement Grant program and Community Development Society members are invited to submit a proposal for a project that advances the field of Community Development. These projects can be focused on creating educational resources, projects that increase our understanding of issues, processes that engage people across time and space, and other projects that will enhance and support the science, practice, and discipline of Community Development. It is very important that the applicant build a strong case on how the project advances Community Development in some form.  The budget for the proposal must not exceed $4000 and there is enough funding this year to support three accepted proposals.


 Applications are open to CDS members only. The project operational team can include non-CDS members but a current CDS member must establish team leadership and fiscal responsibility. An individual can submit more than one application per grant cycle, but only the top ranked application will be funded in the case of multiple accepted applications.   

Priorities in order of importance 

  1. Proposals that advance the field of Community Development as a science, discipline, or practice.
  2. Proposals that strengthen the effectiveness of Community Development Professionals to conduct their chosen work in research or practice.
  3. Proposals that produce outcomes in more than one demographic setting (geographic, socio-economic, cultural, etc.)
  4. Proposals for projects that are unique in approach or application and could stand as a model for similar projects around the country and world
  5. Proposals whose outcomes support the theme of the 2017 conference. Big Skies: Bold Partnerships – Moving Mountains Together
  6. Proposals where the majority of the budget request supports the proposed outcomes. Proposals with excessive administrative costs should be discounted in favor of proposals with less administrative costs.
  7. Proposals for other projects with less impact or with limited potential (i.e. something that might be a unique but not a replicable model).
  8. All else being equal, priority will be given to applicants who have not received a prior CDAG Grant

Application Procedures

Completed applications are due no later than Midnight on May 15. Please email you application as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Your application should be a well-formatted electronic document that addresses the following criteria and concerns. 

Project Director’s name, affiliations,  and contact information (must be a current CDS member):

List of other participants and organizations involved in project with contact information: 

Project Narrative: Describe the basic compents of the project and show how this project will 1) enhance and support the science, practice, and discipline of Community Development and 2) describe the Community Development methodologies employed in achieving item 1. It will also be beneficial to list how this project addresses some of the eight priorities of the Community Development Grant program

Project Outcomes, Goals, and Timeline (must be completed prior to the 2018 CDS conference) :

Project Budget: Do not include compensation for CDS members.  Budget is limited to $4000 for the 2017 cycle

Letters of Support and Commitment: Please include letters of commitment or interest for any external resources. 

If funded, the project team must commit to submit a presentation of the project for the 2018 Community Development Society Conference.  Grant awardees will be announced at the Community Development Society (CDS) and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) 2017 Conference in Big Sky, Montana, June 11-14. 

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Community Development Data Viz - March2017

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CDS President Update March 2017 Positive Change and Local Participation

