Posts Tagged 'Partners and Friends'

Partner Spotlight: Roosevelt Institute Campus Network’s Rethinking Communities Project

By Eugenia Kim

Rethinking Communities is a new project launched last year by the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network (RICN), a national student-run public policy think tank founded in the belief that students have the power to make serious change in their communities. Rethinking Communities challenges students to proactively improve university policy. Specifically, it aims to make universities aware of their economic impact as anchor institutions—large nonprofit entities that, by virtue of their mission and location, are tied to the communities in which they sit—and embrace their responsibility to those larger communities.

As students, we know that that there is a disparity in wealth distribution in this country, and that this disparity is made worse by the fact that many people have no say in their own economic futures. We also recognize that waiting on the federal government to create sweeping national change is futile. Therefore, the Rethinking Communities initiative challenges students to take action in places where they live, places they know—the communities where they go to school. The progress we hope to achieve is systematic, it’s long-term, and it attempts to build on the permanent relationships between communities and universities rather than apply simple, short-term Band-Aid solutions.

RC correctedCurrently, students who want to become engaged in politics and policy are told to volunteer, canvass, or help with voter registration. In other words, we are not asked to address systemic issues and fix the root problems. By channeling the economic and social power that universities have over the communities they reside in, we hope to tackle local issues of wealth inequality, disempowerment, and apathy born of a sense that people have no agency in their own lives.

While this initiative is largely student-led, with students researching, organizing, and writing policy suggestions, it can’t succeed without the support and cooperation of administrators, professors, and university presidents. There are many untapped, gifted students who do not know about the work we are doing. We need the help of faculty and administrators to connect RICN with other students who are also civic-minded and interested in bringing this project to their campuses.

Students also need validators once those connections are made. I never really had any interest in or thought about what a person’s civic duty should be until I was asked for my opinion  in school and in Roosevelt. Until I was given a seat at the table, I didn’t feel like I had any right to be talking. We need professors, administrators, and university presidents to push the Rethinking Communities initiative and invite students and other community members to participate.

Start by asking students the question: what do they think? Show them their voices and opinions matter by giving them the tools to truly address inequality in their local communities. Equip them with the Rethinking Communities toolbox, which can be downloaded here. Combat apathy by giving students an avenue to demand more of their universities as anchor institutions. Rethinking Communities needs your help to be a truly meaningful initiative that implements concrete change.

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Eugenia Kim is a student at New York University and a member of the Rethinking Communities Project brain trust, a group of six students working to make the project run.

2014 National Conference on Citizenship is October 10 in Washington, DC

NCoC 2014 conferenceStrengthening Civic Life

Civic life is how we come together to accomplish big goals and overcome serious challenges. What is amazing is that it is often grounded in the smallest actions. Actions like talking with neighbors, eating with family and friends, exchanging favors, and other random acts of kindness. These acts create the social connections necessary to solving big problems and maintaining a healthy democracy.

The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) is an organization dedicated to strengthening civic life in America. For 70 years, NCoC’s Annual Conference has been a must attend event for community builders searching for new ways to engage their neighbors and create positive change. Given the current social and political polarization, the need for this Conference couldn’t be greater.

Leaders from the nonprofit, private, open data, and technology sectors will converge at the Conference to share best practices and uncover innovative civic engagement strategies. There will be high-quality Learning Summits, panels, and networking time – all chances to strengthen civic life and take on the issues facing our field.

We hope to see you in DC on October 10 at the 2014 National Conference on Citizenship. Click here to register.

Free Fall Webinars: Developing Social Capital with APLU

APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP) Presents:

The Social Capital Webinar Series
APLU’s Commission on Innovation invites you to join us for a series of lively conversations about the most critical aspects of innovation ecosystem development—creating trust and building social capital. This unique program is more talk show than webinar, with emphasis placed on conversation over presentation. Don’t miss out—click this link to register for one or more of the Social Capital webinars today!: http://bit.ly/1g7UWTc

social capital [soh-shuhl kap-i-tl]: (1) collective or economic benefits derived from cooperation between individuals and groups; the idea “that social networks have value”; (2) trust.

