Community Development Society

News and Information

Executive Leadership Fellow Update - March 2021

Submitted by Eric S. Trevan, Ph.D.
Executive Leadership Fellow

Happy Spring! 

The changing of the seasons represents our progress as the Community Development Society! We are moving forward through the pandemic, investing in new programs, services, research and outreach. This is hard work! Evolving into CDS 2.0, we are building capacity, embracing diversity and equity, providing outreach and supporting our members. Despite challenges, our members have worked incredibly hard and building our foundation and preparing for our conference July 12-15, 2021! Register today!

Membership-Thank you for renewing your membership! We have placed a call to action for all previous CDS members to renew their membership and support the mission of the society. I have provided a Membership Development Strategy to the Board of Directors and our Membership Committee will reach out to tell our story and how you can be involved. If you know anyone who is a past member or would like to join, please ask them to sign up or contact me directly! 

Community Outreach- I am proud that during the pandemic we have had opportunities to provide ongoing engagement with CDS and our community! The webinars to date have been a success. Our next webinars will focus on the editorial team for Local Development and Society as well as a group of researchers and practitioners who published Beyond the Façade: layering downtown spillover investment in CD Practice! The webinars will take place in the next couple months with more information on its way! Stay tuned! 

Support CDS-Many members and other foundations have asked how can they support the mission of the society. We have had discussions around individual contributions, matching gifts, grants and partnerships. This is exciting! If you have an idea of how to provide financial assistance, contribution, possible donors or relationships with granting organizations, please contact me and we can work together to align their interests with our strategic priorities.  

As always, please contact me (email/call/text) at your convenience. 


Eric S. Trevan, Ph.D. 

Executive Leadership Fellow 

Community Development Society 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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Stewardship Committee Update - March 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.

The Stewardship Committee met on March 1, 2021 to discuss two proposals to the CDS Board of Directors, a proposal for the 2021 CDS Budget and a proposal to conduct an independent audit of CDS finacial practices. Both proposals were approved by the Stewardship Committee and are awaiting Board action.

We have scheduled all of our meetings for the remainder of 2021, and we would love to have members join us to share their ideas and learn more about the work we are doing.

Next Stewardship Commitee Meeting
Monday, April 12, 2021 at 17:00 (5 p.m.) EDT U.S./22:00 (10 p.m.) BST
Join the Meeting

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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Announcing the 2021 CDS Virtual Conference “Mobile Learning Workshops”

In addition to the fantastic sessions we are planning for this year’s virtual conference July 12-15, we are happy to announce plans for this year’s mobile learning workshops. At past CDS conferences, attendees have looked forward to stepping out of the typical conference setting to learn about and interact with the local host community through our mobile learning workshops. 

Of course, this year’s conference will be held entirely online instead of “north of normal” in lovely Fargo, North Dakota. So, we have adapted our mobile learning workshops to be engaging, video-based experiences where attendees will have the opportunity to see and learn about how real-life community development efforts in the greater Fargo area are contributing to community resilience. 

New this year, attendees will be able to participate in all of the mobile learning workshops via the conference platform at any time during the conference. All workshop videos will incorporate three components - immersive experience/real-life tours, interviews with key spokespersons, and Q&A panel conversations with local practitioners and academics - and workshop topics will draw directly upon the Community Capitals Framework. Attendees should look forward to learning about the following areas of community development and community resilience in the greater Fargo area:

  • Cultural diversity
  • Natural environment
  • Energy development
  • Arts and development
  • Local food systems
  • Downtown revitalization

You don’t want to miss them! Click here to register for the 2021 CDS Virtual Conference!

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CDS Membership Webinar

Celebrate Community 
Community Development Society Membership Webinar Series 
Spiraling Up: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow! 
Submitted by Eric Trevan, Executive Leadership Fellow

Community Development Society Executive Leadership Fellow Eric S. Trevan, Ph.D. and Community Development Editor-in-Chief Craig Talmage, Ph.D. facilitate an inspiring conversation with Cornelia Flora, Ph.D. and Mary Emery, Ph.D. about their seminal research. The discussion focused on the high impact of Emery and Flora's article of "Spiraling-up: Mapping community transformation with community capitals framework" published in Community Development. We discuss the impacts on research and practice as well as the future of the community capitals framework for communities in the face of local and global challenges. Please watch a great dialogue focusing on the inception of the research, impacts on the field and future opportunities and influence on the field of community development.

Visit Zoom link


Emery, M., & Flora, C. (2006). Spiraling-up: Mapping community transformation with community capitals framework. Community development37(1), 19-35.  

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Chair's Update - February 2021

Greetings from a very frigid Ames, Iowa! While we would likely be experiencing the cold temperatures of deep winter here anyway, we understand many of our friends throughout the United States are experiencing frigid temperatures and, in some cases, dangerous situations without consistent power. We do hope everyone is staying warm and well. This month, I am excited to share some additional updates about the board and CDS members' work, including updating the Principles of Good Practice, the inauguration of the India Chapter of CDS, and request for working group members to review and amend the CDS Principles of Good Practice.

February is Black History Month, though we strive to acknowledge and honor the historical and current contributions of African Americans to their communities, not just this month but all year long. In that spirit, a working group chaired by CDS Secretary Anthony Cook has been hard at work over the past several months to revisit the CDS Principles of Good Practice. This working group is developing recommendations for consideration by the full board, including (1) revisions reflecting actual or anticipated changes in membership, orientation, and evolution of practice areas and issues engaged by members and (2) strategies to operationalize the revised principles to assure organizational observance and continued commitment to the values those principles embody. As we recently celebrated 50 years of CDS work and achievement, we recognize we must be forward-facing and responsive to ongoing social changes and community needs as we endeavor into the next 50 years. Our Principles of Good Practice should both reflect and guide that work. We will look forward to receiving recommendations from the working group in the coming months.

I am also pleased to recognize CDS Board Member Dr. Dilip Patil for his commendable work to convene students, scholars, and practitioners from many corners of India to begin inaugurating the India Chapter of the Community Development Society on February 12, 2021. Nearly 120 participants convened via Zoom, and many, many more watched via a live stream of the meeting via YouTube. A hat tip as well to Ron Hustedde for speaking about the history of CDS and benefits of CDS membership, to Vice Chair of Operations Cornel Hart for emphasizing the importance of CDS and the work our members complete, and to Mary Leuci for sharing promising practices for inaugurating and operationalizing a new CDS chapter. I was pleased to share my perspectives on the importance of CDS membership for students and practitioners. The Board will review the Petition for Recognition of the India Chapter during its next quarterly meeting.

Finally, I would like to invite members to join a working group to review and amend the CDS Policies and Operational Guidelines. This living document is an extension of the Bylaws, reflecting processes established and changed over the organization's lifespan. While technically ongoing, this work has received less attention in the last few years and has yet to be updated to fully integrate and reflect the CDS bylaws as amended July 2019. I welcome long-time CDS members with institutional knowledge and our newer members who bring insights from other professional associations that might be an excellent fit to consider for CDS. Please send me an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. expressing interest in joining this working group by Friday, March 12, and I will send a Doodle Poll to capture the availability for an initial group meeting.

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