CDS President Update March, 2017

Greetings Community Development Colleagues,

As we move through tides of change with politics, and weather--dare I suggest “climate change”, I bring you a message of hope, encouragement, and a call for getting involved locally. Change is in air, literally.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), February, 2017, was the second warmest February on record.  The United States (U.S.) had the 6th warmest winter on record.  This news following regular notices of more extremely warm, and cold, seasons, and dare I point out—severe storms, as Winter Storm Stella reminded the East Coast of the U.S. this week.  I was in Washington D.C. two weeks ago.  One day with 76 degree temperature, 40 mile per hour wind, and rain falling sideways, then it all passed within a few hours. Two days later we had freezing temperature overnight with snow flurries. Spring coming I suppose. Change does happen in Washington D.C. after all, and I am pleased to report an overall positive experience during my visit to D.C.  I was conducting Congressional outreach regarding rural programs, infrastructure, housing, economic development, and funding programs which benefit rural communities.  Overall my 12 visits with Senate and House Representative offices were encouraging, as the rural vote has brought more consideration of these areas of the country, and we hear “infrastructure” spoken by the new Administration.  Indeed, some of what I talked about were issues that offer some common ground which felt like it was taken as a breath of fresh air by Congressional staffers amidst the political divisions, intense differences, and uncertainty.  Like in the movie, The Graduate (for those of you who know this classic film of the 1970’s starring Dustin Hoffman, and for those who don’t it is recommended if only to know it), when Benjamin’s girlfriend’s father (husband of Mrs. Robinson) says a word of wisdom for the future to the new graduate, “Benjamin, I have one word: plastics”.  My pitch became “I have two words: ‘rural infrastructure’”.  My Senators appreciated it.  I want to expand on this somewhat unexpected positive experience in “the swamp” and bring it back to my work and life, and share it with others.  I still recognize we have an extraordinarily challenging environment, and indications of drastic cuts with potentially profound impacts on programs and services for communities, organizations, and agencies.  Upon returning to Portland, Oregon, I have been thinking more about local control--local control of systems we in communities can manage to support livelihoods locally.  We should be talking about local banking, locally managed financial systems for local people and communities, supporting local businesses, local community decision-making.  As community developers we have much to offer, and in in some ways, it is our duty to get more involved, if we indeed have one.  With proposed cuts to arts, education, public broadcasting, and other forms of culture represented locally, consider donating to your public broadcasting stations, and local organizations which are supporting arts and culture.  Support your local food markets, businesses which promote local products, distribution, and consumption—recycling and reuse.  These suggestions harken to reflections on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) the Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) highlighted at our conference on Sustaining Community Change in Minnesota last year.  Speaking of which, we will be highlighting positivity in culture with great diverse speakers involved with music, culture, and hip hop, including reflections on Standing Rock, at the CDS and National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) Conference:  Big Skies, Bold Partnerships; Moving Mountains Together in Big Sky, Montana, June 11 – 14, 2017.  Think big thoughts, bring your bold ideas, and get inspired by colleagues involved with community development across the U.S. and from around the world as we address challenges of our time, like climbing a mountain, or roping a calf— which I can tell you first hand is not as easy at looks based on my experience at the Big Sky Resort last September.  Register for the conference at  The deadline for Early Bird registration dealine is March 31st so register and make your plans for Big Sky today.  Keep inspired.  In darkness the light shines brighter.  Get involved and contribute locally.  Support your community, businesses, and local resources.  Seek better understanding of local systems, how things work, and make a difference.  It’s up to you!


Chris Marko

CDS President


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March Vanguard Piece: Nature & Community

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.

In the February edition of Vanguard, Steve Jeanetta shared the above statement adopted by the International Association for Community. CDS is "starting a conversation about how we should define community development as a society" and has invited its members to engage in dialogue around this statement. I would like to propose the idea that we explore broadening this conversation by including nature as in integral part of this conversation, particularly in terms of how we might enhance our view of "community". In so doing, I propose we start this new thread of the conversation by evoking Eugene Odum's (1971) classic work in Ecology and his definition of an ecosystem: In Ecology, the term population, originally coined to denote a group of people, is broadened to include groups of individuals of any one kind or organism. Likewise, a community in the ecological sense includes all of the populations occupying a given area. The community and the non-living environment function together [italics added] as an ecological system or ecosystem (pp. 4-5). Thus, we are reminded of the inherent connectivity between living and nonliving things - tied synergistically for survival - something Indigenous Communities have always known.

For me, the timing is both serendipitous and critical, as I find myself contemplating and exploring recent initiatives and innovative research methodologies that offer provocative insights on how we might diversify conceptualizations and enhance practices (e.g., science, community development, education, etc) broadly within community development. These new lenses offer fresh conceptual and methodological frames that embrace environmental social justice (Eppley, 2017; Kingsolver, 2017), the rights of nature (Linzey, 2013), an earth stewardship approach to science (Sayre, Kelty, Simmons, Clayton, Kassam, Pickett, & Chapin, 2013), and acknowledge the complex interconnectivity between all living beings and the environment (Avery & Hains, 2017; Kassam, 2009). Policies and actions of the current U.S. administration now threaten much of what both CDS and NACDEP propose in the aforementioned statement, and in my opinion, clearly signals to the field that there is much more work for us to do collectively as participating members in our local, regional, national, international, and ecological communities. This call to action serves to galvanize the community so that we may creatively and collaboratively solve the wicked problems faced by the planet. I am particularly inspired by the recent work of Thomas Linzey (2013) and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).


