Call for Presentations: Celebrating 10 year of the Rutgers University – Camden Office of Civic Engagement – Mar 13

Posted by Rutgers Camden on February 25, 2020

Forging Ahead with Vision and Insight: Celebrating 10 Years of Civic Engagement at Rutgers University—Camden, April 23, 2020

As we celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we are taking time to reflect about the future of our work, both as an institution and being part of a collective of higher education institutions focused on civic engagement. As the field of university-community partnerships has grown over the past decade, we, along with our peers, have seen significant success in increasing the hours of student volunteerism in our communities, expanding service learning and community engaged scholarship and building educational pipeline initiatives that support young people in gaining access to opportunities that can lead them to higher education. However, the issues that affect the communities in which we are situated are urgent, and as we move into the future of this work we must ask, are we taking a “critical” approach to civic engagement? By this we mean are we focused on calling attention to and working towards the dismantling of the structures of injustice that exist in our communities and creating meaningful, sustainable social change? Where our effects touch the surface, how can we push deeper and make broader and more inclusive transformation?

At this symposium we will reflect on these questions and our own work at Rutgers University—Camden but will also create a space for a deeper conversation across the field of higher education and critical civic engagement. How are we addressing inequity through civic engagement work? How are we thinking critically about partnerships that take into consideration issues of social justice, race, class, power, and institutional change/transformation? Who are we engaging with and how are we centering the experiences and stories of those in the communities in which we work, and who is left out? What challenges or mistakes have we made when aiming to work from this perspective and how have we course corrected? Over the course of the day, we will discuss these complex questions, share best practices and challenge each other to reflect on our work in new ways.

We are seeking invited proposals to present at the symposium that are focused on addressing the questions above, specifically through the lens of K12 education, college access or educational pipeline approaches, health equity or initiatives that focus on centering the voices and experiences of residents. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the topical area(s) you will address and how the presentation will respond to the critical questions above by March 13, 2020. Each panel will be one hour, with 15 minutes for each presentation. Each external panelist will be paired with a Rutgers University—Camden faculty or staff person who will also present on the panel. There will be 30 minutes for discussion with the attendees. Please send abstracts to:

Nyeema C. Watson, associate chancellor of civic engagement, Rutgers University—Camden,

Lauren Silver, Associate Professor of Childhood Studies and Faculty Director of Engaged Learning and Scholarship,

The symposium will take place from 12:00 – 6:00 on the Rutgers University—Camden campus. The symposium is FREE but all invited presenters will need to cover their own travel expenses to attend. The symposium will end with the annual Chancellor’s Awards for Civic Engagement celebration, honoring our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners.

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