Community Engagement

Rich Wood’s community engagement takes place at the national and local levels.

Wood 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 faith-based community organizing in low-income majority-minority settings. Wood serves as a pro-bono advisor to the national committee of bishops that oversee the U.S. Catholic Church’s primary anti-poverty program: the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has served in a variety of leadership positions within the American Sociological Association, the Association for the Sociology of Religion, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the American Academy of Religion. He recently agreed to serve on the national board of the PICO National Network.

Locally, he has been involved in a local religious congregation for many years, and volunteers in its emergency food and housing support ministry. He led a four year convening of UNM faculty and leaders in diverse local spiritual communities (Protestant, Hindu, Jewish, Catholic, evangelical, Sikh, Unitarian and other), focused on discussion of key 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 broad-based community organizing effort in low-income Albuquerque neighborhoods); served as president of the Fair West Neighborhood Association; and coached kids’ basketball with the YMCA.