Community Development Society

News and Information

Stewardship Committee Update - February 2021

The Stewardship Committee, chaired by the CDS Treasurer, is charged with conducting donor outreach, managing donor relationships, and overseeing endowments and dispersal of donor-directed funds.

Stewardship Committee members Jessica Beckendorf, Mary Emery, Ron Hustedde, Paul Lachapelle, Neil Linscheid, and I have decided to focus on the following areas in 2021:

  • Building relationships and practices that promote growth and sustainability of the committee
  • Taking a collaborative and strategic approach, engaging and coordinating with other committees, in our donor relations efforts
  • Reviewing our fund management arrangement, including consideration of socially-responsible investing

In December 2020, the committee reached out to past donors to share some exciting CDS activities, including the new Local Development & Society journal and the 2021 CDS Virtual Conference. This was our new committee’s first message to CDS donors. We look forward to staying in touch with them regularly in the future.

Our committee is investigating options for a socially-responsible investment strategy for the CDS Endowment. We will be meeting with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, which currently manages our funds, and learning more about socially-responsible and impact investing as we work on a plan to align our investments more closely with the Principles of Good Practice.

We are also working on plans for scholarships and the auction fundraiser. With this year’s conference taking place virtually, both scholarships and the auction will look different than they have in the past.

We’d love to have more members helping us with this work. Stewardship Committee members spend 2-3 hours each month on committee business, including our monthly meeting. If you are interested in joining, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bob Bertsch, CDS Treasurer

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Membership Committee - looking to the future

Update from Cornel Hart
Vice Chair Operations
Membership Committee Structure
December 2020

Cornel

Dear current, past and future CDS members,

CDS has gone through a significant number of changes since 2018. One of which was to streamline our organizational structure towards more effective functioning and participation of our members. This month you will read all about the different Committees of CDS.

I wish to share with you the Role and Functions of the Membership Committee that I chair and its respective Sub-Committees and chairs.

We invite you to participate in any one or more of these sub-committees as we build our Society to be a ‘Home for all Community Development Practitioners (CDPs)’.

The Membership Committee is chaired by the VC-Operations and consists of Sub-committee chairs and ad-hoc members who wish to also participate at this level. This committee recruits, serves and retains members of CDS as well as supports the CDS Chapters. We see this committee as the ‘engine room’ of our Society that must collectively work with current members to grow our Society and become more effective in serving CDPs.

The Membership Committee’s theme for 2020/21 is: Reinventing our Society for systemic change in the 21st Century, and the following sub-committees are all geared up to take us towards this change.

 

Membership Org Structure

Recruitment & Retention Sub-Committee – Chair - Ron Hustedde

 Ron

This committee encourages CDS membership retention and expansion. As part of this effort, we report our activities to the CDS Vice Chair of Operations. We also cooperate with the paid CDS staff member who is responsible for operations and collection of membership fees.

To find out more about the goals and projects of this committee and/or to join in all the excitement; please contact Ron at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Chapters Sub-Committee - Chair – Mary Simon Leuci

Mary

This committee encourages regional groups within and beyond the United States to form chapters for local interaction and activities. It also supports the CDS Student Chapter in its work to engage budding practitioners and scholars in the Society's operations. All chapters receive guidance and support in meeting CDS guidelines. It also supports an international working group for engagement with CDS and all aspects of the Membership and Recruitment Committee.

To find out more about the goals and projects of this committee and/or to join in all the excitement; please contact Mary at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Engagement & Communications Sub-Committee – Chair - Lisa Gilchrist

 Lisa

This committee keeps the pulse of our Society and its members. Through the Vanguard newsletter, updates are shared, and Society business is published. The CD Practice provides an opportunity for sharing innovative approaches, tools, and techniques that can be readily applied by community development practitioners. The committee continuously identifies ways to increase engagement and gain insight into member needs and interests. A cornerstone initiative for this year will be the CDS member survey to assist with Reinventing our Society for systemic change in the 21st Century.

To find out more about the goals and initiatives of this committee and/or to join in all the communication and engagement for CDS; please contact Lisa at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Awards & Recognition Sub-Committee – Chair - Cornel Hart (interim)

This committee oversees the process for issuing annual awards for CDS, which recognize outstanding achievements and volunteer efforts for those who assist the society. The committee also recognizes outgoing board members for the society.

We are currently looking for a chairperson to lead this sub-committee. To find out more about the goals and projects of this committee and/or to join or chair this committee; please contact Cornel at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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COVID-19: Could it Unite Us as a Global Community?

COVID-19: Could it Unite Us as a Global Community?

 

The new ‘normal’ as the start of the ‘great turning’ for transformative justice, social change, equity, and sustainable communities.

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love."    ~ Rumi

When I agreed to write a post with an international theme for the Vanguard issue, I had no idea that it would be in the middle of the COVID-19 global pandemic – a virus attack which, in one way or another, is uniting us as a Global Community. Dealing with it asks us all for innovative thinking, ideas and approaches on the meaning and purpose of Community Development Practice (CDP), and on our roles and responsibilities as Community Development Practitioners (CDPs).

COVID-19 is challenging all of us in our commitment to each and every one of the principles for which we stand, both as practitioners and as members of a family, community, society and nation. Each one of us now in our social isolation has had, however reluctantly, to realize our vulnerability – not just as a citizen, family, and community member, but also as a species. Many of us were at first positively hopeful that this pandemic would soon pass, and that everything would go back to normal again. Now we are realizing that it is not passing quickly, and that it is increasingly likely that nothing will ever be quite the same again. The new ‘normal’ will differ from the ‘normal’ we thought we knew.

