Urban Extension: A Professional Development Offering

Urban Communities Reimagined - A Kettering Foundation Project

The "Urban Communities Reimagined" project report is a culmination of 18 months of working across North Central and Western regions of the United States in a spirit of diverse collaboration representing seven large urban cities. Funding support from the Kettering Foundation created space for seven Land Grant University state teams to participate in a researc h exchange to learn more about what people in urban communities’ view as top priorities. Using tenants of the "Ecology of Democracy" state teams tested what happens in a community's political life when citizen-centered democratic practices are used to carry out routine Cooperative Extension community development work. Institution: Kettering Foundation URL: https://8907224.fs1.hubspotusercontent- na1.net/hubfs/8907224/Urban%20Extension/Urban_Communities_Reimagined_KF_Report_Final_7_31_18.p df

Cooperative Extension: Experiments in Community

In early 2014, a number of Extension professionals joined in a study of ways they might work to spark more widespread collaboration on issues of shared, local concern. The ongoing effort has generated a number of insights into the ways professionals can work in complementary ways with other people in communities, as well as ways professionals act within their own institutions. Institution: Kettering Foundation URL: https://8907224.fs1.hubspotusercontent- na1.net/hubfs/8907224/Urban%20Extension/connections_18_rourke-diebel.pdf

Jumping into Civic Life: Stories of Public Work from Extension Professionals

When it comes to the task of making democracy work as it should in everyday ways and places, professionals who are employed by institutions of many kinds can be a problem. All too often, they use their technical knowledge and expertise in ways that dominate, disable, and sideline neighborhood and community members who aren’t employed as credentialed experts . Or they stay out of public work in the messy, contentious realm of civic life altogether because they see it as an inappropriate activity for professionals to engage in, they don’t know what to do, they aren’t welcome, or they are afraid of losing their jobs. Through eight richly detailed oral histories, this book helps to open our imagination to the possibilities for professionals to make constructive contributions to the task of making democracy work as it should. The firsthand stories of public work in these oral histories are told by professionals from six different states who either chose or were invited to jump into civic life as active participants. They help us see what it means and takes to be a “citizen professional” who respects and supports the capacities, intelligence, expertise, and agency of others.


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