Community Development Society

News and Information

President's Update - Paddling Along

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As summer winds down, I find myself reflecting on the adventures I’ve shared with my family this year — visiting Detroit, camping in Northern Michigan, and all the memories we made together. Spending time with my children and parents also brought back summer memories from years past. One summer, when I was a teenager, my parents took us whitewater rafting. It sounded so exciting and I was certain that we were going to have the adventure of a lifetime, and I suppose we did, except, not the way I anticipated. Rather than facing the rapid together and triumphantly making it through the course as I envisioned, we crumbled. I accidentally knocked my dad out of the boat, we argued, my brother became disengaged, and at one point we weren’t going anywhere because each of us were paddling in opposite directions. We did eventually make it to the end, together and in one piece, but it took us putting aside our squabbles to communicate and collaborate.

As your pilot, I’ve worked with our staff and leadership to land the CDS plane to get us through an enriching and engaging Detroit conference. Now, I’m feeling like we are in a boat on a river, all paddling in different directions. Through this coming year, a year of celebration of our 50 years as an organization, I pledge to continue to work together with our leadership and staff to ensure that we are all paddling in the same direction.

Currently, your board is working to improve policies and procedures through exploring policy based governance. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) The board will also be working to engage members through the committees to keep energy flowing to our organization. Here is an outline of our committees. Please let me know if you want to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. one!

As your President, I will focus on communications and engagement to continue to enrich our organization and to look for places to engage for sustainability through our 50th and beyond. We have been through a lot of changes over the past few years, leaving many of our members looking for more information. I’m hoping to provide that information through a series of short, videos and blogs. Additionally, we will be hosting some townhall-style dialogues for members to answer questions and provide a place for your input on happenings in our organization. Stay tuned for more info!

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Changes to the Byla

I am writing to express my concern for the proposed change to the bylaws impacting the Board of Directors. As a past board member and president of CDS, I have deep concerns for the changing of the structure of the board. Given recent history where the conferences were not planned ahead of time, where sites for future conferences have not been identified, and where structural problems with the conference have been a major issue, this is not the time to be making changes to the board structure. It is in fact a time for the board and general membership of CDS to call upon the Executive Committee (EC) to make sure that the roles of each executive are being accomplished. Rather than throw the position away, it would seem to me that the board is enhanced by having all three positions on the EC. When done right, there is enough work to warrant having all three EC positions. Simply removing one because of the past lack of performance by ineffective members makes no sense. Rather, the expectations of performance should be raised.
 
Here are a few thoughts of why we need a complete EC. The following are my perceptions of what each office should be responsible for. 
 
The VP of Operations should focus on: 
  • Getting conferences scheduled for the next several years
  • Nailing down contracts
  • Working with the future local host committees to ensure that they are meeting their fund raising goals
  • Removing barriers to conference success
  • Working with committees to increase their viability and performance
  • Increasing programming opportunities
  • Building connections with other organizations
  • Working with the Managing Director to ensure that the CDS is meeting all of its obligations
  • Working with the membership committee to seek innovative ways to recruit new CDS members
The VP of Programs should focus on:
  • Working with the current local host committees to ensure that they are meeting their fund raising goals
  • Working with the Managing Director and conference hotel to prepare for the conference
  • Preparing for hosting the mid-year board meeting
  • Issuing the call for papers early enough for international visitors to come
  • Preparing the conference program with the program committee
  • Scheduling the night out and MLWs
  • Ensuring the sufficient funds are available through sponsorships and contracts to support the conference
  • Addressing all conference concerns
  • Running the conference
The President should focus on:
  • Fund raising for the Society
  • Building bridges with additional groups
  • Identifying innovative collaborations
  • Recruiting members
  • Increasing the sustainability of the organization in all facets
  • Oversee the VPO and VPP to make sure that they are achieving their mandates
  • Addressing all other concerns
As it is written out, if carried out, there are more than enough tasks for the EC. We don't have enough built in paid staff to adequately carry out these functions. This is particularly true given the change in management. I think Justin is doing a good job but I am concerned with the lack of institutional knowledge. 
 
I now oppose and will vocally oppose at the business meeting changes to the board structure. 
 
I sincerely appreciate the difficult task that the board faces. I appreciate your individual and collective service to CDS. Know that you have my support in other matters and in the success of CDS. This is my home and I will do all that I can to protect it. 

 

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President's Update - Detroit here we come!

President's Update - Detroit here we come!

We are rocking and rolling preparing for our annual conference coming up in Detroit July 21-25. I am excited to share with you that our night out event will be held at the Detroit Historical Musem, an amazing venue! We also have secured some wonderful musical acts to demonstrate the arts and local talents in our host city, including the very special Daybreaker Rave and Fitness event featuring the Godmother of House Music, DJ Hotwaxx Stacey Hale. Early bird registration ends June 15, so get those registrations in!

Your leadership has also been working on the elections and planning for the transition of new directors and officers. Be sure to join us at the Business Meeting luncheon on Tuesday, July 24 for their installation.

In order to continue to improve our organization, a committee was formed to review our current bylaws. The group is working on a document to share and crafting interactive discussions at the conference to get your input and feedback and proposed changes. We hope you can get involved!

Thanks again to all our wonderful members for the work you do in our communities! I look forward to seeing you in Detroit!

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WCDC2018: World Community Development Conference

Community Development Towards 2030: Our Analysis, Our Actions

Join the IACD's 65th anniversary conference celebrating community development from around the world! 

The World Community Development Conference (WCDC) 2018 will be held at Maynooth University, in partnership with the IACD and Community Work Ireland, in Kildare, Ireland on June 24-27. This conference will provide a unique opportunity for practitioners, participants, academics, policy makers, funders, and other stakeholders to share perspectives on current contexts and challenges for community work.

With over 200 workshop speakers, join our community development colleagues, practitioners, and educators from around the globe in a collaborative discussion on participation, power, and progress! Register now to join the conversation about the future of community development!

Don't miss this wonderful gathering of community development experts from around the world! For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the IACD website.

Come join the global conversation of community development!

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Get involved with #CommDev18!

 

 

Every year, the CDS annual international conference is our time to come together as colleagues to learn and share. The 2018 CDS Annual International Conference in Detroit is no exception and there lots of great things on the horizon! However, we want to make sure that our members’ voices are heard and that this conference really hits the mark. With that in mind, we are extending an invitation for members to join the Conference Planning Committee. Committee members will meet by phone once a month leading up to the conference and will review current plans, make suggestions to tailor the conference program to needs and expectations of the members, as well as to provide support as needed. Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

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