Community Development Society

News and Information

Congrats to Our Award and Scholarship Recipients

By Craig Talmage

This year we celebrated our award and scholarship winners at our annual banquet at the CDS Conference. We would again like to recognize our award and scholarship recipients.  Also, if you are interested in serving on our committee, please email Craig Talmage (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please also consider nominating a person or program for an award or scholarship next year. Learn more at


·         Ted Bradshaw Outstanding Research – David Campbell, University of California-Davis

·         Donald W. Littrell New Professional Award – Neil Linscheid, University of Minnesota Extension

·         Innovative Program Award – Strengthening Skills for Leading Others Program of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK)

·         Outstanding Program Award – The Futures Program from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality

·         Friend of Community Development Award – Gavin Rennie, Unitec


·         CD Scholarship Fund - Renee Reed Miller

·         CD Scholarship Fund - Toyin Kolawole

·         George Nickolaus CD Graduate Student Award Fund - Richard Loughery

·         Nette Nelson Travel Fund - Sharad Sharma

·         Ted Bradshaw Fund to Support Student Engagement in CDS: Travel Scholarship - Bidita Jawher Tithi


·         Ted Bradshaw Fund to Support Student Engagement in CDS: Community-Based Research Scholarship - Annie Li

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President's Update - Introducing the 2016-2017 CDS Board

By Chris Marko


First of all thank you to all who were involved with planning, conducting, and participating in this year’s Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA July 24th – 27th, 2016.  We hope you found the event inspiring, valuable, and practical for your future research and practice in community development, and the many aspects of sustaining community change, and sustainable development.  Please keep in touch with people you met, share information, experiences, opportunities, and please continue to participate with CDS.  I would like to welcome our new CDS Board members:  Leanne Avery, State University New York (SUNY) at Oneonta, New York; Kyle Patrick Williams, Chapman University, Orange, California; Michael Fortunato, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and Wilson Majee, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.  We have a creative and capable group of leaders focused on getting things done.  We invite you to participate with CDS, join Committees, contribute an article, develop a proposal for next year’s conference in Montana!  In particular we are looking for people to participate on CDS Committees. We are currently finalizing our Committees, and Committee leadership, and welcome your interests, ideas, leadership capabilities, and collaboration on behalf of the Society:

Awards and Recognition Committee

Issues eight (8) annual awards for CDS recognizing volunteer efforts for those who assist the society and recognizes outgoing board members for the society.

  • Co-chair: Craig Talmage, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Co-chair: Michael Dougherty, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Communications/Publications Committee

The Communications Committee is responsible for design and development of communication networks among CDS members and entities external to CDS. Committee members oversee content management of the CDS website; anticipate and recommend policy to support communication needs in CDS; prepare and propose an annual budget to the Board of Directors; manage CD Practice, Vanguard, and Community Development; recommend policy regarding the production and distribution of CDS publications; and organize the process of appointing editors, including recommendations to the board.

  • Chair Printed Materials: Abbie Gaffey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Co-chair Electronic Materials: Cindy Banyai, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Co-chair Website: Steve Jeanetta, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Ex officio members:

– CD Practice Editor: Craig Talmage, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

– Community Development Editor: John Green, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 – Vanguard Editor: Cindy Banyai, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Finance Committee

This important committee reviews and recommends policies and procedures for the CDS Endowment, manages the fund-raising appeals to CDS groups, and seeks financial support from foundations and corporations. The committee is also responsible for monitoring the overall financial health of CDS.

  • Co-chair: Tony Gauvin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·         Co-chair: Steve Jeanetta, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International Committee

The International Committee develops strong and productive inter-country communication, research, action, and project links among CDS members and broadens international participation of CDS.

  • Co-chair: Jim Cavaye, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·         Co-chair: Gary Goreham, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Marketing/Membership Committee

This committee’s responsibilities include developing and implementing a far-reaching innovative plan that will nurture and sustain a viable CDS while adding value to the field and offering opportunities for networking, skill development, and capacity building of organizations, people, and communities.

·         Chair: Dan Kahl, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nominations and Leadership Development

The role of this committee is to foster democratic process within CDS itself by organizing and carrying out the election of officers according to the CDS bylaws, identifying potential candidates for office, and communicating the opportunities for involvement in the leadership of CDS to the membership.

  • Co-Chair:  Kyle Patrick Williams, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Co-Chair:  Craig Talmage, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2016 Program Planning Committee

The role of the Program Planning Committee is to develop the program for the 2017 CDS Annual International Conference to be held in Big Sky, Montana. Keynote speakers and plenary sessions will be determined based on conference theme, available resources, and the Local Host Committee. Concurrent sessions will be selected based on a review of abstracts received in response to the Call for Presentations. The committee will provide support with keynote speakers, presenters, moderators, mobile learning workshops, and sponsors. Mobile learning workshops will be coordinated with the Local Host Committee. Opportunities will be provided for feedback and evaluation of the conference.

  • Chair: Bryan Haines, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Site Selection Committee

Locates potential places for future CDS annual conferences that can provide a peak learning network experience for CD practitioners, scholars, and policy makers.

·         Chair:  Cindy Banyai, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CDS Executive Committee

If you are interested in any committees, have questions, are interested in learning more about CDS, and how to get involved, please feel to contact any one of the CDS Executive Committee members:

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

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

Cindy Banyai, Vice President of Operations, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bryan Haines, Vice President of Programs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

Thank you and look forward to a great year!




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Community Development Data Viz August 2016

View the embedded image gallery online at:


See also: Total Cost of Olympic Games

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Release of new brief in Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural American publication series

Community Development Researchers and Practitioners: Please see the following release from our partners at the University of Wisconsin. The "Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America" series should be informative your work!


--John J. Green, Editor

Community Development

University of Mississippi



We are very pleased to announce the release of the second brief of the Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America series! This series provides information about current trends confronting rural people and their communities in the United States. The briefs present cutting edge research in a way that is useful for and accessible to policy makers, community development practitioners, local governments, community groups and organizations, and other decision-makers. 


The second brief in the series, Hispanic Health Insurance Rates Differ between Established and New Hispanic Destinations by Shannon M. Monnat, discusses how health insurance rates for Hispanics have changed over time and vary when comparing different types of counties.

Subsequent briefs will be released on a rolling basis and can be found on the series website Population Trends in Post-Recession Rural America series. Upcoming briefs will focus on how trends in age-specific migration have impacted rural areas and how aging and loss of services are becoming an issue in rural communities . All briefs will be available via the website. We will announce new contributions to the series when they are released and we also invite you to check the site often!


Current contributors are members of the W3001 project funded by WAAESD. We invite contributions from researchers examining population trends in contemporary rural America. Inquiries regarding submissions and any other questions about the series can be sent to the editorial committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Editorial Committee,

John Cromartie, USDA Economic Research Service

Katherine Curtis, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Daniel Veroff, University of Wisconsin-Extension

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Recent article in Community Development addresses sustainable agriculture in urban areas

Michael Carolan and James Hale are authors of a "groundbreaking" article entitled, "'Growing' communities with urban agriculture: Generating value above and below ground." Drawing on their own research, the authors elaborate upon existing approaches to conceptualizing the forms and flows of capital involved in community development. They address both the Community Capitals Framework and the Diverse Economies Framework. As the authors state, "we hope this article helps others think through the complex processes involved in not only generating community capitals, but in all that goes into making people feel as though certain things ought to be valued in the first place, even those that cannot be readily counted." Interested readers can find this article in volume 47, issue 4 of Community Development ( 

--John J. Green, Editor

Community Development


University of Mississippi

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Finance Committee Report


CDS logo










Board Meeting Date:  July 13, 2015




Committee Name:  Finance Committee




Committee Chair:  Tony Gauvin (Co-Chair) / Steve Jeanetta (Co-Chair)




Committee Members:  Vickie Berkley, Steve Jeanetta, Alan Kirk, Jane Leonard, Katie Ellis, Brent Hales, Mary Simon Leuci, Tony Gauvin, Sharon Gulick, Kim Walker, Linda Lee Blaine.




Summary of Activities: 




April 29 Meeting


June 21 Meeting








Strategic Investment Fund




Policies and procedures to create the strategic investment fund have been created, accepted and ready to be placed as part of the POG. An ad-hoc subcommittee of Sharon Gulick, Jane Leonard, Linda Lee Blaine, Steve Jeanetta, and Tony Gauvin was formed to create policy and procedures for distribution of the SIF funds. The subcommittee opted to create two new grant programs utilizing the SIF and policy was drafted. With board approval of the drafted policy, the funds will be distributed through two grant opportunities; CDS Institutional Capacity Grants and Community Development Advancement Grants. (see included draft documents. The intent is to use some of the SIF funds to advance the Community Development Society and use some SIF Funds to advance the discipline of Community Development.  




