Virginia Tech® home

Old Events

The Collaborative’s members are engaged in a variety of projects and programs, including special events featuring guest speakers, involvement in community based projects, and research symposia. 

The full calendar of events can be found here.

March 4, 2021

9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Entangled Ontologies, Decoloniality and Decolonization Virtual Symposium at Virginia Tech

What productive tensions and differences exist between ontological, epistemological, and material critiques of the (post)colonial? What possibilities are opened up when we place Decoloniality, as an onto-epistemological (and political) project, in conversation with Decolonization, as a reparative project? Collaborating scholars will explore these questions from Native American/Indigenous, Africanist, Third World Marxist, Quantum, Post-human and Political Ecological positions. This event will have live closed captions for accessibility.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (EST) - Paper Presentations with Guest Scholars
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST) - Graduate Research Presentations

Sponsored by the VT Department of Political Science (Pol. Sci.), VT Institute for Policy and Governance (IPG), & Community Change Collaborative (CCC). Led by Desiree PoetsLaura Zanotti (Pol. Sci.) & Max Stephenson (IPG/CCC)

Zoom Registration:

More Information:


Previous Recent Events

Sage Crump Photo

CCC Guest Speaker Series: Sage Crump

Art, Creative Practice, and Social Transformation

In February 2021, the Community Change Collaborative and the VT School of Performing Arts were proud to host a public talk with Ms. Sage Crump. Sage is an artist, culture strategist and facilitator who supports cultural workers/arts organizations involved in social justice to build social movements. Sage Crump believes in leveraging art, creative practice and the cultural sector to transform systemic oppressions. In her different roles, Sage's work supports local and translocal visionary organizing, examines the movement of Blackness through time and space, amplifies the leadership of arts and rural organizations of color organizations and grows their ability to thrive in culturally authentic ways. Sage is Architect of Emergent Strategies Ideation institute. She is board chair for Media Justice, Art2Action, a member of Alternate ROOTS and a member of the Guild of Future Architects. Sage’s work incorporates complex sciences, emergent strategy and creative practice to imagine the world we want to live in and build strategies and practices that will get us there.

Watch the presentation and Q&A with Sage Crump here, or on YouTube.


Alia Malek

CCC Guest Speaker Series: Alia Malek

When Home is Unattainable, What Replaces it?
In November 2020, CCC welcomed Alia Malek for a presentation and panel discussion with Katherine Randall, Nadine Sinno, and Jake Keyel.

In 2015, Malek traveled from Greece to Germany with a group of Syrians fleeing their country’s disintegration. The refugees had met while marooned on the same raft in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Each of them came from a different part of Syria and from different socio-economic classes. Their sights were set on making it to Sweden and the Netherlands. Some of them would be forced to ask for asylum in Germany. Since then, Malek has been reporting on their lives and displacement across these three countries as part of a 10 year reporting project. Drawing on this work, she will consider what replaces the very idea of home when home itself becomes unattainable and its permanence illusory.

Alia Malek is Director of the International Reporting Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, a journalist, and former civil rights lawyer. She is the author of A Country Called Amreeka: US History Re-Told Through Arab American Lives (Simon & Schuster 2009) and editor of Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post 9/11 Injustices (McSweeney's 2011). With collaborators the Magnum Foundation and Al Liquidoi, Alia edited and co-conceived EUROPA: An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees, released in Europe in 2016. Her narrative nonfiction book, The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria, was released in 2017. Her reportage has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy,, the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jadaliyya, McSweeney’s, Guernica and other publications.

Katherine Randall volunteers as a medical coordinator for the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, and is also a PhD Candidate in the Rhetoric and Writing program at Virginia Tech.

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Dr. Nadine Sinno is currently an Associate Professor of Arabic and Director of the Arabic program at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Jake Keyel is a Post Doctoral Research Associate at the Calhoun Center for Higher Education Innovation.

Sponsored by the Community Change Collaborative and the VT Institute for Policy and Governance, the VT Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies and the Center for Rhetoric in Society.

Watch the presentation and panel with Alia Malek here, or on YouTube.


Cruz and Nathalie Presentation Slide

CCC Faculty Forum with Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski

In November 2020, CCC members welcomed Cruz García, who is a Puerto Rican architect, educator, author, theorist, curator, and artist and Nathalie Frankowski, who is a French architect, educator, author, poet, curator, and artist. They have recently joined the Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design as architecture faculty. 

In search of critical forms of architectural pedagogy, Garcia and Frankowski are deeply invested in the development of new curricula and pedagogical experiments searching for diverse forms of public engagement with architecture, as well as a decolonization of the role of architecture in the construction of new worlds. Garcia and Frankowski develop and frequently offer international art and architecture workshops for diverse participants, spanning from children, to college students working across different fields and the general public. They co-founded WAI Architecture Think Tank and the critically acclaimed alternative art space Intelligentsia Gallery, among numerous other exhibition, publication, and research accomplishments achieved around the world.

Watch the presentation and discussion with Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski here.


Lily Yeh Virtual Presentation

CCC Guest Speaker Series: Lily Yeh

In September 2020, CCC members welcomed Lily Yeh, an internationally celebrated artist and award-winning founder and former executive and artistic director of the Village of Arts and Humanities. Lily Yeh developed a unique methodology for using the arts as a tool for community building and personal transformation during her tenure at The Village. Founding Barefoot Artists in 2002, Lily Yeh now works internationally on projects in places including Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Ecuador, and China. The Barefoot Artist aims to train and empower local residents, organize communities, and take action for a more compassionate, just, and sustainable future. 

Watch the presentation with Lily Yeh here, or on YouTube.


Anna Erwin Faculty Forum Presentation


CCC Faculty Forum with Anna Erwin

In late April 2020, CCC members welcomed Anna Erwin, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Purdue University in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, to a virtual Faculty Forum presentation about her research in Peru entitled "Intersectionality Shapes Adaptation to Social-ecological Change." Dr. Erwin completed her Ph.D. at Virginia Tech and was involved with the Collaborative during her graduate studies. 

Watch the presentation and discussion with Anna Erwin here.