Studio Associate

This is a tremendous opportunity for individuals who are seeking an intense, purpose-driven experience, who want to be part of a larger effort to advance new ideas for communities and society, particularly at a time of growing division and inwardness throughout the U.S. and elsewhere. Studio associates will work directly with Rich, a national leader whose practice, methods, ideas and approaches have helped shape the field of civic and community change for nearly 30 years.

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Expanded partnership with Tallahatchie River Foundation

The Harwood Institute will be working with the Tallahatchie River Foundation in a statewide effort to advance the conversation around early childhood development issues in Mississippi, and build capacity for action and leadership. This effort builds on a current initiative with the Foundation to train and coach leaders in the Mississippi Delta Region.

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Rich Harwood to speak at United Way events this spring

Rich Harwood is the headline speaker for two United Way-sponsored events coming up in Lafayette, LA, and Lebanon, PA. The Institute has been a long-time partner with United Way Worldwide in supporting local United Ways in transforming their work in communities to mobilize collective action in the areas of education, income, and health.

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South Eastern Sydney Local Health District launches expanded partnership

The Harwood Institute recently completed a Public Innovators Lab training for 40 staff and partners of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD). Over 18 months, Certified Harwood Coaches—including two Australian coaches— will be supporting participants in generating strategies and actions that make SESLHD and its health resources more relevant, significant and impactful in the life of the community, particularly in its emerging place-based work.

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Newspaper wins award for coverage of local Harwood initiative

Congrats to former Winchester Sun reporter Seth Littrell, whose coverage of The Harwood Institute’s initiative with the Greater Clark Foundation in Clark County, KY, garnered 1 of 21 Kentucky Press Association Awards earned by the Sun this year. Publisher Mike Caldwell is one of dozens of community leaders adopting our ideas and practices to strengthen the community.

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Our Path to Engagement, Learning, and Stewardship

How do we engage with our community in a more meaningful way? How do we make the user experience the center of all we do? What impact are we having and how do we measure it? In an effort to better answer those questions and make a tighter connection between library objectives and the broader needs of the community, the Oak Park Public Library embarked on a journey to “turn outward.” Following the Harwood model for community engagement, Oak Park has made strides in unifying its internal operations and strengthening strategic partnerships. Its intention is wider and deeper community impact.

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Finding Meaningful Audience Connections

Connecting with the Harwood Institute was a turning point for the Sciencenter, a community-based science museum in Ithaca, New York.  We were able to chart a new course that empowers literally all young people in our community to reach toward their potential, while at the same time gaining support that had the effect of securing the Sciencenter financially for years to come.  (Read More)

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About my Harwood Experience: From Sit-Ins to Conversations

I didn’t expect to cry when I stood up in front of 125 people in Atlanta, Georgia last week. It wasn’t until I was handed the microphone and opened my mouth to speak that I realized that tears were trying to spring forth. I had to pause to stop the croak of sobbing which tried to come from my throat. I had to pause several times. I want to cry now as I am writing this to you—to you, my community. 

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One Small Win Creates Huge Ripples of Change

The Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) team from Red Hook Public Library used their training to engage residents in their small town. They learned people were frustrated that problems in their community—even obvious ones—often went unaddressed. The only stoplight in town, which didn’t work properly, was emblematic of their concerns and came up in many discussions with residents. The LTC team took action and brought officials together to figure out how to x the problem. This seemingly small act sent a signal to the community that it was possible to make things happen, which has led to people stepping forward to work together on other issues that are keeping Red Hook from being more livable and connected. The library is playing a central role in convening these groups and has become a model for how other organizations want to work in the community.

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Building an Organizational Culture that Puts Community First

Spokane County Library District joined the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) initiative in part to deepen the transformative work they had begun with a strategic planning process. Staff at the library used their training through LTC to focus not only on how they could build stronger relationships with the community and add more value as a library, but also how they could embed in the library a culture that put the community at the center of decision-making. During the two years of LTC, library staff members have become involved in a variety of initiatives to improve the community based on what they have learned from engaging residents. Additionally, library leaders have taken important steps to embed this new way of working into their talent management efforts.

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Two Paths, One Destination: Culture Change in a Major Library System

The Los Angeles Public Library, a massive library system with a service area of 3.9 million people, joined Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) to generate new ways to deepen their connection to community and help people in communities address issues that mattered to them. The local LTC team started by focusing their work at the Van Nuys Branch, the idea being that if they could demonstrate the power and effectiveness of implementing their training through LTC, it would create a model that could be replicated in other areas of the system. The team saw initial success, but staff changes required them to reevaluate their plans. The team has been working on an alternative strategy that is built on training personnel at all levels across the system to plant the seeds of change and shift the institutional culture.

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Innovative Solutions to Bridging Community Divisions

For much of its history, Columbus was a rural community, but today it is quickly becoming a commuter town. Feeling the effects of this rapid change, the Columbus Public Library joined the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) initiative to learn how to add more value in the community beyond being a lender of books. Not only has Columbus Public Library built a stronger reputation as an institution that can help solve community challenges, but its director—a newcomer to the community—has become a stronger, more credible community leader in the process.

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