Community development word cloud
Rural broadband connectivity
Community Leaders and their qualities
Diversity in American Politics
Community development word cloud
Rural broadband connectivity
Community Leaders and their qualities
Diversity in American Politics
By Dave Lamie
As Summer draws near, I hope that you are able to take some time to step away from your normal activities, spend quality time with family and friends, and recharge your enthusiasm for the certain challenges that lie ahead. One of the qualities that many community development professionals share is a certain confidence in the face of a challenge. I would go so far as to say that many even go out of their way to face these challenges, often head-on. If that is you, then be especially sure to spend the time you need to heal your recent battle wounds and restore your energy and enthusiasm for what lies ahead. If you are less inclined to risk, then perhaps this summer will be a time for you to consider what act of courage you will explore for the coming year.
Whether you need to heal and recover, or discover your act of courage, one of the best ways for you to do this is in the company of others faced with the same challenges. Further, one of the best places to find these others is at the annual CDS Conference, this year July 20-23 in Lexington, Kentucky. There you will be challenged, perhaps beyond your comfort zone. There you will find the healing balm you seek to restore your courage to face the challenges that lie ahead with confidence. There, you will gain new knowledge, reconnect with old friends, and find new ones amongst people who share many of your deepest values and professional interests. I doubt you will find this unique group of individuals anywhere else on the planet.
As I wind down my term as President, I am pleased to see CDS doing so well. Our membership is growing, our board is strong, we have a solid lineup of future Presidents, our conferences have been excellent and we have several more great ones in planning stages, and our financial house is in order. All of this did not happen overnight and it could only happen with so many of you stepping forward to play your part, putting service above self. Though the last three years as VP Operations, VP Program, and then President have seen their challenges, because of this great community we call CDS, we were able to face them with confidence.
I wish you a safe and rewarding continuation of your Summer and I look forward to seeing many of you in Lexington!
By Whitney McIntyre Miller
Today I want to introduce you to a new model, which has broad implications for community development. Coming from the field of leadership studies, peace leadership is a new sub-field that builds upon leadership studies, peace studies, and conflict resolution. Peace leadership is an emerging area of study, and I am pleased to be working at the start of such an interesting movement.
The model that I have been working on with a colleague is called the “Integral Perspective of Peace Leadership”. The model builds off of Ken Wilber’s integral theory and focuses on peace leadership as a space to work in four areas collectively: innerwork, or reflective self-development practices; theories and processes, or the mechanisms which we build peace in ourselves and communities; communities of practices, or the collective spaces where we take up this work; and globality of the field, or the broader systemic relationships we have with each other and the environment. The notion of the model is to build our collective leadership capacity for peace in all arenas of life- both in terms of challenging existing structures and mechanisms of violence and building new structures and societies in the image of peace.
This model is important to community development, as it challenges us to move beyond the valuable work we do in creating robust communities of practice with strong theoretical underpinnings to continue to grow our focus on systems thinking; drawing broader connections beyond the communities with which we work; and also focusing on each of our own innerwork. Building upon our innerwork, with practices such as mindfulness, meditation, authenticity, empathy, help us to, in turn, build stronger communities, which are then more connected to their broader, surrounding environment. The model allows us to envision our communities as those comprised of reflective individuals who collectively form a strong focused whole- understanding our shared needs and how these connect with the broader society and environment. If we can work to build such communities, perhaps we can further challenge the violence of the day and build a world in which we all want to live. I hope you will explore not just this model of peace leadership, but the broader notions of peace leadership in your community development practice.
Purdue’s University retiring faculty member Dr. Janet Ayres was recently honored by the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development with a new major award at its annual fall conference. The award, presented by Indiana’s Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, was intended to recognize the recipient of the inaugural John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award. According to the October 15, 2014 Carroll County Comet, Lt. Governor Ellspermann said, “For more than three decades, Dr. Janet Ayres has worked to improve the quality of life in rural Indiana by building the skills, knowledge and leadership capacity of its residents. She has worked tirelessly in support of conservation, playing an instrumental role in developing the leadership development program for the Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors.”
“Janet Ayres was an inspiring partner in region-wide initiatives for much of her career, and was a real force in pulling the North Central state extension program leaders together as a team during her stint in that role as the representative from Purdue,” said Scott Loveridge, Director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development. Among her accomplishments is leading authorship of the widely recognized NCRCRD-published “Take Charge: Economic Development in Small Communities” a curriculum that was widely implemented by Extension professional across the country in the 1990s.
Dr. Janet Ayers made a significant contribution to the Community Development profession and the Community Development Society adds its thanks and best wishes on the occasion of her retirement.
Migration network analysis
Carbon dioxide consumption in honor of Earth Day on April 22
School districts using local foods
Food assistance costs falling
High cost of wetland restoration
Percentage on WIC support
By Cindy Banyai
Lots of members of the Community Development Society have eagerly been sharing job listings with organizations they know in the hopes of bringing high quality and motivated people into the field. Below are some of the most recent opening.
