The Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance launched an experiment in 2011 called the Community Voices initiative. Community Voices was a student-led group devoted to bringing graduate students and faculty from diverse backgrounds into thoughtful dialogue with leaders who have devoted their professional lives to spurring or assisting with community change. This book is the product of those conversations.
Conversations in Community Change features 12 interviews conducted by members of Community Voices, since renamed the Community Change Collaborative (CCC). The interviewees are leaders who have worked in many different contexts across the public, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors to instigate meaningful change (democratic social, political and economic) in their communities. The animating idea behind these interviews is that those in search of peaceful democratic social change, especially amidst ongoing economic and social dislocation, have much to learn from one another within the United States and internationally, and at all levels of governance.
Among the topics and initiatives discussed in the book:
- Efforts to secure civil and human rights for groups that have historically experienced discrimination,
- How food system pioneers are seeking to make alternatives to the present corporate-dominated food production framework real for growers and consumers alike,
- How the arts can open up new public and private spaces to permit reconsideration of otherwise dominant assumptions and thinking,
- The social exigencies created by capitalism’s constant economic dislocation and roiling,
Ultimately, readers will come away from the book with a fuller appreciation for the complexities of democratic change—and the need for modesty, patience, and perseverance among those who would seek to lead or encourage such efforts.Book Details
In January 2019 the Calhoun Center for Higher Education Innovation at Virginia Tech launched a multiyear project designed to explore the connections between adaptation and inclusiveness in learning. Our thesis was that a full-fledged commitment to adaptive learning has the potential to diversify the emerging knowledge economy while also making it more inclusive. Moreover, increased diversification and inclusiveness can enhance socioeconomic sustainability and enable our society to engage all pertinent voices when approaching complex problems.
To test this thesis, we first explored an adaptive and inclusive approach to defining what we mean by learning and knowing. A dynamic definition allowed us to then openly explore adaptation to specific aspects of learning including: i) How is learning realized? ii) When is learning delivered? iii) Who is included in learning?
Our first step was to bring together 60 individuals, each with significant direct experience with adaptive learning. These individuals came from 30 different organizations representing a range of sectors: higher education, K–12 education, industry, and non-profit.Book Details
The design professions—architecture, city planning, landscape architecture, and urban design—share a great deal in terms of intellectual antecedents, professional ideals, and praxis. In particular, they share a commitment to creating better cities—whether at the scale of buildings, neighborhoods, or city-regions. But who decides what constitutes a “good” city, and how should such an ideal be implemented?
In Better by Design? Paul Knox explores the intellectual roots of the design professions, showing how architects, planners, and other designers have traditionally interpreted their roles and implemented their ideas in cities across North America and the UK. Drawing on his long record of research and award-winning publications on the social production of the built environment, Knox offers a critical appraisal of their ultimate effectiveness in achieving the goal of creating and sustaining good cities.Book Details
Driving is risky business. Only cancer, heart attacks, and strokes cause more unintentional deaths among the general population. In this book, Tom Dingus, one of the foremost authorities on driving safety, tells you how to reduce your risk of accident while on the road. Dingus directs the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), which is home to the largest group of driving safety researchers in the world. In Survive the Drive he brings together decades of transportation safety research with personal anecdotes from his own time behind the wheel to create an entertaining guide that gives you all of the information you need to keep yourself and those around you safe on the road.Book Details
The US blueprint for operations in Syria included a “by, with, and through” approach to working with local proxies to fight ISIS insurgents. The approach also formed the framework for the United States–Syrian Democratic Forces partnership. However, the US–SDF relationship was never stable and ultimately broke down. In this paper Dylan Maguire examines the inherent challenges in the US–SDF relationship, as well as potential improvements that could be made to the US proxy selection framework to ensure more effective and sustainable proxy relationships in the future.
"A Perfect Proxy?" is the latest contribution to the Proxy War Project, which aims to develop new insights for resolving the wars that best the Arab world. PWP is jointly directed by Ariel Ahram (Virginia Tech) and Ranj Alaaldin (Brookings Doha Center) and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.Book Details
Exploring the Architecture of Place in America's Farmers Markets draws attention to the simple but elusive architectural space of public and farmers markets. It discusses three seminal types of markets—heritage building, open-air pavilion, and pop-up canopy—demonstrating the characteristics of each type using a mixture of narrative and illustration. The narrative combines historically informed architectural observation with interview material drawn from conversations the author has had over the years with market managers, vendors, and shoppers. The illustrations include an appealing variety of photos, diagrams, and drawings that enabled the author to view each market through an architectural lens based on eight scales of measure—the hand, the container, the person, the stall, a grouping of stalls, the street, the block, and the market's situation within the neighborhood. Some of the architectural elements discussed include walls that layer, openings that frame, roofs that encompass, and niches that embrace. While each of the case studies illustrates shared characteristics of one of the architectural typologies, each farmers market is distinct in the specific ways it reflects the local culture and environment. Ultimately, in viewing markets through these three types and eight scales of measure we are able to better appreciate how farmers markets foster social interaction and community engagement.
The book concludes with a broad look at the way of life and living that public and farmers markets have spawned, while looking ahead to what the author sees as an emerging new typology – the mobile market – which takes the bounty of local farmers to neighborhoods underserved with fresh healthy food, and otherwise known as food deserts. Market vendors speak enthusiastically about the qualitative benefits that farming life allows, and the greater good their individual choice provides for the general public and region. Likewise, a spectrum of governmental, commerce and community leaders champion the economic development farmers markets catalyze through allied business development and civic commitment.Book Details
Deejaying, emceeing, graffiti writing, and breakdancing. Together, these artistic expressions combined to form the foundation of one of the most significant cultural phenomena of the late 20th century — Hip-Hop. Rooted in African American culture and experience, the music, fashion, art, and attitude that is Hip-Hop crossed both racial boundaries and international borders.
The Foundations of Hip-Hop Encyclopedia is a general reference work for students, scholars, and virtually anyone interested in Hip-Hop’s formative years. In thirty-six entries, it covers the key developments, practices, personalities, and products that mark the history of Hip-Hop from the 1970s through the early ‘90s. All entries are written by students at Virginia Tech who enthusiastically enrolled in a course on Hip-Hop taught by Dr. Anthony Kwame Harrison, author of Hip Hop Underground, and co-taught by Craig E. Arthur. Because they are students writing about issues and events that took place well before most of them were born, their entries capture the distinct character of young people reflecting back on how a music and culture that has profoundly shaped their lives came to be. Future editions are planned as more students take the class, making this a living, evolving work.Book Details
Standpoints: Black Feminist Knowledges contains essays that explore Black feminist thought through a diverse set of lenses. The essays are divided among sections on localized framing and stereotypes, global perspectives, and the future. The first section of the book analyzes the representations of Black women and the stereotypes that still confine African American women generations after enslavement. Then, the global oppression of Black women is discussed, along with its resistance. Lastly, the book encourages the reader to imagine a new future and engage with activist culture that rejects sexism and racism. This volume is edited by Dr. Andrea Baldwin, Dr. Ashley V. Reichelmann, and Dr. Anthony Kwame Harrison and authored by the students from Baldwin’s inaugural Black Feminisms graduate course in the Virginia Tech Department of Sociology.Book Details
The 1960s was a time of reform and revolution in America, brought on by individuals willing to challenge political, social, and cultural norms. Politics, Power, & Playboy explores the American mindset during this turbulent and transformative time in American history. Each chapter examines instances of Americans confronting power, whether it be public support for President John F. Kennedy, antiwar protests at Virginia universities, the sexual revolution, or the Black Power and Black is Beautiful movements. Altogether, these chapters will help readers appreciate the crucial events and movements of a decade that would deeply shape the course of American history.
This is a volume in the Virginia Tech Student Publications series. Books in this series are authored and edited by Virginia Tech undergraduate or graduate students and published in collaboration with Virginia Tech Publishing. Politics, Power, & Playboy grew out of the Spring 2019 undergraduate capstone history research seminar, “America in the 1960s,” at Virginia Tech.Book Details
The civil war in Yemen is less a single war than a mosaic of interlinked conflicts. Although the conflict is often framed as a proxy war between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, Yemeni actors tend to follow their own internal logic. This paper examines how international agendas intersect with Yemeni agendas and the impact this has on war and peace. It focuses on both Iranian-aligned groups, such as the Houthis, and the various groups that have entered into alliance with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, such as the Hadi government, various Salafi-inspired groups, and southern separatists.Book Details