76 episodes

Trustees Without Borders (TWB) is a podcast series produced by the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (IPG) and the Community Change Collaborative (CCC). TWB features leading practitioners, thinkers, and designers working to reframe and strengthen communities, doing so without borders or limits on their ideas and aspirations, without borders on what they think is possible, without borders concerning with whom they will work and without constraints on their dreams for a more just and inclusive community.

Trustees Without Borders Institute for Policy & Governance

    • Society & Culture

Trustees Without Borders (TWB) is a podcast series produced by the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (IPG) and the Community Change Collaborative (CCC). TWB features leading practitioners, thinkers, and designers working to reframe and strengthen communities, doing so without borders or limits on their ideas and aspirations, without borders on what they think is possible, without borders concerning with whom they will work and without constraints on their dreams for a more just and inclusive community.

    Doug Jackson: Exploring The Importance of Process & Reflection

    Doug Jackson: Exploring The Importance of Process & Reflection

    Podcast Interview with Doug Jackson, Virginia DHCD & City of Roanoke



    On this episode, Doug talks about how he approaches facilitation and how it can play an essential role in building community capacity. He makes it clear that establishing good processes in a community can go a long way to building efficacy and improving outcomes. He goes on to discuss the connection he sees between his work with the arts and process facilitation, highlighting the way these seemingly disparate fields work are closer than we might think.



    Doug is a capacity development specialist with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), where he provides facilitation and strategic support to Virginia communities and their placemaking partners. Additionally, for the past 15 years, he has served in leadership roles with Roanoke, virginia’s Arts Commission and co-chaired that community’s first arts and cultural plan. He currently serves as the City of Roanoke’s arts and culture coordinator, providing staff support and leadership for civic arts initiatives, including the City’s public art program, creative placemaking strategies, and municipal arts funding.



    Interviewers: Brad Stephens, Ph.D. Student in Planning, Governance, & Globablization

    • 45 min
    Mark Valdez: The Role of Civic Imagination and Hope in Social Change (April 18, 2022)

    Mark Valdez: The Role of Civic Imagination and Hope in Social Change (April 18, 2022)

    Podcast Interview with Mark Valdez, Mixed Blood Theater



    As the problems facing our communities grow bigger, our collective imagination for solutions seems to only get smaller. This is where art and creativity come into play. On this episode of Trustees Without Borders, Mark Valdez explores his work sparking civic imagination with the communities in which he works to support people in seeing solutions and success.



    Mark Valdez is a director, writer, and cultural organizer who partners with communities, organizations, civic institutions, and others, using theater and creative tools to address community needs and to lift up community voices and stories. His work has been seen at community venues and professional theaters across California, from a tomato field in Grayson to a de-commissioned Catholic cathedral in downtown LA; from the stages in La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley to the stages of the Ricardo Montalban Theater/CTG in Hollywood. 



    Interviewers: Sarah E. Plummer, a recovering journalist, a proud Appalachian, and a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech researching the way Bread and Puppet Theater mobilizes performing objects within their performance styles and spaces, and C. Meranda Flachs-Surmanek, artist, cultural organizer, and master’s degree candidate at Virginia Tech in the Urban & Regional Planning and Theatre: Directing & Public Dialogue programs.



    In partnership with the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts.

    • 56 min
    Michelle Ramos: Nonprofit Futures and Philanthropy Reimagined - How Cultural Workers are Changing the Field

    Michelle Ramos: Nonprofit Futures and Philanthropy Reimagined - How Cultural Workers are Changing the Field

    Podcast Interview with Dr. Michelle Ramos, Alternate ROOTS

    Dr. Michelle Ramos, Executive Director and Vision Keeper of Alternate ROOTS, discusses the legacy of activism that energizes her work, and shares tangible examples of her work disrupting long standing white supremacist structures and systems.

    Dr. Michelle Ramos, Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS and founder of Ramos Coaching. Dr. Michelle Ramos applies critical race theory and lived experiences to disrupt long standing white supremacist structures and systems. A licensed attorney with a PhD in Psychology, she has significant organizing experience and has committed her career to serving communities and individuals adversely impacted by issues of race, gender, disability, class, socioeconomics, inequitable laws and systemic oppression. She has consulted for over 20 years nationally and internationally with expertise in non-profit consulting, DEI work and mediation.