By Dave Lamie
By Chris Marko, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), Community Development Society (CDS) Vice President of Operations
“The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.”
- The Dalai Lama
As Community Developers we understand connections between programs, within communities, the environment. That is one of the fundamental reasons we call ourselves “community developers”. We do not focus on one issue, one program, and try to promote inclusive behavior to solve problems. Still, in our professions and lives we often face the challenge of limits, the need to exclude a particular issue from the dialogue or activity, the focus on a program deliverable for measurable outcomes. How do we balance the multiple values associated with community while maintaining focus on particular facets within community, our work, programs, and issues? CDS Principles of Good Practice can help overcome barriers within communities, programs, and issues to promote greater value in our work.
Listening to be inclusive is an important best practice that helps in community development work I work with small communities on water and wastewater projects. Rural communities often have limited staff, knowledge of programs, funding, and capacity to take on projects. In small towns folks tend to be individualistic, and at the same time, cooperative. Life is at a different pace than larger cities and work involves conversations about many things. It is not common for me to spend a significant amount of time listening and talking about the on goings within the community, stories about certain individuals, what is going on at the state level, how rural communities are left out of the equation. Still, my overall purpose is to help with the water project, but there is much more to the community than just the water project. By embracing the conversation, I am able to build trust, better understand people in the community, what is going on, and how to approach my work. In addition, I learn about other needs and opportunities to assist the community. Even if I do not have the expertise, I try to find information, resources, and people who might be able to help. This is also another important aspect of being a community developer.
Knowing your program, expertise, or “niche” is important in being an effective community developer. At the same time, knowing as much about other programs and resources is important in providing valuable service to communities. Communities do not operate in a vacuum. They are dynamic, changing, sometimes daily, and programs are becoming more complex. It is rare a project is funded under one source so as community developers we must broaden our understanding of what is available to help communities achieve their goals. A benefit to this involves helping a community to think creatively about how they develop a project. What are some additional benefits a project may have to the community beyond water? Impact on other values. The community capitals framework, as well as other approaches including WealthWorks, promotes an understanding of values: intellectual, social, individual, environmental, built, political, and financial (and cultural depending on the model). By viewing the community in more holistic manner one can consider the potential impact on multiple values, and leverage additional resources one might not have considered with an initial project.
Collaboration is key to moving beyond silos in community development. In recent years funding for programs were cut at the federal, state, and local levels. Many folks lost their jobs, and agencies and organizations were forced to retreat into silos for survival. Keeping current services going became a priority, and many services discontinued. Collaboration and long range thinking became less important than day to day internal operations for many organizations to ensure accountability with programs, deliverables, and specific outcomes related to individual programs to show value to funders. During tough times our tendency may be to retract, but collaboration and partnership building can also have the benefit of opening doors to opportunities. In our modern world of information technology, complexity, and social media, networking is becoming more of the norm. Networks offer opportunities for learning, relationship building, and connectedness essential for communities, and community development. Part of the challenge becomes sorting through which information is most useful, or relevant, to goals you are trying to achieve! As our world continues to evolve through technology and understanding of connectedness we can find a wealth of opportunity at our finger tips, and by collaborating with others who align with our interests. In community development, that interest involves expanding horizons to support community with dynamic, connected, mutually supportive people. CDS continues to foster best practices involving open inclusive behavior, understanding connections between people, programs, and issues, and collaboration for quality communities.
Great faculty and a fabulous location!
By Dave Lamie
It's hard to believe that the middle of February has already passed us by. A recent notice of a dear friend learning that she has cancer and a colleague who suddenly lost her mother gives me pause. Many of you have experienced similar events either directly yourselves or in relation to family, friends, or colleagues. The more mature we come, the more often these reminders of life's fleetingness and human frailty occur. It as at these times that we may also encounter the power of community to help buoy us up to face the adversities of life.
One of my most memorable college teachers used to deliver a lecture entitled "the plow" to help us reflect on how we would respond to life's challenges. As the mule pulls the plow, it slices through the soil with forward momentum, leaving a clean, weed-free furrow behind. This represents our life when we feel we are making progress and all is going well. But, fields often have rocks laying hidden beneath the surface, and sometimes they are big and firmly planted. Some plows are built on a rigid frame, and when they hit such a rock, they often break, requiring substantial repair. Sometimes they are so broken they simply must be returned to the smelter. Technological advances produced a plow that would spring backward when it encountered the rock. The plow operator would need to stop and reset the heavy spring-loaded mechanism before proceeding. Some later tractor-driven models were similar, but they only needed the operator to stop and reverse the tractor in order to reset the blade. Later versions included an auto-reset feature that would trip the blade back when it hit the rock, but it would automatically reset; no stopping or reversing required.
