Community Development Society

News and Information

Community Development Data Viz - October 2017

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Community Development Society - Leadership Transitions and Job Announcement

As many of you know, this past June our society had several leadership and leadership support transitions. We inducted a new officer team, new journal editors and several new board members. We also completed our contract with our business office of several years. While the synergy of the new team is extremely exciting, there have been several transitional and communicative hurdles to work through. I am pleased to say that our leadership team has navigated these hurdles with grace and elegance.

In the wake of the business office transition, we evaluated the current and future organizational support needs. This in-depth and insightful process allowed us to re-evaluate membership needs as well as officer and board member roles and responsibilities. This process culminated into a Managing Director position for the Community Development Society. This position will greatly enhance the society’s effectiveness and day to day operations. We highly encourage you to forward the position announcement to those who may be interested. We would like to hire someone as soon as November 1, 2017. Interested parties can contact V.P. Operations Dr. Craig Talmage at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Exciting things are happening and I am looking forward to working with our officers and board members as we meet for our annual board retreat in Detroit, MI. where we will be engaging in wonderful discussion and planning for our society as well as scoping out the location for our 2018 CDS Conference.


Bryan Hains

President, Community Development Society

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CDS Seeks New Managing Director (Part-Time, Paid Staff Position)

Community Development Society seeks qualified applicants to serve as Managing Director of our society. This is a part-time, paid position. Please forward on to interested parties. Information about the position and how to apply are available in the linked job description. Review of applications will start Friday, October 20th until the position is filled.

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We Need Your Help: Nominations and Leadership Committee

volunteer article header

Are you looking for an opportunity to shape the future of CDS? The Nominations and Leadership Committee is seeking new membership ahead of the upcoming elections for the Society. The current priorities of the committee are as follows:

  1. Recruitment of committee members – adding committee members will be necessary for outreach to potential nominees in the future and building a pipeline of interested members for leadership positions. The ideal composition of the committee will include students, scholars, and practitioners.

  2. Update the POG to reflect procedural changes – in practice, the election process has strayed from what is prescribed in the Society's Policies and Operational Guidelines. Once additional committee members are on board, the committee will review current guidance relevant to the nomination and election of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee Members. Any proposed changes will be submitted to the Executive Committee and full board for final recommendations and eventual approval.

  3. Mentorship – the committee will work with other Directors, Executive Committee members, and related committees to develop plans for critical mentorship opportunities in the Society. Establishing a more formal mentorship program could prove helpful to cultivate the future leaders of the Society and ideally make the slate of future candidates more robust.

If you are interested in serving on the Nominations and Leadership committee, and/or if you have additional questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly. Thanks for your consideration of helping with this important work!

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Strengthening Community by Design

In The Different Drum, M. Scott Peck asserts that community is often borne out of crisis, comes about by accident, or can be created by design. The implication is that we can wait for happenstance, or be purposeful in our efforts to foster the structure and relationships necessary for a thriving community. 

The Community Development Society is committed to investing resources in innovative ways to enhance the field of community development.  This year, the CDS Institutional Capacity Grant is focused on supporting the growth and involvement of CDS membership through the CIL Fellows program. Working through the University of Kentucky Community Innovation Lab (CIL), 21 participants are connecting monthly to learn from one another and support each other in community. The team is exploring innovative practices in community engagement and involvement, as applied to 5 key areas/groups:

  1. The Community Change Network
  2. The International Society for Quality of Life Studies
  3. CDS Student and Young Professionals
  4. International Community Development
  5. Community Development in Urban areas.

Our focus in each of these very different types of community is intended to lead to stronger networks, improved information sharing, and to test and document creative ways of strengthening community groups.  The success of our work, however, involves all of us. This initiative is not just about special interests, it is about discovering how each of us can be more purposeful in our community development. You can be a part of this initiative on the CDS website in the “CDS connect”.  We want you to join us. Sign in to to meet the fellows and join us in this year of learning!

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Call for Articles- IACD Practice Insights - Deadline Nov 1


IACD publishes its international ‘Practice Insights’ three times a year. Each deals with specific issues or aspects of practice that are relevant to our audience: community development practitioners, activists, researchers and policymakers. The publications draw from experiences across the world and aims to include materials from all seven IACD global regions. The main form of distribution is electronic, but IACD often produces a small print run of each for use at conferences and events.

