Pradip Malde has been named a 2016-17 Sullivan Fellow for his leading example in social innovation and entrepreneurship. Sullivan projects encourage risk-taking, creative estimations of value and fresh approaches to community development. For nearly a decade, Malde has generated projects in Haiti and Grundy County, Tennessee, using photography to highlight values and concerns in rural communities.
The foundation will support Malde’s creation of a new curriculum integrating photography and community development that he “hopes students will add to their list of transformative experiences at Sewanee.” Additionally, Malde will become a mentor to future Sullivan Fellows and an ambassador for the program on campus.
Malde’s proposed course will combine photography and literacy skills to spark community development initiatives on the South Cumberland Plateau. “Photographs create non-formal impressions and responses--perfect starting places for creative thinking and problem-solving,” Malde says. “The relationship between photography and storytelling creates a ripple effect that invites others into the conversation.”
[Willa Mae's, Lloyd's and Alan's hands as they look through family photographs, Grundy County, TN, March 2012. Photo: Pradip Malde]
The accessibility of photography can help sustain an engaged response to a community’s needs and values. New technology smooths this process, too. “On an iPad, someone can take a photo, display it, and talk about it,” Malde explains. “It’s a great way to identify a concern, document a solution, and reflect on how it’s working.”
Malde’s work in photography and community development is becoming part of an expanding toolkit for social entrepreneurship. In the process, he hopes “students understand the value of indigenous resources and the complexity of citizenship.” Student participants will deepen their integration with the local community, and equip themselves with a portable tool for further civic engagement.