Thursday, September 18, 2 – 3pm Eastern
Civic and Social Engagement: Why Community Development Partnerships Matter
Innovation ecosystems rely not only on great talent and great innovation, but also on creating great places to live, work, and play. Place development—through social, community, and cultural partnerships—is a critical element.
Featuring: Eva Klein, University Economic Development Association (UEDA) and Eva Klein & Associates; Lloyd Jacobs, University of Toledo; (additional guest TBA)

Thursday, October 16, 2 – 3pm Eastern
Evolution of a New Paradigm: Emerging Tech Transfer Partnership Models
To make technology transfer happen in today’s innovation ecosystems, relationships must matter more than transactions. How universities interact with industry for technology transfer and development is changing, and so is the way relationships develop within the university.
Featuring: Jacob Johnson, innovosource; Valerie McDevitt, Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM); Howard Grimes, Idaho State University

Thursday, November 20, 2 – 3pm Eastern
Policies That Support Practice: What Government Does to Enable Innovation Ecosystems
We hear all the time that government should just “get out of the way” and let the private sector innovate. Could it be, though, that government is the real risk-taker that allows partnerships to grow and flourish? Federal, state, and local policy may be at the heart of innovation ecosystems.
Featuring: Dan Berglund, SSTI; Susan Sloan, National Academies Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR); (additional guest TBA)

State Civic Education Policies | A CIRCLE Update

CIRCLE-Logo-4c
Interactive Map Shows State Civic Education Policies

In the past two years, many states have been updating their civic education policies, some to conform with Common Core standards or to adopt the new College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for social studies. CIRCLE has created a new interactive map designed to quickly see where states stand on key civic education measures like required years of social studies in high school or assessments at the state level.

The interactive map lets users explore by regions and allows for custom comparisons between states. By double-clicking on a state you can also get a more detailed snapshot of a state’s civic education within the context of other key information like educational spending, population demographics, political climate, and voting rates (see a sample PDF).

Explore the map HERE.

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Florida, Tennessee, and Hawaii: Three Case Studies of Civic Education Policy

Recently, CIRCLE conducted case studies of new or revised civic education reforms in three states:

- In Florida, the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Act mandates a high-stakes standardized test in civics.
– In Hawaii, a required “Participation in Democracy” course places a strong emphasis on experiential education. The requirement was passed in 2006 and an effort to repeal it was defeated.
– In Tennessee, recent legislation mandates project-based civics assessments at the middle and high school levels.

We have released a short fact sheet that describes each bill or proposal in detail, including the advantages and drawbacks identified by both proponents and detractors. We have also released a paper that includes interviews with prominent stakeholders in each state and takes an initial look at the process behind each proposal and some of the issues faced by the educators tasked with implementing them.

Download the Fact Sheet HERE.
Download the Working Paper HERE.

Both the civic education map and these case studies were funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. 

NERCHE’s 2014 Lynton Award Finalists

2014 Lynton Award finalists
NERCHE and the Center for Engaged Democracy at Merrimack College are delighted to announce the selection of ten finalists for the 2014 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty. The pool of candidates was extraordinary and represents a range of institutions and disciplines.

Ernest Lynton framed faculty scholarly activity as inclusive, collaborative, and problem-oriented work in which academics share knowledge-generating tasks with the public and involve community partners and students as participants in public problem solving. The community-engaged work of the following faculty members serves as a model of the public scholarship that Lynton championed.

The ten 2014 Lynton Award finalists include two faculty members from AASCU member institutions: Valerie Francisco, Sociology and Social Work, University of Portland and Travis Hicks, Interior Architecture, University of North Carolina Greensboro.

The remaining seven finalists are: Semra Aytur, Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire; Tracey Gendron, Gerontology, Virginia Commonwealth University; Adriana Katzew, Art Education, Massachusetts College of Art and Design; Zak Montgomery, English and Modern Languages, Wartburg College; Jonathan Rosa, Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Alan Tinkler, Education, University of Vermont; Estrella Torrez, Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University; and Jomella Watson-Thompson, Applied Behavioral Science, University of Kansas.

To learn more about each finalist, visit the NERCHE website.  Learn more about the Lynton Award.

Congratulations to all the finalists!


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