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Building Sustainable Communities: Global Forces, Local Focus

September 28 & 29 - Cornell University

How do global trends in immigration, climate change, fiscal stress, food systems, and inequality impact local communities?

How are communities in New York State responding?

What new research, policies & practices enhance community sustainability?

Read Cornell Chronicle article


(with links to available slide presentations and videos) 

Day 1 – Thursday, September 28, 2017

8:00 – 8:45      Registration, Continental Breakfast Available

9:00-10:00      Setting the Context – Global Trends, Local Impacts                                                                                                

VIDEO LINKS (our video uploads were limited to 17 minutes each):




Welcome & Introductions  (No slide presentation), Robin Blakely-Armitage,   Senior Extension Associate & Program Manager, CaRDI, Development Sociology, Cornell University

Global Forces: The United Nations PerspectiveParfait Eloundou-Enyegue,  Professor & Chair, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University

Global Trends, Local Impacts:  The Role of the University, Max Pfeffer,  Executive Dean, CALS, and Professor, Development Sociology, Cornell University

University-Community Collaborations for Local ImpactJohn Sipple, Faculty Director, CaRDI & Associate Professor, Development Sociology, Cornell University

10:00-11:45         Growing Inequality in New York State:  Income & Education          







Moderator:  (No slide presentation), Gretchen Rymarchyk, Deputy Director, Rural Schools Association & Extension Associate, CaRDI, Cornell University

Poverty and the American Dream:  Trends in New York StateTom Hirschl, Co-author “Chasing the American Dream” & Professor, Development Sociology, Cornell University

Community-based Poverty Reduction Efforts:  the Stoplight ProgramAndy Fagan, Executive Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tioga and Chemung Counties, and co-Chair of the Poverty Program Work Team and Carol Houssock, Senior Administrator, Chemung County Cooperative Extension & Poverty Reduction Coalition

The Growing Divide in Educational Access & OutcomesJohn Sipple, Associate Professor, Department of Development Sociology & Director, NYS Center for Rural Schools        

Race, Economics and Achievement: Perspectives from SchenectadyLarry Spring, Superintendent of Schools, Schenectady City School District

11:45-12:45         Lunch

12:45 – 2:45        Climate Change:  Impacts on New York State Communities


Moderator:     (No slide presentation)                                                                                                                                        

David L. Kay, Senior Extension Associate, CaRDI, Development Sociology, Cornell University

Climate Change from the Global to the Local: The Importance of Community Action (Presentation will be posted shortly), Allison Chatrchyan, Director, Cornell Institute on Climate Smart Solutions, Sr. Research Associate, Development Sociology, & Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, & Organizer of Cornell’s COP 21 & COP22 Delegations

The Value of Information:  Tailoring Science for Decision-MakingScott Steinschneider, Assistant Professor, Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University

Tailoring Tools for Climate Adaptation PlanningMary Austerman, Great Lakes Coastal Community Development Specialist, New York Sea Grant Institute, Wayne County Cooperative Extension

Supporting Leadership in Climate Adaptation:  Community Challenges & Successes  Libby Zemaitis, Climate Outreach Specialist, Hudson River Estuary Program, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and Water Resources Institute, Cornell University

2:45-3:00             Break

3:00- 5:00            Impacts of Migration in New York State: Domestic and International        








Moderator:       (No slide presentation), David L. Kay, Senior Extension Associate, CaRDI, Development Sociology, Cornell University

Trends in Immigration to New York StateMatthew Hall, Associate Professor, Policy Analysis & Management & Training Director, Cornell Population Center

Collaborating with Latino Families in Rural CommunitiesMary Jo Dudley, Director, Cornell Farmworker Program, Senior Extension Associate, Community & Regional Development Institute, Cornell University

Opportunities and Challenges for Tompkins County’s Immigrants and Refugees, Sue Chaffee, Director, Immigrant Services Program, Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga

Implications of Age-Specific Migration: A Focus on YouthHeidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, Sr. Extension Associate, Community & Regional Development Institute, Cornell University

6:00-8:00            Reception & Dinner   -   Moakley House, Cornell Golf Course

Day 2 – Friday September 29th, 2017

8:00 -9:00            Continental Breakfast Available

9:00-11:30           Local Fiscal Stress:  What are the causes?  What can be done?


9:00       Introduction  (No slide presentation), Mildred Warner, Professor, City & Regional Planning, Cornell University

9:10       Opening Keynote:    Cities:  The Promise and the Peril (No slide presentation) Stephanie Miner, Mayor, City of Syracuse, New York

9:40        Question & Answer

9:50        Break

10:00      Local Government Reactions to Fiscal Stress - 2017 Survey ResultsMildred Warner, Professor, City & Regional Planning, Cornell University and Austin Aldag, Masters Student, City & Regional Planning, Cornell University

10:20     Panel – Responses to Fiscal Stress                                                                                                     

Districts: A New Way to Finance Services  (No slide presentation), Tim Logue, Director of Engineering, City of Ithaca, New York

Community Benefits Agreements (No slide presentation), Megan Connelly, Director of High Road Policy and Engaged Learning, Buffalo, New York

The Role of Non Profits in Community Sustainability (No slide presentation), Andy Fagan, Executive Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tioga & Chemung Counties  

Responding to Shifts in State and Federal Policy (No slide presentation), Ron Deutsch, Director, Fiscal Policy Institute, Albany, New York

11:00     Discussion

11:20     Stressed OutKenneth McLaurin Jr., Financial Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tompkins County 

11:30-12:15         Lunch

12:15-2:15           Building Sustainable Food Systems in New York State


Moderator:  (No slide presentation), Anu Rangarajan, Director, Cornell Small Farm Program, Cornell University

Why Invest in Food Hubs & Other Agriculture & Food Systems Initiatives? (Slide presentation forthcoming)Cheryl Thayer, Local Food Distribution & Marketing Specialist, Harvest New York, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Impacts of Food Hubs & Other Local Food Efforts:  A Research PerspectiveTodd M. Schmit, Associate Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management, Cornell            

Policies for Supporting Local and Regional Food Systems (No slide presentation), The Honorable Donna A. Lupardo, Assemblywoman, New York State Assembly District 123

2:30-3:30              Acting Together:   Cultivating & Fostering Change through Creative University-Community Partnerships 


Paula Horrigan (Presentation)         Professor Emerita Landscape Architecture, CaRDI, Rust to Green, Cornell University                                                 

Shorna B. Allred (Presentation)       Associate Professor & Associate Director, Human Dimensions Research Unit,  Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University

3:30-3:40             Wrap-up & Adjourn