The question left with us at the end of this talk was "what kind of plow are you"? How will you respond to the challenges that life brings you. We know that it is part of the human condition that we will face many challenges in our lives. We surely have some choice over how we will respond to these challenges and that we can likely build resiliency and capacity as individuals to help. But, what roles can the community play to help strengthen and build the networks of support necessary for individuals to be more resilient? What can we do collectively that individuals cannot do for themselves? Who are those in our communities that are not benefitting from what the community can provide them? Can a robust community that truly cares for and provides for all individuals expect reciprocity from those individuals who benefit? Can we, as community developers, truly help to create these kinds of communities or is this just too daunting a task?
As we all make preparations to gather at our annual conference in July in Lexington, Kentucky, I challenge you to consider how important it is that we, as community development practitioners, find our own community of interest to help support us in the daunting challenge of, each in our own way, helping to create communities that make a strong and lasting impact on the lives of individuals. Never has it been more important for all of us to have a strong network of friends and colleagues who are bound by a common interest in making this world a better place through making stronger, more resilient communities. We hope to see you there!
Each year we invite you to reflect on the outstanding accomplishments made in the field of community development as we issue the call for award nominations. The Society may present up to nine awards annualy that recognize long-standing service to the organization, outstanding and innovative research, teaching and programs, and the students, new professionals, and friends that help ensure our pracitce endures.
Summaries of the awards presented by the Society are listed below. Please consider submitting a nomination to recognize the oustanding accomplishments of your colleagues and friends.
Presented to a CDS member in recognition of superior and long-standing service to the field of community development, and, in particular, work for the advancement of the Society. Current officers and Board members are not eligible for this award.
Presented to a CDS member in recognition of a significant stream of superior research which exemplifies and positively impacts community development practice and represents a lasting contribution to the field. The award will recognize research which reflects the Principles of Good Practice throughout the research process. Only one Outstanding Research Award may be bestowed by the Society each year.
Presented to a CDS member in recognition of his or her outstanding contribution to community development. The person may be recognized for teaching, research, programming, administration or any combination of these roles.
Presented to a CDS member or a group in recognition of completion of superior programming that exemplifies and positively influences community development practice. The award will recognize a program that reflects the Principles of Good Practice throughout the implementation process.
Presented to a CDS member or a group in recognition of a superior innovative program using the principles of good practice as adopted by the Society.
Presented to a CDS member in recognition of a superior contribution to the field of community development and the Society.
Presented to a CDS member in recognition of a current research project(s) or product that represents an important contribution to the field of community development.
Presented to a CDS member who is either an undergraduate or graduate student, in recognition of his or her contribution to community development through a paper, an article, a field project or internship, or other applied research.
Presented to a person who is not a CDS member, but who has made a significant contribution to the field of community development. This contribution could have been accomplished through his or her role as author, educator, administrator (public or private sector), community organizer, or elected or appointed official.
For those of you who have been involved in the Community Development Society for a long time, the name Del Yoder probably rings a bell. He was quite involved in the Society until his retirement from West Virginia University about 15 years ago or so.
Unfortunately, Del, 83, of Morgantown, WV, died Jan. 30, in Bali, Indonesia. He was hiking in the green hills near Ubud when he slipped at the rim of a deep ravine and was instantly killed. Delmar Ray Yoder was born in Kalona, Iowa. He is survived by his wife, Linda; three sons; and four grandchildren.
An early volunteer experience at Calling Lake, Alberta, Canada, set a pattern for his life. After receiving a degree in biology in 1961, from Eastern Mennonite University, Del and his wife went to Timor, Indonesia, where they managed a program of village-level agricultural education and community development. This program introduced a high-yield corn seed that helped the early season food shortage.
Del earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Wisconsin before going to work at Iowa State University as an Extension Community and Economic development Specialist. His next appointment was at West Virginia University in a similar role. During the years in WV, he created Owl Creek Farm, where he did mixed farming and rescued and restored old log buildings. He is best known for his strawberries. He was a member of the Clinton District Volunteer Fire Department. Del was an officer in the Community Development Society, a member of the Rural Sociological Society, active in the North American Strawberry Growers Association and a regular participant at the Creative Problem Solving Institute. He was a lifelong member of the Mennonite Church.
A remembrance service was held in Bali on Feb. 3, attended by friends from many nations, followed by a cremation. A celebration of his life will be scheduled later in Morgantown. Donations in his memory are invited to two of the many causes dear to his heart: care for the environment and teaching peace for a better world. Contact The Nature Conservancy, at nature.org, or the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, at emu.edu/cjp. Condolences may be sent to the family at: 640 Goshen Road, Morgantown, WV 26508-2431.
By Cindy Banyai
Did you know there is a Jobs Forum on the new Community Development Society website? It's one of the great new members-only features we've added. The forum is a way for hard working CD job seekers to better connect with opportunities that are aligned with their skill set. Here's how to access it:
Hope that helps! Good luck!