Community Development Society

News and Information

Changes are afoot at Vanguard!

Thank you to all the loyal followers of Vanguard. As you may know, the Community Development Society has recently changed management companies. With that comes many changes to things we use on a regular basis, such as email and support programs. To ensure that you, the member, are kept fully up to date and never miss any of the vital communications from our organization, I encourage you to add 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. to your address book. These are two main email addresses that our management team will use to send you information about upcoming events and engagement opportunities in CDS. If you use Gmail, you can simply drag the next issue of Vanguard from your "Promotions" tab into your "Primary" inbox. Gmail will then remember that you want to see Vanguard there and you won't miss a beat! 

Additonally, I want to apologize for the late publication of July's Vanguard. With all of these changes and with the many personal and professional responsibilities I have as an independent consultant and mom of littles, I simply was not able to get Vanguard out mid-month as usual. I'm sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused and I appreciate your understanding and support. I love being the Vanguard Editor and sharing with all of you the exciting updates of our members and organization. Thanks for subscribing!

If there is any way that you see to improve Vanguard, please let me know by sending me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I'm listening to your feedback and am planning on updating the format of Vanguard in the near future so that it is more mobile friendly. I'd love to hear from you!

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2017-18 CDS Leadership Team: Great Energy & Great Ideas!

As I write this update, I can’t tell you how excited I am for the Community Development Society and its members this next year. It started with an amazing joint conference in Big Sky, Montana. I want to sincerely thank Paul LaChapelle (Chair, Local Host Committee) and the Local Host Committee for their extensive commitment and efforts to pull off such a great conference. I also want to thank Trudy Rice (President, NACDEP), and the Conference Steering Committee for their insight and leadership. Lastly, I would like to thank all CDS and NACDEP members and conference speakers for their wonderful presentations, posters and discussion which made the conference come alive. You all are amazing!

As we look to the future, I am equally elated to be working with an excellent team of officers and board members who will continue to guide the society to excellence. Even currently, our team is exploring ways to further engage all members so that collaboratively, we can enhance our society and profession.

Our new CDS leadership team includes:

Executive Officers

Bryan Hains - President

Cindy Banyai - Vice President, Programs

Craig Talmage – Vice President, Operations

Caitlin Bletscher – Secretary

Eric Trevan – Treasurer

Julie White – Business Office

Board Members

Maryam Ahmadian Peter Mutia
Jim Cavaye Carrie Staton
Michael Fortunato Alison Stone
Gary Goreham Kyle Patrick Williams
Wilson Majee

Publication Editors

Community Development Journal:

Co-Editors - Leanne Avery and John Sipple

Community Development Practice:

Editor - Craig Talmage

Editor - Cindy Banyai


Committee Chairs:

Finance Committee:

Chair, Michael Fortunato

Scholarship Committee

Chair, Jane Leonard

Awards & Recognition Committee

Co-Chairs, Carrie Staton & Michael Dougherty

Communications & Publications Committee

Co-Chairs: Wilson Majee & Cindy Banyai

International Committee

Co-Chairs: Jim Cavaye & Gary Goreham

Marketing & Membership Committee
Co-Chairs: Dan Kahl & Bryan Hains

Program Committee:

Chair, Cindy Banyai

Nominations Committee:

Chair, Kyle Patrick Williams

Conference Committee:

Chair, Cindy Banyai

Site Selection Committee:

Chair, Craig Talmage

As you can see, we have a strong leadership team who will provide several opportunities for members to engage in a meaningful and purposeful way. I highly encourage each of you to reach out and connect with a committee of your interest and become more involved with our expanding society. Our emails and contact information is located on our website. Please contact any member of the leadership team and express your ideas, concerns, or programs. Stay tuned for great things to come!



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CDS International Committee Annual Report for 2016-17

Community Development Society, International Committee
Board Meeting June 10, 2017
Jim Cavaye and Gary Goreham, Co-Chairs

The committee holds a bi-monthly ZOOM meeting (rotates 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Central US to accommodate as many members as possible) with an average of 6-12 attendees.

The ZOOM meeting addresses CDS Business meeting and hosts a discussion of key topics. Some of the key topics include: the rise of nationalism and polarization; immigration and refugees; globalization/localism and CD; participatory approaches to CD; CD education.

Discussion about the business of the annual CDS meeting includes: reaffirmation of holding the meeting in a hub North American city every three years; aids for travel and lodging; translators if needed; and ways to attract more international guests. We don’t offer travel/registration fellowships. We have a table each meeting. We hope to display of our international members’ books, articles, and other works this year.

Another topic of discussion is CDS’ relationship with the IACD and other international CD organizations.

This years’ output includes: definition of “community development”; the Statement on Social Inclusion; eight international case studies posted on the CDS website; and creation of the International Community Development Award.

