Chiamei Hsia stands with Richard Knopf in front of conference banner holding her awards

Community Resources and Development doctoral student honored at international conference

By

Lisa Rolland-Keith

Chiamei Hsia, doctoral candidate in the School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University and research associate in ASU’s Partnership for Community Development, was honored with two awards at the Community Development Society’s 49th annual international conference for her research poster, “Transformative Activism through Community Art Practice.”

In addition to being awarded “Most Visually Appealing” by a panel of judges, Hsia secured the highest ranking award for overall contributions to the field: “The People’s Choice Award,” decided by a vote of the Community Development Society members in attendance at the conference.

The Community Development Society is the primary international organization of scholars and practitioners in the community development field. The International Association of Community Development defines the field as a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes participative democracy, sustainable development, rights, economic opportunity, equality and social justice through the organization, education and empowerment of people within their communities.

“It was an extraordinary experience for me to participate in the 2018 conference,” said Hsia.

Hsia’s research findings demonstrate how micro-level changes in communities result in broader shifts in community dynamics and generated transformative activism. The latter is defined as activism lacking a traditional agenda, leader, or mass mobilization appeal and instead adopts inclusive and collaborative measures to change status quo in a less intrusive and more amiable way.

“I wanted to understand how community dynamics change through the process of community art practice and explore how communities incubate capacity building to respond to macro-level forces, such as globalization and urbanism,” Hsia said.

“Chiamei’s pioneering community engagement practices have captured the attention of scholars and practitioners around the globe,” said Richard Knopf, director of ASU’s Partnership for Community Development.

“Through these awards, she has provided witness to the global strength not only of her work, but that of our entire school,” Knopf added.