Global pandemics such as COVID-19 re-emphasize the importance of CDPs, the need for our profession, and the role that we play in ensuring community well-being. Going forward in the aftermath of COVID-19, with resources diminished from fighting it, we will need to be more vigilant and innovative in rebuilding communities. We will be working from a micro level of well-being for our families, friends, and neighbors, through our communities, to the macro level well-being of our state sustainability. Although pandemics threaten our very existence, they also provide us with opportunities to ‘reset and turn’ our current way of life into a better one. It is at this turning point that CDPs are needed more than ever before. We will be called upon to guide communities in innovative ways towards rebuilding new sustainable, equitable and inclusive communities in our global society.

This rebuilding of community and society will require CDPs to revisit the works of scholar-activists such as David Korten, Johanna Macy, and Grace Lee Boggs. As early as the 2000s they put forward a much needed ‘great turning’. This ‘turning’ would shift us from our current times of being an economic growth ‘extractivist society’ to a society that is in balance and self-sustaining in every dimension of well-being: socio-cultural, physical, infrastructural, environmental, political, and economical. These scholarly foresights, more than fifteen years ago, emanated from the term ‘earth community’ described in the International Earth Charter of 2000. This charter consists of sixteen principles, clustered in four interrelated pillars derived from an ethical vision that proposes peace, environmental protection, human rights, and equitable human development.

One of the founding pieces of ‘turning’ literature is “The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community” by David Korten (2006). The unequal distribution of power and social benefits that goes back as far as 5 000 years is highlighted. The development of empires, political and social, continues to this day. Korten (2006) warns us of being “on the verge of a perfect storm of converging crises”, and that to avoid it will require major changes to our current economic and social structures.

Who would have thought that COVID-19 could so quickly ‘trigger’ this realization? Who could have anticipated that we as CDPs would be given the opportunity to work with communities to start the ‘great turning’ (transformation) from an ‘industrial growth society’ to a ‘self-sustaining civilization’?

Every one of us has been presented with an opportunity to relook at, and rework, our CDP approach towards making a difference and contributing towards a better life for society. Many resources and scholarly works are available to assist us with re-imaging our ‘new’ future of ‘turning’ towards achieving an Earth Community of well-being. Perhaps a good place to start will be with the founding authors of the ‘turning’: David Korten, Johanna Macy, and Grace Lee Boggs. They led the way to many more publications by other proponents of transformative justice, social change, equity and self-sustaining communities in a harmony of societies.

How are we going to take up this unforeseen opportunity to do things differently in the new ‘normal’ of CDP tomorrow?

Below are some useful links to material by the founding authors mentioned in this blog:

https://davidkorten.org/library/;

https://www.joannamacy.net/main#books;

https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5323/fire.2.1.0060#metadata_info_tab_contents

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Chair's Update - Evaluator's Dilemma

People sometimes think I am wild and crazy. Maybe it's because I love adventure and take opportunities as they arise. Maybe it's because I lived abroad for so many years. Maybe it's because I am a good dancer and like to have fun. What's funny to me about all of these perceptions is that they beguile my typically dogged commitment to process and facts. There have been many times in my personal and professional life over the years where I have found myself saying "...but this may cause problems..." or "...this shows we should change course..." I think it's the evaluator in me, but almost as sure as I am to take on opportunity (like going to Ghana next week!), I also raise questions and concerns where needed to adhere to process, ethics, and facts. 

I've tried my best to uphold those principles in my work for CDS. I truly believe that compassionate and critical dialogue on the activities of our organization are necessary for our continued growth and development. This is one of the reasons the board chose to move to monthly meetings of the full board and ad-hoc meetings of the Executive Committee last fall. These regular meetings encourage exchange of ideas among board members and dissuade the out-of-the-light-of-day decisions that can get an organization into trouble.

I continue to commit to you, the members, that I will work hard to uphold our shared values and to name potential threats to our organization so the board can work to avoid them. Because my leadership here has never been about me, but about you, the member, and our professional home and beloved field of community development. As a leadership volunteer and an independent consultant who self-financed every meeting and conference (except one), including my 6 years of leadership to the organization, you could say that I put my money where my mouth is in terms of commitment - a commitment to our field and our home. For you. For us. So we can stay strong and stay together into our 50th and beyond!

Let me know your thoughts. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Board Update:

The May board meeting has been cancelled because of scheduling conflicts that would result in not having a quorum. 

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Chair's Update - Lions and Lambs

I've been reflecting on the old addage for March, "In like a lion, out like a lamb." March certainly has been a lion for many places around the US this year and I'm sure we're all hoping that the month ends in a more gentle, lamb-like fashion. This is particularly true to ease the burden of our friends and neighbors suffering through extreme temperature swings and flooding this season.

Since I live in Florida, I have the pleasure of a constant stream of northern guests through the month of March. It's wonderful to connect with family and friends and bring them a literal dose of sunshine during the deary late winter months. I'm very fortunate to have so many lifelong friends and close family members that make the trip. These connections, our own social captial, are the building blocks of communities and what we as practitioners of community development seek to build and support in the areas we serve.

Lions and lambs also convey symbolism of the weak and the strong, specifically of the weak becoming strong. For me, this also has relevenace to our shared work as so many of us are working with disempowered people - helping to bring out the voice of the lambs to stand toe to toe with the lions. We are often working to develop a community's social capital to enable their self determination - rise and rise again until lambs become lions. 

Board Activities Update

The board and it's committeess have been working together to continue the necessary transitions required with the now formally adopted bylaws, including shifts in scope and consolidation. Committees are working to further develop policies aligned with the new bylaws and further streamline our organization. 

The board approved the scholarship amounts.

2019 conference planning is underway. Accespted session proposals have been sent out, keynotes have been planned, mobile learning workshop development is moving along, and fundrasising is rocking and rolling!

2020 conference proposal for South Dakota was submitted to the board.

Staff search is underway.  

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