Goals for next year:
• 25 case studies, beginning analysis of “best development practices”
• Re-engage the CDS Principles of Good Practice with greater specificity from an international perspective
• 25 international guests at the Detroit CDS meetings
• Continue bi-monthly ZOOM meetings with an average of 10-15 participants
• Increase submissions for the International Community Development Award
• Offer two new Statements

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Seeking participants to strengthen community

Ever been involved in an organization or community that struggles to fully engage their membership? CDS and the Community Innovation Lab (CIL) at the University of Kentucky may be able to help with those struggles!  We are currently seeking interested participants for a grand community development experiment! Over the next year, a group of selected representatives will participate in an initiative to learn from each other, consult researchers and other practitioners, and experiment with community strengthening activities. Project funding of up to $2500 per team will be available through the 2017 CDS Institutional Capacity Grant to test community strengthening activities. Participants will develop and implement strategies and share their learning through CDS.

If you are a part of an organization or group that would benefit from consulting with Community Development professionals and some funds to test strategies to improve that community, contact us!

For more information and/or an application, contact Dan Kahl at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications will be collected through July 15, 2017.

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Message from the Award Winning E-Discovery Challenge Team

The E-Discovery Challenge team is honored to accept the CDS Innovative Program Award.  This honor also belongs to the Appalachian teachers who have been so willing to take training to add the curricula to their already busy classrooms.  And, most of all we are grateful for over 1,500 students who have worked in teams and launched new businesses and developed an entrepreneurial mindset.  We are eager to expand this entrepreneurial initiative to other places in North America and across the globe.

With gratitude,

Melony Denham

Ann DeSpain

Annette Walters

Ron Hustedde, PhD

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2016-2017 Site Selection Committee Report

This has been a challenging, yet fruitful year for Site Selection for future conference locations at the Community Development Society. Due to unforseen circumstances, the planned location for the 2018 fell through. In order to conduct an international conference for CDS in 2018 an RFP was released in the fall of 2016. Although there were no formal proposals from the RFP process, several contracts were made for future conferences. Detroit has been proposed as  a conference location for 2018 and is currently still under develoment. The tentative schedule for future conferences can be seen below. A shared document with contact information and themes was created and put into the CDS shared Google Drive. Pre-proposals will be created and pursued further by the incoming Vice President of Operations. We are happy to have planned locations through 2027.


View the embedded image gallery online at:

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Marketing and Membership Annual Report, 2017

CDS Membership and Marketing Report

June 10, 2017

Overview of 2016-17


CDS Membership and Marketing members 2016-2017:

Dan Kahl, Rani Battacharyya, Paul LaChapelle, Chris Marco, Chris Cotton, Joanna Reed Adams, Cindi Banyai, Sharon Gulick, Norm Walzer, Gary Goreham, KP Williams, Michael Fortunato, Kenny Sherin, and Lisa Kirr.

The Printable CDS brochure (to support new members) was updated in the Fall of 2016.

Annual Membership in CDS was put on a rolling annual schedule. This means that members have a one-year membership from the time they join before their membership expires. Tracking this annual membership required membership updates and improved tracking services.

A letter (email) was created that is scheduled to be sent one month prior to the expiration of the annual membership. The formal email is now in the system to be sent to members whose membership is about to expire.

The membership web pages now indicate the term of membership and a reminder notice was also programmed to appear when peoples membership is nearing expiration.

The web page for becoming and renewing membership was redone.

The web page that details benefits of membership was created.

Testimonials from CDS members were solicited and placed on the web site.

The membership pages were analyzed and adjusted to be more user friendly.

A review of past membership lists was conducted to identify past members who have let their membership lapse. These members were contacted with an invitation to rejoin.

New Membership Drive

In February, CDS hosted a membership drive. The initiative incentivized members to invite new members to join. CDS members who secured new members received two free months of membership. New members received three free months added to their first year of membership. It was a heavily incentivized approach to gaining new members. Overall, however, it only resulted in a few new members. We would like to try the appeal again later this year.

The Conference marketing team (working with NACDEP) put together a series of emails and social media postings that were shared to promote the conference. Conference information was shared on CDS and NACDEP Facebook sites, Regional Centers for Rural Development, and shared with IACD and through other professional networks. Notices of call for proposals, scholarship deadlines, registration deadlines and reminders were scheduled monthly.

Engaging Membership.

Members have repeatedly told us that an important aspect of membership is ongoing engagement. Aside from the news and publications, CDS M & M have launched a proposal for 2017 -18 that will intentionally invite and engage people in project centered on line work through the CDS membership pages. We will continue to work on developing creative and meaningful ways to draw people into the CDS site to increase our networking, resource sharing, and collaboration.

While all the members of the Marketing and Membership Committee are appreciated, a special word of appreciation needs to go to Lisa Kirr (association offices) for making things happen. Also, Stephen Jeanetta was incredibly active in connecting with Ogy Nicholic at Ogysense – our web designer and marketing consultant.

Submitted by Dan Kahl, June 9, 2017

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CDS President Update - Managing Change, Transition, and New Horizons for CDS

Hello Community Development Colleagues,

This is the last CDS President Update before our Community Development Society (CDS) and National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) Annual International Conference: Big Skies, Bold Partnerships--Moving Mountains Together in Big Sky, Montana June 11 - 14, 2017.  If you have not registered and made travel and lodging arrangements yet, please do so as this will be a great event featuring unique and inspiring speakers about culture and activism, including Hip Hop, and Standing Rock, and a diverse array of sessions regarding education and practice in community development--and of course networking and lots of fun with colleagues and friends!  For more information and to register for the conference please go to  Also, please make sure to renew your CDS membership as you need to do this separate from the conference registration this year.  We really need to maintain our membership to be a strong and vibrant organization in the future.  You can easily renew your membership online by going to:  Please participate on CDS Committees as that is how we conduct our business and we need your participation.  I encourage you to run for a leadership position on the CDS Board as we are looking for new leadership to bring our field of community development and CDS into the future--and that is you!  Also in the future, please nominate people for awards as this is something we need to bolster and recognize the great work of our colleagues in the field of community development.  In reflecting upon the year, when I took on the role of CDS President I identified four priorities to focus on:  sustaining change, cultivating new leadership, improving processes, and adapting new technologies for social connectivity.  CDS has made progress in all of these areas this year.  Regarding sustaining change and new leadership, CDS is in a time of transition with more people who have come to CDS in the last five 5 - 10 years who will be taking on leadership for the organization, while retaining folks who continue to be invovled with CDS for 10 to nearly 50 years!  We will have a new Board following the conference including relativey newer people with great passion, capabilities, and new ideas.  We are engaging in dialogue about how to maintain continuity between the old and new aspects of CDS, how to further engage our membership, develop activities between conferences, and expand our membership.  We are looking to have these conversations at our conference and welcome your ideas and participation in the future of CDS.  Regarding improving processes, over the past two years our Board has reviewed our Policies and Operating Guidelines (POG) and this year made some improvements to refine processes to function better as a Board, and society.  Indeed, our new leadership has taken the POG to heart and will continue to refine our policies and procedures to adapt to a changning society, while maintaining our traditions, integrity, structure, and overall processes to conduct business.  We are also soliciting interest from management companies to take on managment and staff responsibilities this next year.  While these changes bring challenges, they also bring opportunities to think about what we need as an organization, how to focus on priorities and conduct business, and take more ownership in determining our future.  Regarding adapting new techologies, we have revamped our website, increased online outreach and interactive capabilities, including "CDS Connect", and utilized a conference planning software program to better manage conference planning this year--which has worked great!  CDS is moving into a new age, and our leadership is adapting to online technology to increase connectivity, streamline processes, and better manage information.  We are also finalzing arrangements for a new editor partnership which has taken great effort this year.  Special thanks to John Green for serving as editor and his role in supporting the transition, and CDS Board member Leanne Avery for her leadership in this effort.  Thanks to the current CDS Board and Officers, particularly Vice President of Programs and incoming CDS President, Bryan Hains, who spearheaded the conference in partnership with NACDEP with a fantastic job; Cindy Banyai, Vice President of Operations for her innovative spirit, support in managing processes, social media, Vanguard, and even this blog; Steve Jeanetta, Treasurer, for his steadfast diligence in managing our money, guidance on all business matters for CDS, and in particular work on the website, and; Abbie Gaffey, Secretary, for her diligence in recordkeeping and particularly for her great work in the editorial transition.  Special thanks to Paul Lachapelle with Montana State University (MSU) for leading the local host committee for the conference, and Trudy Rice with NACDEP for her leadership and partnership with the conference.  In closing, I have worked hard to maintain a collaborative, inclusive, and positive culture within CDS, adapting to change, and fostering balance to address challenges this year.  I hope the legacy I leave continues to promote collaboration to effectively manage transitions, to think and act boldly--and thoughtfully, and to recognize the value of what we all bring to the field of community development as partners.  Serving as President of CDS is an honor and truly inspiring.  I am proud to lead such a rich, passionate, and capable group and organization and hope my service has helped facilitate a positive future for CDS, our members, and folks involved with education and practiice to pursue new horizons in community development!  I look forward to seeing you at our conference in Big Sky to strengthen partnerships and inspire us to achieve greatness next month.  Thank you for your participation, your good work in community development, and your support through CDS.


Chris Marko

CDS President







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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

View the embedded image gallery online at:

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