Board Acton:  Approve creation of the CDS Institutional Capacity Grants and Community Development Advancement Grants to begin January 1, 2017 as defined in the attached documents.     






$150,000 was used to create the SIF funds with $30,000 allocated to a working account and placed in money market account. The remaining $120,000 was placed with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation on September 28, 2015 and invested in the US Bank Trust Investment Pool. An additional $14,000 surplus from the operations budget of 2015 is being added to the GMF SIF fund. The fund was set to distribution mode and we have been receiving distribution from the investment account. We have received $3211 is distributions so far. The May GMF SIF statement and gift agreement are included with the report. The total current SIF funds is $168,771.24 with  $33,467.16 in the SIF working account and $135,304.08 in the SIF Investment account.     








SIF Accounting




SIF Investment Account






Initial deposit








2015 Management Fee





2015 Yearly Gain













2016 Gains YTD




2016 Management Fee YTD





2015 Contribution from Budget








SIF Money Market Account




Initial Deposit








Interest to date





Total SIF Funds












2017 Scholarships – Endowment Distribution Subcommittee




The Endowment Distribution Subcommittee (Linda Sunde, John Kuester, Jane Leonard and Kristin Kauth) recommends, and the Finance Committee concurs, that following be the distribution from the Endowment for the 2017 Awards. Acceptance of these amounts requires BOD approval. This recommendation is back on schedule after resolving the issues associated with distribution mode. In the future, the finance committee anticipates that it will be available to provide a distribution recommendation for 2018 prior to the 2017 conferences as required by the POG.  





 -Bradshaw Fund to Support Student Engagement in CDS

(1 @ $1,000)


 -Nette Nelson Travel Scholarship Fund

(1 @ $2,000)


 -George Nickolaus CD Graduate Student Award

(1 @ $1,000)


 -Scholarship Fund

(1 @ $1,000)







The $5000 total is $2000 less than the previous year and is indicative of poor market performance. Hopefully,  markets will improve and we will be able to recommend greater funding in the future  

In 2016, the Subcommittee also wishes to review the original vision in the establishment of the Endowment and the lack of utilization of the non-scholarship funds (Diversity Educational Materials).  We will then pass on our thoughts and recommendations to the Finance Committee.




Board Acton:  Approve the $5000 recommendation of the finance committee for 2017 awards with $1000 for George Nickolas Award, $2000 for Nette Nelson Award, $1000 for the Bradshaw Award and $1000 for scholarship.    








The Auction Subcommittee (Katie Ellis, Mary Leuci, Brent Hales and Linda Lee Blaine) have been very busy getting ready for this year’s auction. The Silent auction returns with Brent Hales as the auctioneer. The focus has been on high quality items indicative of the many regions our members represent.  Shipping of packages from the conference is available at the mall of America and the twin cities airport so no one has to worry about getting their newly won auction item home. We would like to encourage conference attendees to bid high and often.  Linda Lee has been posting pictures of donated items on social media. 




Endowment Report




After the first full year of receiving distributions and following the retirement of endowment guru Linda Sunde, the Finance committee has been painfully aware the amount of effort and time required to maintain an accurate and timely accounting of endowment activities. A subcommittee was formed of Tony Gauvin, Linda Sunde, Steve Jeanette, John Gulick and Alan Kirk meet to discuss how endowment reports will be processed in the future. For this year Linda Sunde has graciously agreed to produce the report for this year’s conference and those will be coming in a separate communication. As of the end of May, 2016, we have 192,998.55 invested with eth Greater Milwaukee Foundation.






Roots and Wings and 50 by 50 Campaign




The roots and wings subcommittee was reinvigorated with both old (Kim Walker) and new members (Linda Lee Blaine).  John Gulick volunteered to send out thank you notes to last tears contributors. We have had several discussions of how to increase our fundraising efforts, several ideas have already been implemented like being able to contribute when registering for the conference.




