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 this volume of timely essays, Max O. Stephenson Jr. offers unique insight into the state of politics and policymaking in the United States. Covering the period 2010-2018, his essays chronicle a growing crisis in American governance with many of the nation’s professed values and principles increasingly under attack—including the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the ability of a share of its citizens otherwise eligible to vote to exercise their right to do so. But Stephenson does more than sound a warning cry. He urges all Americans to reclaim self-governance and democracy by embracing the central values and core purposes underpinning the United States. Max O. Stephenson Jr. is Professor of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech where he also directs the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (VTIPG).Book Details