According to the CELDF,

"There is a growing recognition that we must fundamentally change the relationship between humankind and nature. Making this fundamental shift means recognizing our dependence on nature and respecting our need to live in harmony with the natural world. This means securing the highest legal protection and the highest societal value on nature through the recognition of rights... we are finding that the human right to a healthy environment cannot be achieved without securing rights of the environment itself. This means recognizing in law the rights of nature to be healthy and thrive (CELDF, 2017)".


In anticipation and preparation for the upcoming CDS-NACDEP conference in beautiful Montana, might we continue to engage in conversations and explore new partnerships that embrace humanity in the context of the rights of nature, and move forward in ways that synergistically bring together our collective diverse perspectives, spirits and practices in ways that pave brave new pathways moving forward.



Avery, L.M., & Hains, B.J. (2017). Oral Traditions: A contextual framework for complex science concepts. Cultural Studies of Science Education (CSSE) Special Issue on Rural Science Education. Volume 12, Issue 1, pp. 129–166.

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). (2017). Retrieved from

Eppley, K. (2017). Rural science education as social justice. Cultural Studies of Science Education (CSSE) Special Issue on Rural Science Education. Volume 12, Issue 1, pp. 45-52.

Kassam, K-A. (2009). Biocultural diversity and Indigenous ways of knowing: human ecology in the Arctic. Calgary: University of Calgary Press/Arctic Institute of North America.

Kingsolver, A. (2017). Practical resources for critical science education in rural Appalachia. Cultural Studies of Science Education (CSSE) Special Issue on Rural Science Education. Volume 12, Issue 1, pp. 219-225.

Linzey, T. (2013).  Corporations, Communities & the Environment. (March 2, 2013). Alternative Radio. National Public Radio (NPR).

Odum, E.P. (1971). Fundamentals of ecology. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company.

Sayre, N., Kelty, R., Simmons, M., Clayton, S., Kassam, K-A., Pickett, S., & Chapin, F.S. (2013). Invitation to earth stewardship. Frontiers in Ecology. 11, 339.

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Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Community Resources and Development Arizona State University

Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Community Resources and Development

Arizona State University

Job # 11910


The School of Community Resources & Development at Arizona State University is seeking a year-to-year, non-tenure track, 9-month full time Clinical Assistant Professor with a 33% appointment in the summer and the potential for a multi-year appointment at a later point based on performance. The position begins August 16, 2017. The successful candidate will be expected to oversee internships, career field experience hours (CFE’s), and teach in the undergraduate programs of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Parks and Recreation Management, Community Sports Management, and Tourism Development and Management, including teaching Community Services and Professions; Leadership and Professional Development; and Senior Internship, a capstone 12-credit culminating experience. Applications are due March 31, 2017 by 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time.

For more information about the School, visit

Applicants are asked to address questions to Dr. Wendy Hultsman, Search Committee Chair (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  For a complete job description and application submission information please visit  Applications should be submitted online as one combined document.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. For a complete statement of ASU’s nondiscrimination statement, refer to and

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Community Development Data Viz - February 2017

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Help CDS Define Community Development

This past summer the International Association for Community Development adopted the following statement defining 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.

The community development society is starting a conversation about how we should define community development as a society. We are starting the conversation using the definition IACD developed as a starting point. The following questions have been posed to start the dialogue.

1. What are your thoughts on this definition?
2. What are its strengths?
3. What is it missing?
4. What alternative language do you propose?