In anticipation of our 50th Anniversary Conference in Missouri we will be launching a 50 by 50 campaign to raise $50,000 for the endowment prior to the end of the 2019 conference. Beginning at this year’s conference, this will give us 3 years to raise an additional $50,000 for the endowment. Kim Walker will be working on creating a brand and marketing communications for the campaign. We will have a table set up next to registration at the conference to begin collections donations for the 50 by 50 campaign.     






An Example Funding Scenario based on Jan 2016 numbers.docx


Community Development Advancement Grant.docx


Community Development Society Institutional Capacity Grant Application.docx


Community Development Society Institutional Capacity Grant.docx


Endowment EOY 2015.pdf


Endowment gifts.pdf


Endowment Grants.pdf


Endowment May 2016.pdf


Finance Committee Report 7-13-2014.docx


SIF Distibutions.pdf


SIF EOY 2015.pdf


May 2016.pdf




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Community Development Society – Electronic Communications Report 2015-2016

Electronic communication reach and followers by platform


View the embedded image gallery online at:

1. Vanguard

a. Mailing list grew to 1040

b. 27.9% average open rate

2. LinkedIn Group

a. 548 members

3. Facebook Page

a. 782 likes

b. Reach and interactions increased dramatically when quote campaign started in March – moving from an average of less than 100 people reached with posts to an average range above 300

c. Fans

i. 48% women, 48% men

ii. Mostly from US, but have international following – particularly from Australia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, UK

4. Facebook Group

a. 679 members

5. Twitter

a. 455 followers

b. 131 impressions per day from April 15-July 14, 2016


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Community Development Society – 2015-2016 Marketing and Membership Committee

1) 2015-2016 highlights and accomplishments

a) Update of CDS brochure

b) Planning of new members’ activity at CDS 2016 reception

c) 2 new social media contributors

i) Coordination with CDS 2016 planning committee for social media promotion

2) 2015-2016 ongoing activities

a) Diversity ad hoc committee

b) Connecting with “new members” through email

c) POG, website alignment and rolling membership

d) LinkedIn Company page update


Co-Chair Cindy Banyai

Co-Chair Dan Kahl

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CDS unveils two New Community Development Grant Programs

A few years ago, the CDS Finance Committee had an interesting and fun problem to solve.  Our operations finance account had more money in it than was required to maintain our yearly operations.  The excess of cash was due to our recent well-attended annual conferences. The CDS Polices and Operational Guidelines (POG) required the Finance Committee;  “To prudently invest funds not immediately needed for the operation of the CDS, in order to provide a reasonable return, while limiting the risk of loss.”  Much debate ensued in the Finance Committee and the CDS Board of Directors (BOD) on how CDS would invest and use these funds in the future. At the Fall 2014 BOD meeting in Lexington, KY, the decision was to create a Strategic Initiatives Fund (SIF) with two accounts, a SIF Working Account (SIFWA) and a SIF Investment account (SIFIA) utilizing a 20/80% allocation between the accounts.  The SIFIA was invested with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the SIFWA was placed in an interest bearing money market account.  Quarterly distributions from the SIFIA would go the SIFWA.  These accounts would also be funded by any surplus cash that exceeds 120% of the maximum cash flows requirements for the upcoming yearly operational budget. The initial allocation to the two accounts was $120,000 to the SIFIA and $30,000 to the SIFWA with the caveat that up to 60% of the SIFWA could be awarded from the SIFWA every year to fund strategic projects that are in tgye interest of CDS .  Currently, the total current SIF funds is $168,771.24 with $33,467.16 in the SIF working account and $135,304.08 in the SIF Investment account.     

While this was an exciting time for the finance committee and CDS, it created yet one more problem. How would CDS allocate funds from the SIFWA in a fair and equitable manner and ensure that the funded projects would be in the Interest of the Community Development Society?  An ad-hoc sub-committee of the CDS Finance Committee was formed to analyze the issue and after months of debate, it was decided that Community Development Society should offer grants funded by the SIF. Two new grant programs were developed, the Community Development Society Institutional Capacity Grant (CDSICG) Program and Community Development Advancement Grant (CDAG) Program. Each grant program could award up to 30% of SIFWA every year.   The two new grants programs were accepted by unanimous vote at CDS BOD at their 2016 yearly meeting in Bloomington, Minnesota. The initial solicitations for grant applications for the programs will be released in January of 2017 on the web site and in an e-mail to all members.  The CDs finance committee anticipates having $10,000 available for each grant program to allocate next year.    

