As the Community Development Society expands its vibrancy and impact, our sister societies are reaching out to us. This past week, the president of the International Association for Community Development (IACD) from Northern Ireland and an IACD board member from Australia contacted me to explore a deeper connection between our organizations. In addition, the National Association for Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) has invited us to their June 5-8 conference in Indianapolis. They are providing complimentary space for a CDS booth and for four of our members to speak at regional sessions about the benefits of belonging to both organizations. CDS has a strong research and practitioner-oriented publications that adds significant value to our field. One of my students has gathered extensive information about 11 other sister community development professional societies. I would like to find a way to build relationships with them. For example, the Christian Community Development Association has significant representation from inner city and African American churches. They seem to share the CDS values of democratic participation, self-determination, and self-help. We should be engaged in dialogue with these and other CD professional groups that share our values. I plan to pursue webinars or other venues to explore our views and how we might cooperate to advance our field. Please let me know if you want to be engaged in such efforts.
As I reflect over the past few months, I am amazed at the vision and tenacity of our elected and appointed CDS leaders and members. We are finding ways to build communication among the many university and college-based groups that have CD degree and certificate programs. The CDS February, March and April webinars have been captivating and received high marks from participants. Those working on the July 17-20 virtual CDS conference have extended the deadline for abstract submissions to May 31 and registration should be opening soon. As the CDS website is updated, we are poised to recruit new members and reestablish bonds with past members. If you would like to be part of an assertive membership recruitment and retention effort, I hope you will contact Margaret Stout at Operations@CDSociety.org We need a diverse and strong membership base. Our finance and stewardship committee members are pursuing plans for our stability and growth. I look forward to voting in the 2022 election and ushering in new leadership. Overall, we’re building a Community Development Society that is caring, energizing and creative.
Chair, CDS Board of Directors
Professor, University of Kentucky Community & Leadership Development Dept.