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Oct. 21 and 22 Events Will Bring Together Community Leaders and U of M Faculty to Improve Communities University News
For release: October 19, 2010

For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

The Strengthening Communities Initiative, part of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Memphis, will host two events Oct. 21 and 22 for persons interested in improving and strengthening their communities or neighborhoods within their communities. 

The first will be a “matchmaking breakfast and interest meeting” to introduce U of M faculty members to representatives of neighborhood organizations to facilitate opportunities for grant applications, service learning and engaged scholarship.  The second will be a daylong program about “design as a community development strategy,” featuring three noted speakers and offering five workshops for participants.

The matchmaking breakfast will be held Oct. 21 in the River Room of the University Center from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Following a continental breakfast, participants will hear a success story from an earlier grant partner, receive information on the grant application process, and be able to do some collaborative networking within various interest categories. Attending the event meets a requirement for grant applicants to the Strengthening Communities Initiative for the 2011 funding cycle. 

The matchmaking breakfast is free, but reservations are requested; they may be made by email to strengthencommunities@memphis.edu

 

Anne Whiston Spirn
Anne Whiston Spirn
“Design as a Community Development Strategy” will be held Oct. 22 in the River Room of the University Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Although the day-long event is now filled almost to capacity, the 10:45 a.m. keynote speech by Anne Whiston Spirn, a professor of landscape architecture and planning at MIT, is open to the public. Spirn is internationally known and well respected for promoting life-sustaining communities, places that help people feel a relationship to their surroundings, natural and man-made.

She has written several books on that and related topics is writing another, Top Down/Bottom Up: Rebuilding the Landscape of Community, to explain how to build safer, healthier, and more equitable and sustainable communities.

Spirn has taught at MIT since 2000; she taught at Harvard from 1979 to 1986; and she has been chairman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.

Speaking at noon that day will be Elson Nash, acting director of Learn and Serve America, the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The afternoon speaker will be Ann Coulter, noted urban planner and community development expert from Chattanooga.

More information about the two programs is available online at www.memphis.edu/scgrants

An online video about the Strengthening Communities initiative is available on the University of Memphis YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCLcclsNvLc&feature=email
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