IACD launched its first issue – on community development and anti-poverty strategies – in November 2012 ( ). It has so far published eight issues and the ninth issue is to be published in December 2017, with focus on North and South America. A special issue on Africa will be published in April 2018

Guidelines for contributors

Articles prepared in word format should be up to 1000 or 1500 words in length. These can be case studies, research findings, polemics or commentaries upon public policy as it impacts upon community development within a country or across the North and South American continents, including the Caribbean.

Articles should be in English without jargon (remembering that for many of our readers across the world English is a second language) and to set out the experience in ways which help readers to make links with their own practice.  The editors can assist here. Each submitted article will be reviewed to assess its suitability for publication.


We request all authors to attach graphics/photographs that help illustrate the article – and ensure that these are in high-resolution format, suitable for printing.

Submission deadline

Please send your article to Connie Loden This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than 1st November 2017. The Special Americas Issue will be published in January 2018. 

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Community Development Data Viz - September 2017

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Community in Disaster

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Disasters have a unique way of bringing people together. I first got to experience this as a graduate student studying the concept of "gotong royong" in Indonesia. This "spirit of community helping" was in full swing in the area I was researching with, the villages in and around Jogykarta, while they were rebuiling after an earthquake that flattened homes and killed over 10,000 people in 2006. Hurricane Irma was not nearly as devastating, but it was the first time that I was the one responsible for taking care of my family and home in the face of disaster.

I ran. I ran because I could. I was lucky. I have a wonderful network of friends across the country that helped me and my family get out of the narrow galley of Florida and into safety without being stranded on the side of a highway without a place to stay or gas to get there. I was also able to help my friend and her family, which helped eased my concience for running when I knew others could not. This is not quite community, but priviliege and social capital in action to say the least.

We returned to a minimally damaged home and a city that looked like all the trees exploded. We were all lucky in Southwest Florida that the eye came in and the strength was weakened when it got to us. Storm surge was small and flooding was minimal in most areas, although places that were hard hit in heavy rains a few weeks earlier were again affected - mostly modestly priced areas that happen to be in flood plains (or purposfully, depending on how much control you think engineers have of watershed and drainage control in high-end gated golf communities). 

Then we took care of our house. Folks cleaned out the rotting food from the refrigerators (there had not been power for several days and hundreds of thousands across the state would go without for more than a week). We piled branches and debris in front of our house waiting for cleaning crews to take it away (and weigh it for FEMA). We sweltered in our hot homes, relieved the storm had passed, but worried about what to do next. 

During the aftermath, a beautiful thing happened - community came. Neighbors were outside their homes lending assistance in clearing trees and debris, offering cold drinks if they still had power, and equipment if they had it. Kids were off school (many buildings were damaged, many were without power, and others still had displaced people sheltering there) and many businesses were closed, so people pitched in to help. They served food at shelters or public places. They helped nonprofits clean up their grounds and make repairs. They searched by boat for people and animals stranded in high flood waters. When night came, neighbors gathered together to chat, sing, drink beer, and scheme on how to get power from the one working street lamp. 

I'm eternally grateful that Irma did not physically destroy my community beyond repair. I am also grateful to have witnessed this very special sense of community develop from this event. I'm hoping it's something we can continue to build. 

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CDS Members Can and Should Engage All Year Long

I can’t believe it has been three months since our conference in Big Sky! What an exciting event. It was great to see the fellowship and engagement among colleagues and friends within the field of Community Development. As part of the synergy, there were many initiatives and partnerships formed as well as great practices and research shared. Yet, as I reflect on the past few months, it seems the energy often wains after the conference. While this is normal in professional organizations, I still ask, “Why doesn’t the energy continue throughout the year?”

Friends, I am excited to tell you that it can. With the implementation and continued development of our current website, we can connect to work on new and existing projects, share best practices and relay exciting research findings, further enhancing our field. As stated last month, I have started a discussion pertaining to the proposed definition of Community Development. I encourage your insight and discussion regarding the discussion as it will only help strengthen our society. You can provide your comments by logging into the CDS website then click on the CDS Connect link.

I would also encourage you to join and provide your input in our CDS Groups. These are thematic groups that focus on community development practices and topics within specific contexts. You can chat with members from across the world about topics relevant to you and your community. Lastly, I ask, “Where is the future of Community Development?” I would love to hear your insight regarding our profession’s future.

Please log into and provide your input. This will help the synergy be year-round rather than seasonally. Also, please let us know if there are parts of the website that could be improved or enhanced.

All the best,


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From CDS Member Sheri Smith and the Texas Southern University community

Linked is a thank you note in response to colleagues who reached out to inquire about the well-being of staff and faculty at Texas Southern University as well to offer assistance.  Please share our appreciation for their concern in the manner most appropriate.


