Rich Wood’s community engagement takes a variety of forms, some local and others broader in scope. Locally, he has been involved in a local religious congregation for many years, and led a four year convening of faculty from diverse disciplines and leaders in diverse local spiritual communities (Protestant, Hindu, Jewish, Catholic, evangelical, Sikh, Unitarian and other), focused on discussion of issues facing contemporary American society. Wood also led the APD-UNM Research Partnership (a collaboration with the Albuquerque Police Department for research and organizational reform, funded by the National Institute of Justice from 1997-2000 and continued on pro-bono basis for several years thereafter). Wood has also worked with Albuquerque Interfaith (a local congregation-based community organizing effort with low-income communities); served as president of the Fair West Neighborhood Association; and coached kids’ basketball with the YMCA. Currently, he serves as the President of the UNM Faculty Senate.

Nationally, Wood has served in leadership positions within the American Sociological Association. He collaborates in a variety of national conversations around the strategic direction of democratic organizing efforts in American public life, involving other scholars, professional organizers, program staff within foundations, and leaders in congregation-based organizing and other social justice efforts. Wood serves as a pro-bono advisor to the national committee of bishops that oversee the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Catholic Church’s primary anti-poverty program in the United States.

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