Virginia Tech’s Community Voices presents author and sustainable development pioneer Anthony Flaccavento as featured speaker at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Alexander Black House, 204 Draper Road, Blacksburg.

Flaccavento, who helped found the Abingdon Farmers Market and Appalachian Harvest Food Hub, will share his research and observations in, “Beyond the Margins: Six transitions to building a healthy community from the bottom up.” His presentation is free and open to the public.

The organic farmer and food system innovator has worked in community development for more than 25 years and focused on sustainable economic development in Appalachia for 15 years.

In 1995, he founded Appalachian Sustainable Development, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization, and currently serves as the president of SCALE Inc., a private consulting firm. He has worked with community leaders in more than a dozen states, in addition to Canada and Australia, to build stronger, sustainable economies.

He is a recipient of the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World award, and was a Kellogg Foundation National Food and Society Policy fellow.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. His writing has appeared in The Nation, Washington Post, and Huffington Post, among other news publications.

Flaccavento last spoke at Virginia Tech in 2011 with a presentation about how locally led economies, resilient communities, and love can renew the fabled American Dream.

Flaccavento will sign copies of his new book, "Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up" (University of Kentucky Press, 2016), which will be available for purchase, after the presentation.

In addition to his evening talk, Flaccavento will participate in an informal luncheon roundtable discussion with the Virginia Tech community and the public on Oct. 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room C of the Graduate Life Center, 155 Otey Street. Lunch is available for $5, or attendees may bring their own.

Please RSVP to Regina Naff by noon on Oct. 21 to sign up for lunch: or 540-231-6775.

Community Voices is an interdisciplinary group of Virginia Tech graduate students and faculty and community representatives interested in exploring innovative approaches to community building and engagement. The group, affiliated with the School of Public and International Affairs' Institute for Policy and Governance, organizes a series of free public talks and roundtable discussions by leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who share their insights and experiences helping communities shape their futures.

The Community Voices fall series is sponsored by School of Performing Arts; Department of Landscape Architecture; Virginia Tech Graduate School; School of Public and International Affairs; Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education; Office of Associate Vice President of Engagement; College of Architecture and Urban Studies; Department of Political Science; and the Institute of Policy and Governance.

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