Sheri L. Smith, Ph.D., AICP
Interim Department Chair & Associate Professor
Urban Planning and Environmental Policy
Texas Southern University


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Exploring innovative ways to strengthen communities

Even though I have a graduate degree in leadership studies, I still struggle at times to understand leadership. Even though I have facilitated community development initiatives for nearly two decades, I still struggle at times with building the bonds to strengthen community. For me, knowing what to do, when, and how to do it still seems to require an equal part of skillful practice and magic. Community development work is filled with contradictory interests and can be an enigma. But who better to explore community development with than members of the Community Development Society?

This fall, CDS has selected a group of individuals to participate in an experiment. Working together, a group of participants in the 2017 CDS Institutional Capacity Development grant will be assisting each other in an exploration of what makes communities work. Through a shared exploration and peer mentoring, the participants are going to take on initiatives to improve aspects of communities or groups they are involved with. Throughout the process, we would like to invite YOU to teach us and learn with us as we tackle and explore the processes of community development.

We begin the conversation this month with the first meeting of the fellows and a discussion on “what IS community?” as we recognize that communities of place, interest, and practice may share elements in common while fulfilling different purposes. Watch the CDS blogsite, Vanguard, and Facebook for opportunities to participate in this applied learning experience! I hope you will come along for an enjoyable discussion and discovery!

This iniative is being led by Dan Kahl and Kris Hains working through the Community Innovation Lab at the University of Kentucky, Community and Leadership Development Department.

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CD Job Opportunities

Two new community development job opportunities at Hobart & William Smith Colleges and Arizona State University:
HWS Visiting Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies:
ASU Director of the School of Community Resources and Development (Associate/Full Professor):
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Community Development Data Viz - August 2017

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What's In A Definition? - Defining A Profession

This past year CDS members engaged in several deep and thoughtful conversations. A primary theme for discussion was that of the society adopting a working definition of community development. This conversation was prompted during the 2016 joint Community Development Society/International Association for Community Development (IACD) meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota when IACD adopted the following definition:

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

The movement to professionally define our field continued this past July at the 2017 joint Community Development Society/National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) meeting. During this meeting, NACDEP members further solidified the field by adopting the same definition.

This professional movement begs the questions, “What does it mean to define a field?” and “What could this mean for members of the Community Development Society?” It can be argued that Community Development, as both a profession and academic discipline, is growing rapidly. However, many scholars in the field contend that rapid growth within a non-defined profession can lead to professional confusion both internally and externally. It is from this perspective one could reason the profession is at a pivotal developmental stage and is ripe for a collective definition.

As such, the CDS Board and I encourage your insight regarding this professional movement. Within the next few weeks, we will be posting the definition on our website and open it up for member discussion. Please log in and provide your opinion as your input is greatly appreciated and will assist us in further developing the future of Community Development.

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Explore Redevelopment in West Virginia and Appalachia

Old industrial sites, including pottery factories, glass factories, and abandoned mine lands, dot the landscape of much of the country. In Appalachia, these sites which were once the economic engines of communities can feel like symbols of a region in need of new economic strategies.


These brownfields – properties whose redevelopment is hindered by real or perceived contamination – also offer new opportunities for community and economic development. A regional conference will bring together stakeholders from across Appalachia to explore those opportunities. The second annual Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit on September 12-14 in Morgantown, WV will bring brownfield and redevelopment stakeholders together to learn from agencies, environmental professionals, funders, and peers on the many resources and approaches to brownfield redevelopment being implemented across Central Appalachia. The Summit is being held in conjunction with the 2017 #WVBrownfields Conference and will feature sessions covering all aspects of brownfield redevelopment, including renewables on abandoned mine lands, place-based economic development, and creative financing for new development.


Central Appalachia consists of parts of several states and is divided among three administrative regions of the US Environmental Protection Agency. As a result of these administrative divisions, practitioners and stakeholders from these states are not often given the opportunity to share experiences in addressing and redeveloping brownfield sites. The Summit is expected to attract stakeholders from Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, including economic development professionals, real estate developers, lawyers, federal, state and local officials, environmental professionals, entrepreneurs, planners, bankers, investors, and community redevelopment professionals.


The Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit is a great opportunity to learn more about brownfield redevelopment, to connect with agency and community partners across Appalachia, and explore new opportunities for community development. For more information, visit or contact Carrie Staton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Community Development Data Viz - July 2017

Detroit Edition!

In honor of the upcoming 2018 conference in Detroit, let's take a look at some interesting data viz about the city.

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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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