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2014 Shift Innovation Community Development Conference

What ignites the innovative spark that leads to a promising community development practice? SHIFT INNOVATION, a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on Sept. 22-23, 2014, provides an opportunity to interactively share and explore how thinking creatively about community development can unlock new and innovative solutions that can be implemented immediately.

Access: A Community Development Podcast from the Federal Reserve

This podcast asks community members and organizations across the U.S. about the challenges they are facing and solutions they’ve found for significant social issues like economic mobility, affordable housing, small business development and community reinvestment. Each episode showcases programs that help provide access to opportunity for low- and moderate-income individuals and families. The latest episode, "Access to Local Food Systems as a Rural Economic Driver," features an organization that bolsters regional agricultural enterprises to create jobs in rural areas. All episodes are available at or on iTunes, Stitcher and TuneIn.

Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities

This new publication focuses on regional food systems as a means for enhancing economic opportunity. It explores new insights into the potential for regional food systems to promote economic growth for both rural and urban communities through the creation of new or the enhancement of existing jobs and businesses. It also highlights how appropriately targeted policies and support can harness regional food system investments to advance the economic and financial security of LMI households and communities.

Connecting our Communities: Innovation at Work

The Richmond Fed's Community Development office presented a five-person panel breakout session at the 30th Annual Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh, North Carolina. Panelists explored innovations for Community Development Corporations, rural communities and funding initiatives.

Six Myths About the Future of Small Towns

Milan Wall, co-director of the Heartland Center for Leadership Development in Lincoln, Neb., shares the struggles of many small towns and rural communities in this 8 from the Eighth podcast. Small towns are challenged to find ways to retain jobs, as well as to keep their best and brightest residents from moving away to nearby cities. Although their future may seem bleak, many of these communities have managed to overcome the “six myths about the future of small towns”—a list formulated by the Heartland Center.

Economic Development in Rural Communities

A model for rural community-based philanthropy and community building has emerged from the work of Community Foundation of the Ozarks. The foundation is leveraging resources, providing training to strengthen the nonprofit sector and increasing the capacity of citizens to lead. This Exploring Innovation in Community Development audioconference provided information about mission-related investing (MRI) in a rural environment; rural schools as a linchpin issue in rural economic development; and the empowerment of youth to positively impact their community.

Bridges — Spring 2015

Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Spring 2015 issue include: Community Counts: Activating All Families To Save for Higher Education; Preparing and Promoting Communities through Economic Analysis; Designing Opportunity: Ending Generational Poverty and Re-establishing Economic Stability in Rural America; Building Creative Communities; and more.

Preserving Affordable Rural Rental Housing: New Tools and Promising Practices

This Connecting Communities® webinar focuses on recently released data and tools that can help community organizations and their partners better understand the current landscape of affordable rural rental housing. Presenters include Elizabeth Nash, PolicyMap; Bryan Hooper, USDA Rural Housing Service; and Rick Goodemann, Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership.

Bridges — Spring 2014

Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for CRA officers, academics and government officials that work in the Eighth Federal Reserve District. Feature articles in the Spring 2014 issue include: Local Innovation, National Impact: Engaging Municipal Government in Financial Empowerment; Enrollment, Student Debt and LMI Communities; We’ve Met the Solution, and It Is Us; West Tennessee Day Trippin’: Rural Tourism Campaign Builds Regional Partnerships for Community and Economic Development; From the Ozarks to the Delta: A Historical Perspective of Regional Poverty in Arkansas; and more.

Economic and Small Business Development Webinars

This Kansas City Fed webinar explores how entrepreneurship-based economic development strategies can help build healthy economies and a strong economic future.


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