Community Voices speaker, Ethan Kent, was interviewed by members of the CV team Heather Lyne, Vaness Guerra, and Vera Smirnov for the IPG podcast, Trustees Without Borders.


The Community Change Collaborative (CCC) is an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty hosted by the Institute for Policy and Governance (IPG) on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg.  We are interested in the methods, frameworks, and forces shaping community development, approaches to community engagement, and how to build sustainable, cross-sectoral partnerships.  Our research interests range from local to international case studies, applying a variety of qualitative and mixed methods approaches to connect theory and praxis for the benefit of our community partners, practitioners, and researchers interested in community change.

A key component of our collaboration is to engage the public through a lecture series and facilitated discussions with academics and practitioners who have expertise in community development.  We also spend time as a group examining theories and methods critically, which often leads to lively, educational discourse that informs our professional and personal development.

Program Goals:

Speaker Series

Continuing the tradition of Community Voices, the CCC will host speakers for the campus and community to learn from leading thinkers, practitioners, journalists, authors, and change-makers in community development and allied fields.  Speaker events are often professionally recorded and available to the public in the Trustees Without Borders archive.

Film Series

The CCC hosts small group film showings for members and friends focused on case studies and stories portrayed through film about community engagement, capacity building, and how communities respond to change.

Community Change Journal

CCC Forum

The CCC will facilitate conversation with visiting practitioners and faculty who conduct research or projects focused on some aspect of community development.  Visitors’ research and project areas could range from improving access to health care and fresh foods in rural regions, investigating opportunities for sustainable tourism, or monitoring water quality for outdoor recreation and economic development.

The Forum sessions will enhance understanding of how research and projects in community development are structured, the role of the researcher and practitioner, what challenges arise, and what outcomes occur.

Community-Based Projects

The CCC strives to partner with government, educational institutions, civic groups, non-profits, and local community stakeholders interested in collaborating on projects that enhance community vision, build capacity, and engage a more representative sample of the population.  Our approach includes:

  • Tailoring research, facilitation, and workshops for community development efforts in partnering towns;
  • Conducting field tours exploring ways of knowing places within Virginia and neighboring states;
  • Sharing and reflecting on those experiences to inform future research, community projects, and the development of relevant interdisciplinary curricula.

The CCC meets weekly during the academic year.  For more information, please contact Heather Parrish, IPG Executive Assistant and Media Support (