Learning together: Sharing emergent and unconventional approaches to community-university collaboration

Learning together: Sharing emergent and unconventional approaches to community-university collaboration

On October 29th, CESI hosted an event showcasing innovative and unconventional approaches to community engagement. Through this event, attendees began to learn more about the multiple ways that people in various roles and locations pursue community-university collaborations. Presenters and participants explored how radical, emergent, and unconventional work can generate significant impact.

The day featured panels, presentations, workshops, and roundtable discussions covering a range of topics, including:

  • The impacts of community-university partnerships on Black students’ perceptions of history and identity
  • The power of story and its potential to create change
  • Using community perspectives to inform the planning and evaluation of community engaged learning initiatives
  • Successes and challenges of cross-sector, community-focused collaboration
  • Community experiences and insights from long-term partnerships
  • Justice-oriented approaches to community engagement
  • Using space as a basis for engagement
  • Non-academic modes of community-university collaboration
  • Generating and evaluating impact through institutional structures
  • Collecting and communicating the evidence of impact
  • Sharing resources and knowledge in community-university partnerships

Several questions were posed to the presenters, such as:

  • How do you collaborate to address community interests and create mutual benefits?
  • How do you work together to achieve positive social change?
  • How do you overcome challenges and barriers?
  • How do you and your collaborators work together creatively?
  • How do you generate and measure impact?

Continuing to Learn Together:

In the post-event evaluation survey, many respondents appreciated the thoughtful organization and planning of presenters. Many felt that the event did a good job of showcasing the changing faces of leadership in community-engaged scholarship but that the event could've benefitted from fewer presenters and more engagement. 

Most respondents made new connections and felt their networks expanded, and around 75% felt that their experience will have an impact on how they approach their future work. Moving forward, several folks would appreciate tangible takeaways that they could apply in practice. 

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