Category Archives: Elected or Appointed Leaders

Community Toolbox

Contact:  Work Group for Community Health and Development,

Description:  Millions of people use the Community Tool Box each year to get help taking action, teaching, and training others in organizing for community development. Dive in to find help assessing community needs and resources, addressing social determinants of health, engaging stakeholders, action planning, building leadership, improving cultural competency, planning an evaluation, and sustaining your efforts over time.


Keywords:  community organizing, facilitating, needs assessment, diversity

Target Audiences:  Individuals, Community, Elected/appointed leaders, Extension professionals

Community Engagement Toolbox

Contact:  Walt Whitmer,

Description:  Effective community engagement seeks to better engage the community to achieve long-term and sustainable outcomes, processes, relationships, discourse, and decision-making in a community-context sensitive environment.  Engagement is not generally driven by a model so much as by a framework of guiding principles, strategies, and approaches. This framework is based on principles that respect the right of all community members to be informed, consulted, involved and empowered and employs and range of tools and strategies to ensure success.  It also places a premium on fostering and enhancing trust as a critical element in long-term, sustainable engagement and effective governance.

The tools and resources provided here are intended to help you assess your engagement needs, plan for effective strategies and processes, as well as implement and monitor your engagement efforts.


Keywords:  community engagement

Target Audiences:  Individuals, Community, Elected/appointed leaders, Extension professionals

Best Practices for Outreach and Engagement to Latino Audiences using Community-Based Programs

Contact:  Liliana Vega,

Description:  The Latino community continues to grow at an increasing rate.  Latinos have become the “majority-minority,” and by 2043, minorities will be the majority in the U.S. with Latinos as the largest ethnic minority group.  The lack of targeted programming to ethnically diverse audiences is a growing concern for many organizations.  This article describes research-based strategies and best practices for providing culturally appropriate Extension programs to the Latino community.


Keywords:  Latino, Hispanic, Latino outreach, Latino programs, minority outreach, outreach & engagement, Latino youth development

Target Audiences:  Individuals,Community,Elected/appointed leaders, Extension professionals

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade: Public Conflict Resolution

Contact:  Ron Hustedde,

Description:  This manual, developed at the University of Kentucky, is a train-the-trainers tool that can be used to help Extension educators, community officials, and citizen leaders identify, understand, manage, and when possible and desirable, resolve conflicts within their own communities. The materials and training sessions are resources and guides, and are not intended to be taken as a map on how to educate people to deal with conflict. The manual and training includes 15 units and covers concepts and skills that participants can adapt to meet the needs of their constituency.  After completion, participants should understand difference sources and forms of conflict and concrete skills for addressing conflict.


Keywords:  public conflict, deliberation, sources of conflict, interest-based problem-solving;

Target Audiences:  citizens, community officials, Extension professionals

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills


Martha Walker,

Crystal Tyler Mackey,

Description:  Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills is a facilitation training developed by Extension specialists with Virginia Cooperative Extension to help participants learn how to facilitate discussions that result in planning and clear direction. Specifically the 2- or 3-day training helps develop skills in dealing with challenges common to groups, and techniques to help lead a group discussion on problem solving when dealing with sensitive issues or conflict. Training participants have the opportunity to:

  • Learn core facilitation competencies,
  • Observe facilitation challenges such as constant change, competing priorities, changing team members, limited time and carefully guarded resources,
  • Practice skills in an experimental setting and receive feedback in a safe environment, and
  • Commit to build community capacity by volunteering facilitation skills to a community group or organization.


Keywords:  facilitation, community

Target Audiences:  citizens, elected/appointed leaders, Extension professionals

Engagement Toolbox

Contact:  Bill Shuffstall,

Description:  The Community Engagement Tool, developed and supported by the Center for Economic and Community Development at Penn State University, provides a brief and practical guide to the major concepts, considerations, tools, and strategies to develop an effective engagement effort. The tools and resources are intended to help users assess engagement needs, plan for effective strategies and processes, as well as implement and monitor engagement efforts.  Topics addressed by the toolbox include key actions such as Establishing Your Engagement Goals, The Role and Importance of Building Trust, Facilitating Community Engagement, and Evaluating Engagement Efforts. The main idea of each topic is provided, as well as resources, and worksheets.


Keywords:  Community engagement, trust, managing conflict

Target Audiences:  community members, Elected/appointed leaders, Extension professionals