Community Development Institute to Train Community Leaders

Community leaders from across Arkansas and surrounding states will gather at the University of Central Arkansas from July 29 – August 2 for the annual Community Development Institute. This year’s theme is Sustain, Transform, and Empower Your Community.

Established in 1987, the Community Development Institute-Central (CDI) trains community and economic development professionals through a combination of lectures, small group discussions, simulations and individual projects, each focused on best practices and current trends in the industry.

The most notable additions to this year’s CDI are two new simulations, the Futures Game Simulation and Miller County Simulation, each designed as eye-opening experiences through unique hands-on learning activities.

Participants leave the institute with an enhanced ability to assess their community, build the capacity of community leaders to collaborate on development efforts, and set goals to improve their community’s quality of life and place.

Mayor Gary Baxtor, CDI Class of 2013 believes his experiences at CDI have provided him with the tools to bring economic development and community development together. “After attending CDI Central for two years, I have taken back to my community valuable ideas and techniques that I have put into action, some almost immediately,” said Mayor Baxtor.

The complete CDI experience is a three-year training program, with one week of training per year. Participants progress through the program curriculum in cohorts and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community and economic development.

For more information, visit uca.edu/cdi.

26th Annual Community Development Institute Concludes with Awards Ceremony

Over 100 community leaders from Arkansas and surrounding states participated in the 26th annual Community Development Institute (CDI) at the University of Central Arkansas. The event, held August 6-10, concluded with a special graduation and awards ceremony.

AT&T Arkansas was honored with the Friend of Community Development Award, offered each year to an individual or organization that demonstrates strong support for community development and CDI. Additionally, CDI Advisory Board Member Dr. Mark Peterson received the esteemed Bill Miller Award as recognition for his decades of conducting scholarly research and working with communities to help them realize transformative change.

Kelly Lyon, CDI Director, said, “In addition to the training provided at the institute, we celebrate individual leaders from each class. CDI is about learning and networking, but it’s also about our network supporting the participants’ and graduates’ efforts to apply that training in their own communities. Those who receive awards have demonstrated exemplary leadership here and are well positioned to be leaders in their organizations and home towns. ”

Craig Lindholm, Executive Director for Community Redevelopment and Grants for the City of Texarkana, Texas, and a student in the Ph.D. in Leadership program at UCA was awarded the Ernest Whitelaw Award. The Whitelaw Award recipient is chosen by his peers for dedication to the practice of community development, involvement in the CDI experience, and personal leadership and integrity. After the awards ceremony, 25 community and economic professionals graduated from CDI 2012.

The Community Development Institute Central, established in 1987 at the University of Central Arkansas, in Conway, Arkansas, trains community and economic development professionals in Arkansas and surrounding states. For more information about CDI, visit www.uca.edu/cdi.