                The Community Development Society Institutional Capacity Grants (CDSICG) will fund special one-time projects that enhance or increase the capacity and ability of CDS to fulfill its mission and promote the CDS Principles of Good Practice to a larger audience.  The is a limit of two awards per year for no more than 30% (total) of the working account for both awards. For example, one project could be funded for 30% of the SIF working account (January 1, amount) or two projects for 15% each of the SIFWA.  Funds not utilized in one year will remain with the SIFWA.  The intent of the grant is to allow CDS to address external resources that are not currently available within its membership to meet the stated purposes of the capacity grant applications. It is not intended to supplant or augment existing committee work which can be funded from annual committee budgets.  Projects must be unique to CDS and have discernable outcomes, reasonable timelines and fixed budgets.  Applications are limited to current members of the CDS Board of Directors. Unfunded applications can be modified and resubmitted in the next opportunity. Additional process guidelines will be available on website in the new future.  

Community Development Advancement Grants (CDAG) fund projects that advance the field of Community Development. These projects could 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 how the project advances Community Development in some form.  The total Community Development Advancement Grants awards are limited to 30% of the SIFWA each year (January 1, amount), with no one grant allocating more than 10% of the SIFWA. It is expected that an awardee of a CDAG will present on the project at the next CDS annual conference following project completion.   Projects must be unique to CDS and have discernable outcomes, reasonable timelines and fixed budgets.  Applications are open to CDS members only. The project operational team can include non-CDS members but team leadership and fiscal responsibility must be established by a current CDS member. 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 by one individual.  Grant applications will be peer-reviewed.  Additional process guidelines will be available on website in the new future.

The CDS Finance Committee remains hard at work developing other opportunities and services for our members. In addition to managing the newly created SIF grant programs, the finance committee is responsible for CDS operational, publishing and conference budgets and the Linda Sunde Endowment Fund.   Some of yearly activities include the silent and live auctions at the annual conference, fund raising for the Linda Sunde Endowment and making award and scholarships funding recommendations.  If you are a new or slightly more mature CDS member, you should consider joining the Finance Committee. We really would like your help.   If you are interested send an e-mail expressing your interest to one of the Co-chairs of the Finance Committee; Tony Gauvin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Steve Jeanetta  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or John Gulick (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).      



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How One Town Set Out to Write a Plan that People Would Read

image of town plans

By Leslie Wright, Orton Family Foundation

Not unlike most town plans, the Essex, Vermont, Town Plan was 280 pages long, mostly text with an occasional chart or graph. Not exactly a page turner.  When it came time to revise the plan, city officials decided to give it a makeover, and they looked to Community Heart & Soul™ for inspiration. 

Heart & Soul of Essex was a two-year project that officially wrapped up in 2014, though the organization continues to work for positive change in the community. Community Heart & Soul is a resident-driven community development method developed by the Orton Family Foundation that focuses on engagement from a broad and deep representation of a community. 

The 2016 Town Plan has a whole new look.  It’s less than half the size at 124 pages and features color photos, sidebars and graphics. The online version features links out to further documents and policy, which helped trim the document.

Content was revamped, too. The Heart & Soul of Essex vision statement and six Heart & Soul value statements are included. The first chapter is devoted to an action plan with goals, time frames, and cost estimates spelled out. In the old plan this section was buried at the back, without as much detail on delivery.

The plan won the Vermont Planners Association 2016 Town Plan of the Year award.

“Hands down, everybody thought it was far and away the best,” said Shanna Saunders, president of the New Hampshire Planners Association, the group responsible for judging plans. “The extent of public outreach they did really wowed people.”

In rethinking what a town plan could be, planners turned to the precedent and the plan created by Heart & Soul of Essex. 

 “We wanted to make the town plan distinctive, to make people feel they were a part of it,” said Dana Hanley, director of community development. “We wanted to do something really different that would make people actually read it, because everyone always tells us they never read the town plan.” 

Heart & Soul set a precedent for community engagement that meant both planners and residents were receptive to a participatory process, said Liz Subin, coordinator of the Heart & Soul of Essex. Planners held a photo and art contest to collect images for the plan and held meetings in neighborhoods to gather input.

