University & Community Partnerships

Assessing Impact at Anchor Institutions

New anchor dashboard identifies 12 priority areas and indicators
Crossposted from Rooflines: The Shelterforce Blog

This week, The Democracy Collaborative is releasing a new paper to create a framework for measuring the effectiveness of university and hospital efforts to partner with and improve conditions in surrounding communities. Our goal is to help institutions reflect and assess broadly the long-term impact of their anchor-mission activities, and particularly the extent to which they may benefit low-income children, families and communities.

Evaluating Anchor Institutions' Work in Their Communities

October 2nd, 2013
Office of University Partnerships, US Department of Housing and Urban Development

The event will present a white paper submitted to the Annie E. Casey Foundation by the Democracy Collaborative of the University of Maryland that initiates a conversation aimed at developing some common indicators and metrics for use in measuring community engagement. Anchor institutions will be asked to review, endorse, and eventually deploy the Collaborative's proposed indicators and metrics.

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Democracy Collaborative Offers Paid Internship

Work with us on newsletters and community-wealth.org

We are pleased to announce a new intern position at The Democracy Collaborative that will focus on the Community-Wealth.org newsletter and adding web content. For further details, please see the position description below. Remember to submit your applications by August 30!

Harnessing the Power of University Endowments for Community Investment

Our new report outlines how students can help
Gar Alperovitz @ Roosevelt Institute

As highlighted in a recent post for The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Democracy Collaborative's new report Raising Student Voicesco-published with the Responsible Endowments Coalition, insists that "everyone benefits when colleges invest in local businesses and sustainable economic development, and that students and community organizations should work together to push for more such alliances."  

Encouragingly, student audiences have quickly proved very receptive to the idea, excited by the way university-community partnerships around investment offer a very practical approach with the potential to scale up to the size of the problems faced by economically marginalized communities.

Students Push Universities to Invest Locally

Crossposted from Rooflines

In response to my earlier post about anchor institutions and community development, Andrew Frishkoff, executive director of LISC Philadelphia, commented “Too often we have seen beneficent anchor institutions acting paternalistically on behalf of communities, instead of in partnership with them.” Frishkoff called for “intermediaries who can help to bridge the divide ... Such intermediaries need to be independent of, but accountable to, anchors and communities, with a deep understanding of both.”

Raising Student Voices: Student Action for University Community Investment

Joe Guinan, Sarah McKinley and Benzamin Yi

This new report from The Democracy Collaborative and the Responsible Endowments Coalition seeks to connect struggling communities to local institutional wealth through engaging student activism. The report profiles three administration-led initiatives and three student-led initiatives, as well as five potential future partnerships, where institutional investments are directed into local communities in a way that empowers low-income residents, develops small businesses, and generates sustainable economic development. 

Community Engagement Center, The University of New Mexico

The Community Engagement Center (CEC) at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque acts as an academic partnership and policy center for communities seeking to implement community-based solutions. CEC brings together faculty, students, neighborhoods, public institutions and government agencies to pool resources and create opportunity. Since its founding in 2000, CEC has awarded $1 million in AmeriCorps Educational Scholarships; partnered to generate nearly $20 million in federal, state and national funds for community projects, with 80 percent of those funds going directly to local communities; and served approximately 50,000 children and families throughout New Mexico. 

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.”

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