University & Community Partnerships

Done Right, Eliminating Food Deserts Result in Community Oases

Building community wealth every step of the way
Pogue’s Run Grocer Mural, an initiative of the Indy Food Co-op. © Indy Food Co-op
Building healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities requires more than “bottom up” solutions. The importance of community ownership to ensure that projects that start at the bottom result in lasting community wealth for the people involved is often missing from the discussion. The local foods movement provides examples that illustrate the importance of this ownership principle in practice.

Democracy Collaborative Presents to Illinois Governor's Task Force

Public session April 24 on community wealth building
Next week in Chicago, Democracy Collaborative executive director Ted Howard will present testimony before the Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise. The presentation will focus on a set of actionable policy recommendations to help position Illinois as the nation’s leader in community wealth building. The meeting will take place in room 314 at Roosevelt University’s Walter E. Heller College of Business, 430 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

Bernanke Praises Jane Jacobs and Bottom-Up Solutions

Fed Chairman calls for community engagement, collaboration and place-based investment

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed the Fed’s Community Affairs Research Conference in Washington, DC, opening his speech by acknowledging that successful strategies to rebuild communities require “multipronged approaches that address housing, education, jobs and quality-of-life issues in a coherent, mutually consistent way.”

Read more about Bernanke Praises Jane Jacobs and Bottom-Up Solutions...

Netter Center 20th Anniversary

More than 500 people from over 70 universities and over two-dozen countries gathered at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania to discuss ways to better use university resources to build community wealth in neighborhoods and promote partnerships with public schools. Setting the tone of the conference, Ira Harkavy, Founder and Director of the Netter Center, opened by arguing that effective partnerships not only advance learning, but also strengthen democracy and improve the quality of life in cities around the world.

Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives

The Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives is a research organization established in 1994 by three faculty members of the University of North Florida. The center has received over $3 million in applied contract research involving 75 student employees and over 750 student volunteers since its establishment. The center has conducted 35 projects, and is currently managing 8 active projects ranging from infant mortality to the economic impact of the arts in Jacksonville.

Democratic Devolution: How America’s Colleges and Universities Can Strengthen Their Communities

Ira Harkavy and Rita Axelroth Hodges

In a policy memo from the Progressive Policy Institute, Ira Harkavy and Rita Axelroth Hodges of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania call on government to increase its support fo partnerships between communities and institutions of higher education. Given the immense resources available to colleges and universities, these anchor institutions have the potential to ground civic partnerships working to revitalize local communities. To do so, they must change their organizational structures and make civic engagement a core principle across all levels of the institution.  The federal government, by targeting existing resources, directing financial incentives and mobilizing the bully pulpit, can help catalyze this shift.

Researchers Propose Federal Strategy to Engage "Eds"

Five recommendations to encourage universities and colleges to adopt an anchor institution mission
Earlier this month, Ira Harkavy and Rita Axelroth Hodges, of the Netter Center of Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, released a Progressive Policy Institute paper calling for one type of anchor institution - universities and colleges - to contribute more to the public good.