    Interviewers: Nicole Nunoo, a PhD candidate in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural Leadership and Community Education, a food justice enthusiast by heart and a community development analyst by profession, and C. Meranda Flachs-Surmanek, an artist, cultural organizer, and master’s degree candidate in Virginia Tech’s Urban & Regional Planning and Theatre’s: Directing & Public Dialogue programs

    In partnership with the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts.

    • 48 min
    Michael Carter, Jr. & Josephus Thompson III: Roots of the Work - Poetry, Agriculture and Social Change

    Michael Carter, Jr. & Josephus Thompson III: Roots of the Work - Poetry, Agriculture and Social Change

    Podcast Interview with Michael Carter, Jr. (Carter Farms) & Josephus Thompson III (The Poetry Project)

    On this episode of Trustees Without Borders we are joined by Josephus Thompson III, poet and creator of the Poetry Cafe, and Michael Carter Jr., 11th generation farmer and owner of Carter Farms in Orange, Virginia. Josephus and Michael discuss creativity, the rhythm of poetry, and nature as embedded in liberation work.

    As a teacher and lecturer, Josephus Thompson founded, The Poetry Project, where he works in the educational and corporate setting focusing on “Education through Correlation”. Josephus uses poetry as a catalyst for literacy, leadership, and service. The Host of 90.1FM’s The Poetry Café, his voice is heard weekly over the airwaves as he showcases talented artists from all over the world in the genres of poetry, hip-hop, and R&B to name a few. He has performed for Oprah, opened for Kanye West and Floetry, shared stages with The Last Poets, traveled to Australia, London, Seoul, and South Africa as well as back and forth across the United States sharing his gift.

    Michael Carter Jr. is an 11th-generation American/farmer and is the 5th generation to farm on, Carter Farms, his family's century farm in Orange County, Virginia where he gives workshops on how to grow and market ethnic vegetables. With Virginia State University, he is the Small Farm Resource Center Coordinator for the Small Farm Outreach Program. As a cliometrician, curriculum developer, and program coordinator for his educational, cultural, and vocational platforms, Hen Asem (Our Story) and Africulture, he teaches and expounds on the contributions of Africans and African Americans to agriculture worldwide and trains students, educators, and professionals in African cultural understanding, empathy, and implicit bias recognition.

    Interviewers: Justice Madden, community architect, graduate student in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural Leadership, and C. Meranda Flachs-Surmanek, an artist, cultural organizer, and master’s degree candidate in Virginia Tech’s Urban & Regional Planning and Theatre’s: Directing & Public Dialogue programs

    In Partnership with the Center for Food Systems & Community Transformation at Virginia Tech

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Faculty Forum: LaDale Winling

    Faculty Forum: LaDale Winling

    Faculty Forum with LaDale Winling

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Karen O'Brien: How Quantum Social Theory Can Impact Our Climate Change Response

    Karen O'Brien: How Quantum Social Theory Can Impact Our Climate Change Response

    Podcast Interview with Karen O'Brien



    In this episode, Dr. O'Brien speaks to the possibility of quantum social theory and what it means for avoiding the hopelessness of social change. She explores what happens when we put human capacity at the forefront for transformative possibility. She challenges us to see new paths to individual agency and true change. There is also a particular focus on climate change mitigation.



    Karen O'Brien is a professor of sociology and an internationally recognized expert on climate change and society, focusing on themes such as climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation including how climate change interacts with globalization processes and the implications for human security. She is interested in how transdisciplinary and integral approaches to global change research can contribute to a better understanding of how societies both create and respond to change, and particularly the role of beliefs, values, and worldview in transformations to sustainability. She has been heavily involved in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Global Change Programmes and the transition to Future Earth, a 10-year global change research initiative. She is the co-founder and partner in cCHANGE, an Oslo-based company.  cCHANGE is a beacon for individuals and organizations seeking a new perspective, inspiration, knowledge, and tools on climate change and sustainability transformations.



    Interviewers: Kathy Grimes, Communications Director for Virginia Tech Graduate School and Lara Nagle, Community-Based Research Manager at the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance



    Presented in partnership with: Virginia Tech Department of Political Science, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at VT, the Institute for Policy and Governance, the Global Change Center, the Fralin Life Sciences Institute, the Community Change Collaborative, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at VT.

    • 51 min

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