We will be hosting the discussion in CDS connect, the networking forum established for CDS members. To participate login to the website and click on the banner promoting the discussion and share your perspectives.
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CDS President Update

Dear Community Development Colleagues,

This month I ecourage you to consider goals for the year.  Did you set New Year's Resolutions (or goals)?  How are they going?  Now is a good time to think about your intention amids a changing world.  What direction are you heading in your life?  Your course of study?  Your work?  Having goals can help you keep focused, encourage regular activity toward betterment, and ultimately achievement--which in turn helps with motivation.  As community developers we are often pulled in so many directions that it can be difficult to maintain balance, and we all need balance to be effective at what we do, and for our health.  Whatever your goals, big or small, I encourage you to articulate them, pursue them, give yourself credit for progress, and celebrate achieving them.  Today I will receive my 20 year award for working for the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) which has involved achieving several goals in helping rural communities with infrastructure, community economic development, and advocacy.  I indeed will reflect and celebrate.  My goals as President of CDS include improving our business practices and developing more consistency in the organization, cultivating and further developing new leadership, and sustaining change--building on our conference with the International Association for Community Development (IACD) in Minnesota 2016.  CDS is active in refining our business practices, working on a strategic plan, developing processes for continuity with Board members and Committees, engaging new Board members to lead activities, developing innovative practices with technology including CDS Connect, embarking on a membership recruitment campaign, and solidifying plans for the our CDS and National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) Conference in Big Sky Montana--Big Skies, Bold Partnerships: Moving Mountains Together, June 11th - 14th, 2017.  The conference program will feature speakers highlighting native culture and the water protection movement at Standing Rock along with social transformation involving arts and music through Hip Hop featured at the CDS IACD Conference in Minnesota last year.  CDS NACDEP Conference registration is now open at  Make it one of your goals to participate in another great conference in a great place for inspiration, networking, strengthening partnerships, and learning best practicies to meet the challenges of our times through community development!  Thank you for all you do to make a positive difference in people's lives, and communities, and keep up the great work!  Happy Valentine's Day,  Chris Marko CDS President

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Refer a Colleague Membership Campaign

CDS is trying something new to grow the membership of the organization. We call it the “refer a colleague” campaign. During the month of February we are encouraging you as members to go into your rolodex and identify colleagues you believe would benefit from being a member of CDS. To encourage your participation CDS will add an additional two months to your existing membership plan for each referral you make that joins CDS. This can save your or your organization resources and help grow CDS. The colleagues you refer will also get an extra three months in their initial membership for trying us out and exploring the ways that CDS can be resource and support to their community development efforts.

If you’re not sure your colleague is already a member you can check it out on the website. To do so, login to the membership side of the website. Under “Member Menu” select “CDS Connect Advanced Search” Under search criteria, “select field” and then select “name”. Where it says “is equal to” change to “contains” and then enter the name you want to verify. If your colleague is already a member their profile will appear. If their profile does not appear, then your colleague is not currently a member of CDS and would be eligible to participate in the “refer a colleague” program. It’s a simple way to grow our membership and strengthen our capacity to support others with a passion for community development. The program expires at the end of February so refer a colleague soon!

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Final Call for CDS Scholarships - Applications Due Feb. 24th

Reminder! CDS Scholarships applications close on February 24th. We will be taking applications via our Google form like we did last year. Access the online scholarship application ( and take 15 to 20 minutes to complete the required information. The forms are tailored to each scholarship you select making it easier for us to track and ensure form completion. 

For your convenience, the scholarship committee can do the work of soliciting the resumes, CVs, or biosketches and letters of support. All you have to do is provide us with emails to help you complete your application or nomination, but it is always great if you take the initiative to submit them first. This way we can ensure that all applications are completed in full before our reviews. You are welcome to send letters of support to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., but they will be contacted this week to remind them to get them in to us. 

Please direct any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Updated information regarding the CDS Awards will be posted in the next week or so. Thanks for your patience. Stay tuned!

CDS Scholarships Committee

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Online Course Explores Community Systems

Sustainable Communities:  Online course explores community systems

As communities struggle with increasingly complex social, economic and environmental issues related to sustainability they need the expertise of community development professionals now more than ever. Whether your expertise is in agriculture, natural resources, youth, family or economic development you will be asked to help guide a stakeholder group through a difficult decision making process.  The Foundations of Practice course, Sustainable Communities, offers you the tools, skills and knowledge to be the trusted resource community groups need in the emerging dialogs around local foods, energy and natural resources.

Successful community sustainability initiatives rely on understanding systems thinking, sustainability models and the needs and conditions in your town, county, state or region. Tapping into a long legacy of one of the country's most respected organizations, this training, brought to you by the Cooperative Extension System and the Regional Rural Development Centers, provides the background, resources and strategies to support your work in communities.

Best of all, this program comes directly to you! Each week via Zoom, an Extension Specialist will deliver world-class training to you in your office, conference room or even home.  Discussions and supplemental resources will be supported using a course website.

The eight-week series begins February 2, 2017. Each week features a 90-minute webinar focusing on timely topics including Energy, Local Foods, Built Environments, Mobility and Natural Resources. Supplemental resources and online discussion opportunities will be available on the course website. Participants can log in at their convenience to explore these topics further, pose questions, investigate additional resources and visit with colleagues in similar situations.

Sustainable Communities is an offering of the Foundations of Practice Program. It is appropriate for individuals who regularly work with community groups in any subject area and have a basic understanding of community development principles.  If you find yourself called upon to facilitate community-based initiatives, or you just want to better understand how communities function, this course is for you!

Registration is $125 per person. Register before January 27 and save $25. Registration forms and payment information is available at To learn more about the Sustainable Communities class visit our webpage.

Foundations of Practice is sponsored by the Regional Rural Development Centers in partnership with your Land Grant University network.  The course content was created by the eXtension Land Use Planning Community of Practice, Task Force for Sustainable Communities, with grant support from the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.


Mary Peabody
UVM Extension, Community & Economic Development
23 Mansfield Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401-3323

Phone: 802-656-7232
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Community Development Data Viz - January 2017

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Call for Applicants for this year’s CDS Scholarships – Closes February 24th

It’s that time again! CDS Scholarships are back. We will be taking applications via our Google form like we did last year. Access the online scholarship application ( and take 15 to 20 minutes to complete the required information. The forms are tailored to each scholarship you select making it easier for us to track and ensure form completion.

Information regarding each scholarship is found on the Google form, and updated information will be on our website shortly; however, the same scholarships are being offered as last year (2016). Updated information regarding the CDS Awards will be posted in the coming weeks as well. 

For your convenience, the scholarship committees will do the work of soliciting the resumes, CVs, or biosketches and letters of support. All you have to do is provide us with emails to help you complete your application or nomination, but it is always great if you take the initiative to submit them first. This way we can ensure that all applications are completed in full before our reviews.

CDS scholarships are amazing ways to showcase our new and seasoned community development researchers, practitioners, students, and friends alike. It is a must that we receive as many applications and nominations as possible. Self-nominations are welcome in many areas as well.

Please direct any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thank you!

CDS Scholarships Committee

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CDS Presidential Update - Reflections on Sustainability

