Uncommon Communities

Uncommon Communities

making our own future - Session XII: Asset Mapping

October 27, 2017 · 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Uncommon Communities is a community and economic development program that marries the wisdom and methodology of celebrated community development expert Dr. Vaughn Grisham, professor emeritus of sociology and founding director of the McLean Institute for Community development at the University of Mississippi, with the award-winning Breakthrough Solutions partnership, under the direction of Dr. Mark Peterson at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. This comprehensive program will produce a group of community leaders who are equipped to assess, plan, visualize and mobilize citizenry to work together in the areas of economic development, education and workforce development, and quality of life and place—the critical elements of thriving communities—with an aim to help them become vibrant and sustainable in the 21st century global knowledge economy. Presenters for Uncommon Communities include practitioners, faculty and community leaders and are from Arkansas as well as Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina and Georgia.

Our pilot program focuses on five counties in the vicinity of the Institute: Conway, Perry, Pope, Van Buren and Yell. All of these counties are largely rural and have poverty rates between 17% and 23%; lost 1,249 jobs between 2007 and 2013; and have unemployment rates that are 109% of the state average. The Uncommon Communities model is designed to be scalable and replicable, and we intend to continue it statewide after a successful two-year pilot.

In addition to the statewide and national expertise provided in our carefully crafted series of bi-monthly development and training sessions at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute beginning on August 28, 2015, participants will have access to a broad network of resource people provided by the Institute and Breakthrough Solutions Partners. These resource partners will be available to help participants realize their on-the-ground goals between the sessions on the mountain.

Session XII - Asset Mapping 

Uncommon Communities, Session Twelve will be held on Friday, October 27 at the Perryville Methodist Church Connection Center, 123 Cross Street, Perryville, AR 72126. The workshop, offered exclusively to Uncommon Communities participants, will explore mapping the assets of their community and region.   

Featuring special guest – Lionel J. "Bo" Beaulieu

Bo Beaulieu is director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development and assistant director of the Extension Community Development Program. Beaulieu has played a major role in the launch of a number of innovative national research and Extension programs, including the National e-Commerce Extension Project, the extension rural entrepreneurship effort, the Stronger Economies Together (SET) regional economic development initiative in partnership with USDA Rural Development and the Food Assistance Competitive Grants Program in collaboration with the USDA Eoncomic Research Service. He has been a key player engaged in the development and implementation of the Hometwon Collaboration Initiative, a new program established by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs in 2014.

Beaulieu will discuss the role that community asset mapping can play in promoting the type of community development that is concerned with engaging local people in community enhancement efforts.   

Friday, October 27 • 8:30 AM - Perryville United Methodist Church Connection Center, 123 Cross Street, Perryville, AR 72126

For more information, contact Program Officer Samantha Evans at 501-652-0330 or