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April 2020

MT Community Development Specialist Update

During this most difficult time, please know that there are many COVID-19 resources available to the citizens of Montana and those interested in community development including from MSU Extension, Montana DPHHS, CDC, NACDEP, the International Association for Community Development, WHO guidelines to help practitioners involved in community engagement, and of course by contacting me directly with your questions. Please be healthy, stay positive, and continue to be there for each other!

The RAINBOWS OVER THE ROCKIES: Celebrating Diversity with Leadership and Learning Summit is going VIRTUAL April 30-May2! We have presentations via live-stream from friends and colleagues across Montana and nationally; representatives from EmpowerMT will discuss tools for effective leadership, collaboration and advocacy in schools and communities; Pride Foundation will discuss the "Open To All - Montana" program that engages more than 315 businesses across the state about strategies such as updating a non-discrimination policy, modifying facilities to be gender inclusive and holding LGBTQ-specific events; Transvisible Montana will discuss how to find effective allies and support for transgender, non-binary, and two-spirit community members; Forward Montana will lead a youth workshop about building civic engagement and leadership skills; social worker and therapist Glee Dunbar and nurse practitioner Katie Mustretta will discuss mental wellness for gender and sexual minorities and medical management of gender transition; Jeffrey Myers, a retired Extension professional from Baltimore will discuss LGBTQ+ training focused on rural and agricultural audiences followed by a slate of presentations from Extension professionals on how 4-H can support LGBTQ+ youth and families, especially those from rural areas. Social media events are already beginning at our Virtual Rainbow Facebook, @RainbowSummit20 Twitter, and Instagram sites. We are featuring video vignettes from our sponsors and youth and will be providing community mini-grants for LGBTQ+ leadership activities. Please register here to receive more information and check out and share the MSU press release.

This month's "Article of Interest" is titled "Chomsky and Pollin: To Heal From COVID-19, We Must Imagine a Different World" from Truthout, stating: The crisis is offering many opportunities to liberate ourselves from ideological chains, to envision a very different world, and to move on to create it.

Paul Lachapelle
 MSU Community Development Specialist

Reports & Resources

12 things everyone needs to know about the coronavirus pandemic

Before December 2019, SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes the Covid-19 illness -- was unknown to science. "A pneumonia of unknown cause" was first reported to the World Health Organization on December 31, after a slew of cases appeared in Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus has been detected in more than a million people worldwide, and killed tens of thousands. This is a pandemic, a global crisis and tragedy on a scale that's hard to fathom. There are a lot of new things for the public to learn -- about the virus, controlling its spread, social distancing, treating the sick, and how our governments should react to this chaotic situation. It's like we've all been dropped in to study for a test in a class that no one signed up for. It's confusing and hard to process.

At Risk: The Geography of America's Senior Population
Visual Capitalist | READ STORY

The U.S. now has the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, and modelling predicts that the country could see about 100,000 to 200,000 total deaths. Unfortunately, adults aged 65 or older--about 16% of the U.S. population--are at much higher risk of both severe illness and death. Today's chart uses U.S. Census Bureau data to map the percentage of the population that is 65 years or older by state. It also outlines the urban areas that are most heavily skewed towards this older age group.

Outcry over racial data grows as virus slams black Americans

As the coronavirus tightens its grip across the country, it is cutting a particularly devastating swath through an already vulnerable population -- black Americans. Democratic lawmakers and community leaders in cities hard-hit by the pandemic have been sounding the alarm over what they see as a disturbing trend of the virus killing African Americans at a higher rate, along with a lack of overall information about the race of victims as the nation's death toll mounts. Among the cities where black residents have been hard-hit: New York, Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago and Milwaukee.

Location Data Says It All: Staying at Home During Coronavirus Is a Luxury
The New York Times | READ STORY

In cities across America, many lower-income workers continue to move around, while those who make more money are staying home and limiting their exposure to the coronavirus, according to smartphone location data analyzed by The New York Times. Although people in all income groups are moving less than they did before the crisis, wealthier people are staying home the most, especially during the workweek. Not only that, but in nearly every state, they began doing so days before the poor, giving them a head start on social distancing as the virus spread, according to aggregated data from the location analysis company Cuebiq, which tracks about 15 million cellphone users nationwide daily.

Coronavirus is revealing how broken America's economy really is
The Guardian | READ STORY

The United States of America, we are told by everyone from the president to the United Nations, is a developed economy. That term, "developed economy", sounds like an endpoint, like the man standing upright after a series of hunched and hairy iterations. It's the contrast that makes the definition - developed economies can only really exist if they are compared to their poorer "developing" counterparts. Covid-19 has merely shown the cracks in a very successful marketing campaign about which category the US falls into.

Upcoming Events

"Hibernating Your Business During COVID-19"

April 17, 2020
Online at 11:00 AM, MST
Small Business Webinar

"RAINBOWS OVER THE ROCKIES: Celebrating Diversity with Leadership and Learning" 

April 30 - May 2 2020
Virtual Summit

Grants, Awards, Jobs

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Program

USDA Rural Development provides grants to qualified intermediary organizations to provide technical assistance and training to help nonprofit organizations and communities develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facility or economic development projects in rural areas.
Electronic Application Deadline: May 13, 2020 via
Paper Application Deadline: May 18, 2020

Regional Food System Partnerships

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service provides grants to eligible applicants for projects that support partnerships to plan and develop local or regional food systems.
Application Deadlines: May 11, 2020 

Climate Resilience Specialist

Clemson University: College of Agriculture
Forestry and Life Sciences: Agricultural Sciences
Application Deadlines: May 5, 2020 

National / International News

Wildfires 'edge closer to Chernobyl nuclear plant'

April 13, 2020 BBC

Violent storms, tornadoes shift to East Coast after leaving at least 30 dead, 1.3 million without power

April 13, 2020 The Washington Post

California is days away from its projected coronavirus peak. Here's how the state prepared to 'bend the curve.'

April 12, 2020 USA Today

Montana News

Scholar of the sun: The life of Montana astronaut Dr. Loren Acton

April 13, 2020 Great Falls Tribune

Invisible enemy unveiled by Montana lab researchers

April 12, 2020 BDC

Montana novelist remembered as ‘a writer’s writer’

April 11, 2020 Independent Record

MSU Extension - Community Development
Back issues of the Community Development Specialist E-news are available here. To subscribe to the E-Newsletter, send a request to:
Wilson Hall 2-117 | P.O. Box 172240 | Bozeman, MT 59717-2240 | | (406) 994-3620