“They really saw the opportunity for the plan to be something other than one that historically sits on the shelf, that nobody interacts with,” Subin said. “If it was a vibrant, living thing it could help them do their jobs and help the community feel more connected, and this plan does that.”

Best of all, Hanley is now hearing from residents who are reading the plan.

Here's a link to a video about the plan:


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Community Development Data Viz June 2016

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President’s Update—Rededicating Ourselves to Our Mission and to Humanity

There is no other way to begin this column but to pay tribute to the innocent victims of the horrific act of violence that occurred early Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, USA. Forty-nine people lost their lives and another 50 were injured when a man opened fire on a nightclub. My heart goes out to the victim's families and loved ones, as well as everyone else that is struggling to find peace and comfort. Personally, I’ve found a need to step back from the various news outlets and social media venues, as so many of the news articles and social media conversations seek to further polarize rather than unite our society.

However, a blog post by Billy Shore (founder and executive director of Share Our Strength and chair of Community Wealth Ventures) really struck a chord. In “Bearing Witness: Orlando and the Imperative of Rededicating Ourselves to Mission and Humanity” (, Shore notes that many leaders feel that their own efforts are “almost trivial or irrelevant in the context of what has happened.” However, he encourages us to “rededicate ourselves to our mission and to humanity.” Shore references a speech by Robert F. Kennedy (, given the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in which Kennedy addresses not only violence involving bloodshed, but “another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.” 

While horrific acts of violence involving bloodshed such as the Orlando nightclub shooting can create an overwhelming sense of helplessness and hopelessness, it’s important for us to remember that our work as community problem solvers, peacemakers, and capacity builders serves an important purpose as our world continues to work towards unity, tolerance, and peace. Let’s rededicate ourselves to our mission and to humanity.


May we all find peace.

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President's Update--May 2016

Online registration is now available for the Community Development Society (CDS) and International Association for Community Development (IACD) International Conference 2016, to be held July 23-27 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA! If you haven’t had an opportunity to register for the conference yet, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the layout of the registration information designed by our new web developer (with assistance from Steve Jeanetta, AOM, Chris Marko, and others).  Chris Marko, VP-Programs, has been notifying presenters, coordinating program sessions, and working with the Local Host Committee to finalize details for the conference.  

The CDS/IACD conference is a great opportunity for you to get involved with an outstanding network of community development professionals. If you are not already part of this network, I would encourage you to think about how you will get engaged with the membership this year. Will you join a committee? Join or lead an Interest Group? Run for a board position? There are so many opportunities in this organization for you to grow personally and professionally. If you have any questions regarding these opportunities, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or another board member. We’re here to help.

Gisele F. Hamm, President


Community Development Society International

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Community Development Data Viz - May 2016

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The Importance of Public Engagement

Why is engaging the public so important? Some critics would say that public involvement is slow, cumbersome, and wrought with conflict. Indeed, engaging the public can be a lengthy process. Public engagement often requires multiple meetings and processes which are energy intensive and time consuming.  In addition, whenever you engage more people, there is an increasing likelihood of surfacing different thoughts and opinions. So, the argument is made that community engagement is slow, cumbersome, and involves conflict.

In spite of this, engaging the public does have redeeming value. There may actually be an increased likelihood of conflict if we do not have an open, engaging process. By listening to the perspectives of the people who will be impacted by the decision, it may be possible to craft solutions that address the needs of those impacted, rather than only those who stand to benefit. While expediency may win the day, engagement may determine the ultimate sustainability of the project outcomes.

Competitive businesses know that the customer comes first.  Elected officials know they must listen to their constituency. Educational institutions know they must listen to the needs of the students. It seems that most of our organizational and governmental structures acknowledge the value of listening to, and engaging their constituency. 

For community developers, if we agree that there is value in public engagement, the primary question becomes, "How do we engage the public in important conversations and problem solving in ways that are timely, enjoyable, and productive?"

One great resource of ideas is the 2016 Community Development Society Annual Conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 24-27. The conference, held in conjunction with the International Association of Community Development will focus on elements of community sustainability – including sustainability through public engagement. For more details visit the 2016 conference information page on this CDS website.

