Amy Goldstein- February 19

Washington DCAward-winning Washington Post reporter Amy Goldstein spent years getting to know Janesville, Wisconsin, where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in 2008, in the midst of the Great Recession. She wove the stories of the small city and its people together in Janesville: An American Story.
Goldstein will discuss her book and the lessons it offers about economic pain and community resilience at three Community Voices events on Monday, February 19.

Janesville: An American Story

Monday, February 19

Janesville Book Cover

  1. Lunch-time interactive roundtable discussion at 12 p.m, Room F of the Graduate Life Center (GLC). Snacks will be provided.
  2. Public interview session at 2 p.m, Room F of the GLC.
  3. Reflections on Janesville: An American Story, in Colonial Hall in Squires Student Center at 7 p.m.

Goldstein will be available to sign books after the event. All events are free and open to university students, faculty, staff and administrators, and to the general public.




Keryl McCord- February 15

Keryl McCord is President and CEO of Equity Quotient (EQ), a national consulting firm dedicated to transforming the arts through the lens of erasing racism to achieve cultural equity.  Ms. McCord founded EQ after more than thirty years in the arts with organizations such as Alternate ROOTS, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the African Grove Institute for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Ms. McCord recently retired as Director of Operations from Alternate ROOTS.

With Baldwin at my Back: Artists and Grassroots Communities

Thursday, February 15, 2018



12:00-1:00 PM Roundtable Discussion

Graduate Life Center, Room B (Lunch Available at 11:45 for $5 at the door)

4:00-5:30 PM Presentation

Theatre 101, College Ave.

In Collaboration with:

The Art and Community Series

School of Performing Arts



CAROLYN ZELIKOW-  Associate Director of National Programs, The Aspen Institute; Founder of the Hometown Summit, TomTom Founders Festival.

BRAD STEPHENS- Director of the CoLab; Lead Planner of CityWorks (X)po in Roanoke, VA.

Carolyn and Brad will be exploring the dynamics of civic and business entrepreneurship and community change processes. For accessing the recordings of this event please click here.


Amy Brooks- October 30th

BrooksHeadshotLgAmy Brooks is the Program Director and Dramaturg for Roadside Theater, the theater wing of Appalachian grassroots arts and media center Appalshop.  A 5th-generation West Virginian who returned to Appalachia just before the 2016 election cycle, Amy investigates the confluence of dramatic narrative (“What is the story we choose to tell onstage?”) and public narrative (“What is the story we are called upon to tell about ourselves, our community, and our future?”) in intercultural rural-urban performance.

For the recordings of this event please click here.

Mahir Zeynalov – March 23rd

On Thursday, March 23, 2017 – Community Voices welcomes Mahir Zeynalov, Turkish journalist and analyst based in Washington, D.C. Zeynalov first started his professional career with the Los Angeles Times. He later joined Today’s Zaman and worked there until the Turkish government shut down the newspaper in 2016. He is writing columns for Al Arabiya since 2013 and regularly contributing to the Huffington Post. He is the first journalist in Turkey asked by Erdogan to be imprisoned. He is also the first journalist to be deported from Turkey. He is a frequent commentator on developments related to Turkey in world’s major TV channels, including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and NBC. He rose to international prominence for documenting the massive crackdown on Turkish journalists and he is best known for reporting on post-coup purge in Turkey.

Democratic Deconsolidation in Turkey: Challenges and Prospects  

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Noon: Roundtable Luncheon
in Room C of the Graduate Life Center at Virginia Tech.  “The role of deteriorating media freedoms in Turkey’s drift from its democratic principles.”
7:00 p.m.  Evening Talk and Conversation in Room G of the Graduate Life Center at Virginia Tech. “Monumental shift  of Turkey from a flawed democracy to a full-fledged autocracy in a few years.”

Jeanette Abi-Nader & Kim Niewolny – February 22nd

Community Voices welcomes its next speakers, Jeanette Abi-Nader (Founding Member, Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative; Executive Director, City Schoolyard Garden) and Kim Niewolny (Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Leadership and Community Education, Virginia Tech).

Event Details —

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Roundtable Luncheon
GLC, Room B ($5 lunch or BYO; RSVP to Regina for lunch)

Evening Event – “Exploring Whole Measures in Community Food Systems
GLC, Room F

Both events aim to inspire a rich dialogue on community viability and resilience, food systems sovereignty, participatory governance, and organizing skills for positive social change. Please join us!

Speaker Bios —

jeanette-abi-naderJeanette Abi-Nader (Executive Director, City Schoolyard Garden)

Jeanette Abi-Nader worked for a dozen years with the national food justice non-profit, the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC). CFSC co-founded the National Farm to School Network and was instrumental in the passing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. As CFSC’s Evaluation and Training and Capacity Building Director, Jeanette utilized multiple learning strategies to support the work of hundreds of organizations and funders. She authored publications on strategic evaluation design including Whole Measures for Community Food Systems, Community Food Project Indicators of Success, and Growing Communities Curriculum.  Jeanette is the former Board Treasurer for the American Community Gardening Association, Vice President of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Board of Directors, and a founding member of the Growing Food and Justice for All initiative (GFJI). GFJI is a national network focused on dismantling racism in the food system. Jeanette is an experienced farmer, having launched the first community supported agriculture project in the state of Louisiana and as Director of Farms for Frontier Natural Products Co-op. She has a Masters of Science in Sustainable Systems/Agroecology and is a certified permaculture designer and instructor.

kim-niewolnyKim Niewolny (Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education, Virginia Tech)

Kim Niewolny is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. Her scholarship centers on the role of power and equity in community education and development praxis with a specific focus on social justice and food systems. Her work is grounded in asset-based community development, critical pedagogy, action research, and narrative inquiry. Current funded initiatives emphasize the political praxis of community food work, Appalachian community food security, new farmer sustainability, and farmworker care/dignity. Most recently, Kim launched the “Stories of Community Food Work in Appalachia” project to create and share stories that illustrate the lived experiences of activists, educators, farmers, and practitioners who are connected to the broader issues of food system change in the Appalachian region. Kim teaches several graduate courses, including Community-based Participatory Research, Community Education and Development, and Food Security and Resilient Communities. With a focus on service-learning, she also provides teaching leadership in Virginia Tech’s undergraduate minor in Civic Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS).