The Clarkston Development Foundation (later shortened to CDF) was founded on the vision of encouraging a vital and engaged community in Clarkston, Georgia, and supporting the talents and assets of the city’s unique and multicultural population.
CDF focused on supporting long-lasting change inspired and led by residents, using an asset based community development approach. CDF hosted its first Community Conversation in 2011 and began a Parents as Teachers (PAT) program, while also supporting the development of community projects such as the Clarkston Farmers Market and the Clarkston Youth Initiative. After the Community Conversation in 2012, CDF identified six themes, upon which CDF based a series of Next Steps conversations. Over the course of these meetings, CDF transitioned away from direct services programs and concentrated more fully on community engagement dialogues and workshops, working with other partners to implement programs and actions that resulted from the community building strategies, including Start:ME, a micro-enterprise project; Know Your Neighbor, a youth led community listening project; and Coffee Klatches for Refugee Women, a women’s health and support group. Illustrative of CDF’s commitment to support and encourage collective community-led action, the organization was inspired to take the doing business as (dba) name of CDF: A Collective Action Initiative. In 2014 CDF was a recipient of one of 30 early learning and family engagement grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The three year grant built on the community development and early learning work of CDF. In addition, CDF received grants in 2014 and 2015 for the design and implementation of a new initiative entitled The READY School. In 2015, CDF further sharpened its focus to concentrate on early learning and education, birth through 12th grade.