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Featuring Cases of International CD Work

By Jim Cavaye


The CDS International Committee has been active in fostering networks between community development practitioners from across the globe.  The committee has worked closely with International Association for Community Development (IACD) and developed an updated MOU between CDS and IACD.  We look forward to the joint conference between the two organisations in July and will welcome international delegates at our reception just before the conference opening.  

The committee is seeking international case studies of community development practice to feature on the CDS website and to foster sharing between practitioners.  We invite practitioners from any country to provide a brief description of their work or a particular community activity together with one or two photos.  We’d like practitioners to describe “learnings” and key points about the aspects of community development which been important to the project or activity.  Please contact Jim Cavaye (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Gary Goreham (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.


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Community Development Data Viz - April 2016

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President's Update

It’s hard to believe that the 2016 Joint Community Development Society and International Association for Community Development Conference to be held July 23-27, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA is only four months away.  Approximately 220 abstracts were submitted this year, and notifications to presenters are slated to be distributed this week. Conference registration is also scheduled to be available on the CDS website within the week. The Program Planning and Local Host Committees are working to ensure that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are woven throughout the conference. Seven engaging mobile learning workshops have been coordinated by the Local Host Committee and a number of pre-conference workshops have been confirmed.

Thank you to all of our members who took the time to vote in the CDS Board elections and/or submitted a scholarship or award nomination this year. Your participation in processes such as these is an important responsibility you hold as a member of CDS.

Gisele Hamm, President


Community Development Society International

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So you want to be in Vanguard?

Vanguard is here for you! That's right, you, the members of the Community Development Society. This publication is your regular update to what is happening within in our organization (like conference deadlines and election information) and what is happening more broadly in our shared community of practice (position announcements, publications). However, this publication can only serve you, if YOU share with us these important pieces of information. 

So, you want your information in Vanguard? Here are some tips to make sure your article, posting, or announcement get in!

  1. Post to the CDS Blog - As a CDS member you can post any piece of information related to your work on our blog. This includes job openings, new placements in your organization, new publications you've released, other conferences you are involved with, musings on your areas of practice -- really pretty much anything! Use this space to connect with your fellow members. As Vanguard Editor, this is my first stop for content.
  2. Contribute to CDS Connect - Like the CDS Blog, this is your place to share and share alike -- it's a membership benefit, take advantage! Join an affinity group discussion and  post job vacancies, and don't forget to complete your profile so you can continue to connect with like-minded professionals. This is another place I can easily source content for Vanguard.
  3. Post to the Community Development Society Facebook Page or Group - This is an especially great place to share interesting articles and resources, as well as photos, videos, and related memes. I often check here to source material the section CD Resources.
  4. Tag @CommDevSoc on Twitter - Like our Facebook pages, I check here CD Resources. 
  5. DO post yourself - If you have an important announcement to share, please post it in one of these easy -to-find locations. Emailing pdfs or other documents to myself the CDS office makes putting together the Vanguard challenging and all too easy for us to miss YOUR very important message.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Vanguard and I really look forward to hearing from even more of you and being there to share your message.

Feel free to reach out, I'm listening.


Cindy Banyai

Editor, Vanguard 

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President's Update

This morning I had the opportunity to do my civic duty and vote in the US Presidential Primary Election.  As a member of the Community Development Society, you also have a duty to vote for your Society’s leadership. While certainly not as important as a country’s presidential election, the CDS election process is key to ensuring we have an effective board of directors that represents our membership.  On February 29th, CDS members received an email, “2016 CDS Annual Election Information” which provided voting instructions for the annual board election. If you have not yet voted and misplaced or deleted the email, please watch your email inbox for a followup reminder email and take a few moments to vote. We are fortunate to have an excellent slate of candidates to choose from. The deadline to cast your vote is May 1st!

Another important deadline is for the CDS 2016 Awards and Scholarships. Nominations and applications are due March 31st, and information and forms can be found on the CDS website.  If you have any questions about the categories or application process, please contact Craig Talmage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


It’s exciting to see the plans unfold for the 2016 Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society and International Association for Community Development to be held July 24-27, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA! Both the Local Host and the Program Planning Committees are doing an excellent job of coordinating the conference program, events, and activities. Abstracts are currently out for review, and acceptance notifications are expected to be sent out within the next few weeks. Conference speakers, mobile learning workshops, and other conference highlights are being confirmed, so watch the CDS website, emails and social media sites for conference updates!

Gisele Hamm


President, Community Development Society International

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