This year′s Community Read of Tim Wilson′s “Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change” returns to a “Switch” model where negative behaviors are confronted head on. Wilson′s research demonstrates that through transforming a negative mindset to a positive one, negative behaviors created through a negative attitude become positive, allowing for people to better their communities instead of putting them down.
In 2011, the same group of sponsers brought two books by award-winning author, Hill Harper, to the Dan River Region -“Letters to a Young Brother” and “Letters to a Young Sister.” Over 1200 of these books were read within the DRF footprint of the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County in Virginia and Caswell County in North Carolina. Hill Harper′s Speaker Series event in the spring of 2012 was the highest attended presentation to date, drawing over 700 attendees.
Two years ago, four hundred and fifty Dan River Region residents gathered on a dark and rainy fall morning to hear Dan Heath kick off the DRF-Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce Speaker Series. The crux of his presentation was the creation of ″bright spots″ throughout a community. It is critical for everyday citizens to establish these ″bright spots.″ Every idea for positive change is important. As more and more ″bright spots″ are created, a spider web effect occurs, whereby a large number of residents witness positive changes in their community initiated by their neighbors. People become responsible for their communities becoming fun and desirable places to work, live, learn, and play. From the 2010 Community Read of “Switch” came DRF′s Make It Happen! (MIH!) grant program, one whose purpose is to encourage resident-driven “bright spots.” Sponsers of the 2010 Community Read were DRF, The Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, Riverview Rotary, and Averett University. Approximately 1500 people in the area read “Switch.”