Sharing Visions: Intergenerational Work in Appalachian Ohio

In partnership with faculty at Ohio University, staff at OSU Extension in Scioto and Perry Counties, and community partners in the region, The Center for Folklore Studies at The Ohio State University is documenting and promoting cross-county, intergenerational relationship-building, capacity building, and succession planning for grassroots organizations in Scioto and Perry counties in Appalachian Ohio. Our community partners in Appalachian Ohio have expressed that economic, environmental, and cultural changes in the region have impacted intergenerational succession within small community organizations. A number of organizations in these counties are facing retirements of their founding members, making succession a priority for their sustainability. Sharing Visions provides an opportunity to take stock of past and current organizational structures, capacities, and expertise; document generational perspectives and desires for community organizations; and provide opportunities for collaborative, intergenerational strategic and succession planning and knowledge sharing.

The project contains three core components:

  • Participating in a series of focus groups led by Dr. Rachel Terman (Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio University) aimed at understanding and documenting visions and practices of generational leaders (aged 18-35 or 35+) in Appalachian Ohio.
  • Hosting two summits (one each in Scioto and Perry Counties) for established and emerging local organizers aimed at improving social connectivity and access to organizational resources at the regional (cross-county) level.
  • Incorporating the project theme into the 2020 Ohio Field Schools grad/undergrad course at Ohio State, and creating student service-learning projects in Scioto and Perry Counties.

Our long-term desired outcome is longevity and flexible continuity for small community organizations in Appalachian Ohio. The Center for Folklore Studies has conducted engaged scholarship in Appalachian Ohio since 2011. “Sharing Visions” would expand upon on our well-established infrastructures and community partnerships to forge new connections and collaborations in the region.

The overarching goal of this work is to both reinforce existing relationships and create new connections and structures that will sustain small community organizations in Appalachian Ohio beyond the life of the proposed project.  We also aim to leverage our findings toward future funding opportunities. This project will strengthen OSU’s relationships with communities in Appalachian Ohio and contribute to our land-grant mission, which is dedicated to “creating and discovering knowledge to improve the well-being of our state, regional, national and global communities” (Office of Academic Affairs, “Mission, Vision, Values and Goals”).

To learn more about Sharing Visions or to get involved, contact Dr. Cassie Patterson at patterson.493@osu.edu. 

Sharing Visions Team

Dr. Katherine Borland (Center for Folklore Studies, OSU)
Andrew Carter (Fourteenth Street Community Center, Scioto County, OH)
Sarah Craycraft (Comparative Studies, OSU)
Dr. Cassie Patterson (Center for Folklore Studies, OSU)
Dr. Rachel Terman (Sociology, Ohio University)
Dr. Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth (Center for Folklore Studies, OSU)
Treva Williams (OSU Extension - Scioto County)
John Winnenberg (Sunday Creek Associates, Perry County, OH)
Dr. Thedore Wiseman (OSU Extension - Perry County)

Sharing Visions is generously supported by OSU's office of Outreach & Engagement via their Conect & Collaborate grant, including contributions from OSU's Center Clinical and Translational Science, OSU's Office of Sustainability, OSU's Office of Service-Learning, and a private donation from the Columbus Foundation.

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