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Kellogg Foundation Supports New Brushy Fork Programs

“I wish everyone in my community had the chance to go to Brushy Fork Institute.” Many participants in the institute’s award-winning Leadership Development Program have expressed the desire to have other community members benefit from Brushy Fork’s programs. Now they can.

Citizen leaders working to develop strong communities now have access to two new programs designed to build their leadership skills and capacity. The regional programs will also increase connections among individuals and organizations doing community work.

The Brushy Fork Institute will offer its first Annual Institute in September 2005 at Berea College in Kentucky and will begin an intensive Community Transformation Program in the fall of 2006.

The programs will be supported over a three-year period by a $198,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan. Other funders include the Berea College Appalachian Fund, the Wayne and Ida Bowman Foundation and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Community leaders can register now to attend Brushy Fork’s first Annual Institute to be held September 14-17, 2005. They will participate in intensive hands-on sessions with topics such as community economic development, nonprofit management, fundraising, and running for public office. Participants will also hear nationally renown presenters and will meet other leaders working to improve communities.

The 2005 Annual Institute’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Vaughn Grisham, Director of the George McLean Institute for Community Development. Grisham will relate the extraordinary story of successful community development efforts in Tupelo, Mississippi. Participants will explore how techniques used there can be applied in their own communities.

In the fall of 2006, one community will partner with Brushy Fork to begin implementing the second part of the new program format—the Community Transformation Program. Brushy Fork Institute director Peter Hille notes, “We are looking for a community that is at the tipping point—a community that, with an extra push, will gain the momentum needed to sustain local, long-term development efforts.”

In the Community Transformation Program, leaders in a community will take on in-depth community development work over an extended period. Brushy Fork will provide leadership development workshops and technical assistance. A core team of leaders will steer the program in the local community and will involve multiple teams to accomplish projects and create a community-wide strategic plan.

The Annual Institute and the Community Transformation Program build on Brushy Fork Institute’s 17 years of experience working in central Appalachian communities. Brushy Fork’s programs promote leadership perspectives and practices that are developmental, collaborative, accountable, ethical, and effective.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 to “help people help themselves through practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.” Its programming activities center around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self; family, and community; and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.

To achieve the greatest impact, the foundation targets its grants toward specific areas. These include: health, food systems and rural development, youth and education, and philanthropy and volunteerism. Within these areas, attention is given to exploring learning opportunities in leadership; information and communication technology; capitalizing on diversity; and social and economic community development. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

For information on the 2005 Annual Institute, visit Brushy Fork Institute’s web site at

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