Our work at KCRW has helped set higher standards for civic engagement and public participation in the cities where we have worked in recent years such a Knoxville, Nashville and Kingsport, Tennessee. We take a principles based approach and craft the public process to fit the project and its place, and shift as necessary to accommodate new ways people want to be involved in making community decisions. Individually, I am increasingly involved in social change/ justice projects through my volunteer work with the Women’s Fund of Chattanooga. Along with several others I helped create the fund in 2006. I became its first chairperson, helped it create statewide and regional coalitions for effective policy advocacy and led the primary fundraising campaign. Working for the Benwood Foundation of Chattanooga, our company led an 18 month research and strategic planning process to create Gaining Ground, a regional food system reform initiative launched in 2010 and capitalized initially at $1.65 million.
It is hard to overstate how important the Loeb Fellowship has been to not only my career but all aspects of my life. It gave me a network of fantastically talented and passionate colleagues doing important work around the world who are always eager to connect with and help another Loeb Fellow. It made it possible to take on things I might not otherwise have had the confidence to do. And it gave me an important sense of the overall context of urban change in its many forms. It has helped open doors for me and given me a chance to be heard in ways that probably would not have happened without it.