CDS Blog

Sep 16

I was struck by a study that was released just a few days ago that noted the wealth gap between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent is now the highest it has been in several decades.  The gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” has been on an upward trajectory for some time, so the most recent study adds more fuel to the perplexing problem that many communities in the U.S. are attempting to tackle today – be they located in urban, suburban or rural settings.  How can we place the socioeconomic well-being of people in communities on an upward track?  

No question about it, closing the gap in income inequality will require a long-term sustained effort.  However, it occurs to me that our CDS professionals are one of the best resources available to guide community activities and investments that seek to advance the well-being of all residents.  We do so, in part, by introducing and supporting economic development efforts that bring value and benefit to the entire community.  Moreover, we work to ensure that the voices of all people are honored when decisions about jobs and economic development strategies are decided.  No doubt about it, CDS members – researchers, Extension educators, practitioners, or policy analysts – are the right people to have at the table when it comes to pursuing evidenced-based approaches that serve as a roadmap on how to create wealth opportunities for the full array of people and communities in America. 

My hope is that some of these innovative, creative strategies will be showcased at our 2014 CDS annual meeting.  If you are a CDS member who has been engaged in efforts to reduce income inequality, please share your efforts with us.  Use the CDS blog to inform us of the good work you are doing.  In addition, plan to showcase your work at our annual meeting next July.  Take care!

Bo Beaulieu


Edited by Cindy Banyai





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Last modified on Friday, 09 May 2014 10:09
Sep 16

The important niche that the Community Development Society holds for the field is bringing together scholars and practitioners.  Conferences and publications make that happen and CD Practice is where thoughtful practitioners can shine. 

Why should practitioners share their tools in a scholarly publication?  The answers to that question are more practical than you might think:

  • Sharing the tools and strategies you use in a peer-reviewed publication provides an external opinion that your organization or program has merit. Funders and collaborators will appreciate that endorsement.
  • The process of writing an article can help you think through your purpose and process in a way you never thought of it before.  This can ultimately improve your product, or at least the way you describe it to others. One practitioner said it well, “I’ve never been forced to put a lens like this to what we do. And we’ve been doing it for years.”
  • Ever thought of forming a tighter relationship with your local university?  Creating scholarship from your practice can engage students, capstone courses or professors in your work. Again, that affiliation with your university can bring contacts and credibility with some new audiences.
  • Moreover, CD Practice is a chance for you to influence scholars; to recommend that research questions be addressed. 
  • And, of course, published articles are great networking tools.  They are an easy way to share your wealth of knowledge with practitioners and scholars alike across the country and the world.

Curious about how to get started with your submission to CD Practice?  Visit our website or call Joyce Hoelting at 612-625-8233.  

By Joyce Hoelting

Edited by Cindy Banyai




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Sep 12

Compiled by Timothy Collins, Assistant Director, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs

Featured Stories

Rivers Are People, Too


In August of last year, the Whanganui River gained its citizenship. Under New Zealand law, the third-longest river in the country will be recognized as a person “in the same way a company is, which will give it rights and interests,” according to a spokesman for the Minister of Treaty Negotiations. This is the first time a legal identity has been conferred on a single river, though in 2008 Ecuador passed a similar rule to give its forests, lakes, and waterways rights on par with humans in order to ensure protection from harmful practices...

Painting Petros, One Portrait at a Time

A visual artist teaches himself to paint by capturing the images of the people in his small, East Tennessee town. More than a decade later, the project continues to give the community a new vision of itself...

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A Map Of America's Future: Where Growth Will Be Over The Next Decade

The Emerging Geography of Inequality

Southern California's Road Back

Rust Belt Chic and the Keys to Reviving the Great Lakes

Why the Size of Your City's Middle Class Matters Even if You're Not In It

Inequality of the Largest U.S. Metropolitan Areas

One in 20 American Kids Is Extremely Obese

Mountain Grown: Appalachia's New Local Food Economy

Market Improves Physical, Economic Health

Co-Op Academy Teaches Workers to Build Green and Cooperative Businesses

The Best U.S. Metros for Recent College Grads Looking for Work

Over 50% of Food Stamp Recipients Live in the Suburbs

A Meditation on Cities and the Need for Peaceful Places

Community-Driven Conservation

Financing Water Reform in the Western United States

Native Health Program Recruits from Within

The Art of Infrastructure

View from the Levee: No One's Home

How Advocates Can Talk to Rural America

Speak Your Piece: Rural Policy's Dog Days

Want to Change the World (and Not Get Burnt Out)? Start with Your Neighborhood

Scale, Schmale. What About Impact?

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Last modified on Friday, 09 May 2014 10:09
Sep 12

A CDS tradition – the silent and live auction - lived on during the annual CDS Conference in Charleston thanks to generosity of many of our members.  We’re pleased to report that auction proceeds reached a record-breaking high of $3,561 in support of the CDS Endowment! 

This year’s auction included 52 items, 21 of which were featured in our first-ever online auction.  Thirty members donated locally-made foods, regional wines, handmade goods, writings, and snail memorabilia to the auction and nearly 40 members were high-bidder on these items!  In addition, ten members made contributions to the endowment through the Past President’s Challenge and donations to specific funds throughout the conference.  This level of support of the auction and the CDS endowment couldn’t have been achieved without the generosity of time, resources, and energy of many of our members. 

This year’s auction brought us another step closer to our goal of growing the CDS endowment to $200,000 by the 2014 CDS Conference in Dubuque.  Let’s keep the momentum going!   Your continued support of the CDS endowment will help us reach this next milestone and will allow the Society to allocate more financial resources in support of scholarships, plenary speakers, community development resource materials, and other mission-related activities. 

Learn more about ways to contribute to the CDS endowment online here.  We are continually amazed at the generosity of our members and their desire to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the field.  We look forward to continuing the tradition of the auction next year and expanding and improving upon our online component.  We believe that all members and champions of the Society should be able to join in the fun of this tradition and continue to support the organization. 

For now, we leave you with the story of the snail tie – one of the most popular auction items each year - as a means of better understanding our past and looking toward our future.  Perhaps it’s time for a new generation of ‘young turks’ to embrace the snail tie and all that it embodies as we serve Society. 

What does the snail signify in CDS? The story goes back to the 1970’s. Some up-and-coming professionals in the organization were impatient with the slow pace of change in established CDS policies and culture. Noticing the similarity of our CDS logo to this slow-moving mollusk, they adopted the snail as a sly, irreverent commentary on the organization. Many in this group of ‘young turks’ have gone on to serve in leadership positions in CDS, thus ironically becoming the establishment. The snail remains as a cherished symbol of the days when they teased the establishment for being so slow to get with the times.

Let’s build a legacy.  Challenge accepted?  

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Sep 12

I would like to thank all Vanguard readers, especially those who gave feedback after the launch of our re-design. The response to our new look was very positive and I want to give a special thanks to those who noticed my widespread vowel flip in the title of our publication. I'm afraid I was so consumed with the overall aesthetics of Vanguard that I failed at one of the most basic functions of an editor - spell checking! I sincerely apologize for my oversight and I hope you can forgive me. That little check button will be my new best friend. As always, I'm listening.


Image borrowed from here.

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Aug 14

Journal of Public Affairs Education
“Pedagogical Perspectives on Race, Class, and Gender in Community Development”
The Journal of Public Affairs Education, announces a special symposium on “Pedagogical Perspectives on Race, Class and Gender in Community Development.”
It has long been established within the field of community development, in addition to other academic disciplines, that the historical development of power relations within local communities tends to have a disparate impact on racial and ethnic minorities, women, and other individuals that are part of the ‘underclass’, which subsequently results, at least rhetorically, in the necessity for broader social responses of community development. Since community development usually attempts to build agency and capacity among these historically neglected groups, it raises the questions: how are community development practitioners and academics trained to work with these disadvantaged groups in order to yield more successful community development outcomes? And, what are the best practices for integrating race, class, and gender into community development coursework?
This symposium seeks to bring together an interdisciplinary group of authors to write on the importance of integrating race, class, and gender into college coursework and practitioner training programs in community development, in addition to pedagogical methods for this integration.
Potential papers may consider, but are not limited to, the following topics:
• Empirical analyses, including case studies, of the intercultural competence of community development practitioners and the need for training;
• The role of higher education- in terms of student preparation/ engagement/ collaboration- in community development practice and/or theory;
• Pedagogical tools and examples that can be used in the classroom to foster cultural competency; and
• Theoretical discussions on the merits and challenges of community-based research versus traditional research in terms of community development and student learning.
Papers can either focus exclusively on race, class, or gender or on the intersections of race, class and gender in the context of education and training for community development practitioners and/or researchers.
Guest editors for this symposium are Ashley E. Nickels, Rutgers University-Camden, and Jason D. Rivera, Rutgers University-Camden.
The deadline for manuscripts is March 31, 2014. Contributing authors will receive notification of tentative acceptance to the symposium from the editors by April 15, 2014, at which time tentatively accepted manuscripts will be sent out for peer review. The symposium is scheduled for publication in May 2015. All submissions should be emailed to the guest editors, Ashley Nickels (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Jason Rivera (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) as a Word or PDF attachment. Please include “JPAE submission” in the Subject line.
Manuscripts should not exceed 30 double spaced pages including references. For information about the Journal of Public Affairs Education, in addition to style and format guidelines please refer to
If selected, papers must be submitted to JPAE by May 31, 2014. Inquiries about the review process or about a particular manuscript should be directed to a guest editor, Ashley Nickels or Jason Rivera.

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Aug 14

9th Annual Community Capitals Institute

Brookings South Dakota

November 11-12, 2013

Institute topics include:

*        Ripple mapping to understand impact and to plan for change

*        Community adaptation to climate change

*        Native community economic development

*        Other

As in the past, the final agenda will be built around participants' contributions to using the CCF to generate new knowledge and to increase our understanding of change processes. We welcome a wide variety of participation options including: reports on existing projects, posters new ideas or approaches in the field, research designs, case studies, and research findings.  Please send a 250-300 word abstract describing your proposed contribution to the Institute to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> before September 15, 2013.

Information on venue and registration costs will be available soon.

Mary Emery, Department Head Sociology and Rural Studies

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