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a nice Holiday Season, enjoyed some quality time, rest, peace, family, friends, and joys of the season! I was able to take time to reflect with family and friends in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon and recently compiled a "reflection on sustainability" with things we can do related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (17): 1 – No Poverty. How do we actually shift wealth and resources to go toward supporting the end of poverty? Let’s start with sharing. Since the election in the U.S. friends and colleagues are encouraging donations to organizations who are actively working on alleviating poverty through education, programs and services which empower disadvantaged people, and civil rights. The Southern Poverty Law Center is an example. Check out advocacy groups in your area, get informed and engage. 2 – Zero Hunger. Donate to food shelters, participate in can drives (donating food to organizations), contribute to disaster relief efforts, and depending on your way of life, contribute through churches, special drives, and “Holiday giving” are all ways to alleviate hunger. Monitor consumption, recycle, and support businesses which promote reuse, recycling, and utilize food waste. 3 – Good Health and Well Being. At the CDS IACD conference we had several sessions on “Community Well Being” which were inspiring for our work an lives. Find ways to create space for nurturing beyond your “normal” conditioned space. Be kind and good to one another. It can go along way to making you, those you associate with, and possibly others, better than worse. 4 – Quality Education. To me education means supporting the intellectual, physical, and emotional development of people to pursue, develop, and master their passions, knowledge, and abilities to improve their lives, and society (bonus). It also means cultivating quality educators to guide young people, communities, and each other for better understanding, economic opportunity, and civil society. Educate yourself about current events, share information, and engage in thoughtful dialogue. 5 – Gender Equality. In college, I took a women's studies course and learned about “theories of difference” which described the cycles of oppression through identification of groups—gender, race, class, age. This course changed my life by highlighting how we selectively oppress people by "difference" and how change involves looking beyond discrimination of just one group. 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation. This goal is particularly relevant to my work with Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) around sustainable infrastructure. Access to safe drinking water is a luxury for most people in the world which many of us take for granted. Communities face challenges with keeping up with costs to manage infrastructure systems and have limited capacity to develop and finance projects. Globally we need more investment in basic infrastructure. Water is life. 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy. If we are going to be sustainable with energy, we must radically shift the way we live, from extraction of resources, production of electricity, distribution infrastructure, and consumption. Conservation is another policy tool to help reduce consumption of energy. Our dependence on fossil fuels is not sustainable. It creates acute pollution, if not global warming. Drive less, ride a bicycle, turn off the lights, turn down the heat, use energy efficient appliances, take action. 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth. The traditional form of economic development has been the industrial recruitment model. Build it, and they will come. The majority of businesses are “small businesses” of 150 or less people. A large industry moving in to save the town is not always sustainable for a community. Local business and local work builds community. 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. The CDS IACD Annual International Conference 2016 had sessions involving innovation and the “community capitals” framework with eight (8) community capitals/values of wealth including intellectual, individual, social, cultural, natural, built, financial, and political. Business as usual is not sustainable--building local wealth is. 10 – Reduced Inequalities. See “gender equality” and discussion regarding “theories of difference”. 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities. My home state of Oregon was the first state in the U.S. to enact a bottle bill for recycling, and land use laws to govern “wise development” in the 1970’s under Governor Tom McCall, a Republican. Unfortunately the discovery of Portland is bringing growth pressure, increased housing costs, and homelessness. Sustainable cities means more than smart growth, it means re-evaluating goals and engaging community, to develop local solutions. 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. Think locally, act globally. Responsible consumption involves understanding where products are made, how they are made, how they are distributed, and how they impact health, environment, and economy. Educate yourself about the products you buy, compare costs of local products and tradeoffs, and maximize the value of your money in what you buy, and consume. Support local businesses, farmers markets, and be a wise shopper. 13 – Climate Action. Reduce dependence on fossil fuel, walk, ride a bike, take mass transit, reduce waste, reuse, recycle, grow food, reduce dependency on products which require transportation (and use of fossil fuel and energy), reduce energy use particularly at peak times, get off the grid, and if you get on the grid consider how you use energy and save, get a solar retrofit, ride share, educate others about the science behind climate change more than ever because policy priorities are shifting. 14 – Life Below Water. Our oceans are the reservoirs of life, and they are being destroyed. Signs of plankton decline, coral as living rock protecting shores dying off, coagulating masses of plastic “film” never before recorded in vast areas of our oceans, mammals dying from plastics and management practices in oceans, are all red alert alarms we need to be paying attention to—not to mention rising sea levels due to GLOBAL WARMING. Islands in the South Pacific are dealing with this as the water literally is rising and covering areas formally above sea level. 15 – Life on Land. The world lands continue to face increased deforestation, species extinction, effects from intensifying storms causing greater disasters. How can governments continue to fund disaster relief? How can governments, and people, be more proactive about mitigating consequences of disasters? How can we protect the environment and consume what we need, not just want? We must have land, and we must have water. 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. One of my New Year's Resolutions is "seek peace where possible". Peace means we must understand differences and find ways to deal with them constructively, productively, and if possible compassionately. Be an ambassador of peace, learn about mindful awareness, and meditation. Breathe. 17 – Partnership for the Goals. We are all in this together. We cannot sustain one self alone. That is the same with organizations and agencies. While we all have self-interest, individual missions, and different, distinct programs, and motivations, everything is related which is a fundamental mindset we need to embrace for a truly sustainable world. Remember to make plans to attend the Community Development Society (CDS) and National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) in Big Sky, Montana June 11th - 14th. Happy New Year 2017! Make it one for the ages. Chris Marko CDS President
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