LE AR NING 2017â€“2018
FOREWORD As I write this, a volley of emails is filling my inbox on the topic of service-learning as a political activity. Scholars and practitioners from the community engagement field are passionately weighing in on the questions: To what extent should servicelearning and community engagement advance an explicit political agenda? And where is the line between politically-oriented service learning as a practice of academic freedom versus indoctrination into a faculty member’s political ideology? Interestingly, nobody is speaking out against explicitly political service-learning. Rather, the discussion is predicated on service-learning as necessarily political, with the debates focusing on 1) whether current service-learning practices are structured to create real social change or just replicate exploitative relationships between higher education institutions and underserved communities, and 2) how best to support politically-active and communityengaged faculty in responding to eminent threats to their scholarship and teaching based in growing hostility for higher education’s “liberal agenda.” I am encouraged to see the collective resolve of community-engaged scholars to persist in this work, even while critiquing current practices in the field and seek more impactful approaches. And while I hold a healthy dose of concern for the latest deluge of endeavors to restrict academic freedom, I am also confident that we have a critical mass of educators, administrators, students, social change leaders, and community members across the country and at USF to galvanize around higher education as a conduit for fostering more robust and equitable participation in the discourses and activities that epitomize our democratic society. As an institution that embraces the public purpose of higher education, the University of San Francisco offers students the opportunity to engage with local and global communities through approximately 70 undergraduate service-learning courses and at least a dozen graduate level communityengaged courses each year. These courses reflect a range of disciplines, as you’ll see in this publication, and they are complemented by pragmatic civic projects created by faculty who respond compassionately and resolutely to the
wellspring of injustices catalyzed in our new political era. In other words, USF faculty are creating a culture of civic participation, social responsibility, and community activism that not only fosters student learning, but also contributes to a more equitable and just world. And yet, our faculty will be the first to acknowledge that they don’t do this work alone. Community leaders, organizers, residents, and service providers are visionaries that guide real community change. They are also co-educators of students. Through their wisdom, generosity, and dedication, USF is able to achieve its promise of educating students’ hearts and minds to effect positive change in the world. Thus, along with faculty profiles, we are featuring community partner profiles for the first time in this edition of the publication. We are honored to share stories of how our community partners design opportunities that simultaneously advance their community change efforts and foster student learning about social justice issues. This publication highlights the work of faculty and community partners who contribute to the broader movement of fulfilling the public purpose of higher education and safeguarding academic freedom. In these pages, the McCarthy Center celebrates the multiplicity of ways faculty and community partners practice community-engaged teaching. We honor the political and intellectual motivations that drive them to shape students’ community-engaged experiences to be deeply challenging, fulfilling, and resonant. We acknowledge the relational, emotional, and intellectual labor that each educator pours into this work. These faculty and community partners courageously embrace the tensions and dilemmas inherent in community-engaged learning as sites for resisting and dismantling unjust power dynamics. Each course and project is a thread that contributes to the larger fabric of civic engagement, community change, and public good.
Star Plaxton-Moore Director of Community Engaged Learning, Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good
TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword by Star Plaxton-Moore
College of Arts and Sciences Brandi Lawless: Examining Organizations from the Inside
Evelyn Rodriguez: A Down-to-Earth Sociology
Melinda Stone: Growing Community Connections
Roberto Varea: Community, Resistance, Identity, and Peformance
School of Education Daniela DomĂnguez: Responding Compassionately to Community Crisis
Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga: Building Community and Dismantling Borders
Darrick Smith: Learning From Those On the Front Lines of Social Change
School of Law Lara Bazelon: Defending Humanity in the Justice System
School of Management Jean-Marc Fullsack: Feeding the City and the Soul
Courtney Masterson: Going Beyond the Bottom Line
Marco Tavanti: Bridging Local to Global Refugee Services
School of Nursing and Health Professions Jo Loomis: Nursing at the Margins of Rural Healthcare
David Martinez: Making Healthcare Accessible and Effective
Dhara Meghani: Promoting Resilience through Early Parenting Challenges
Kathleen Raffel: Developing Community-Responsive Healthcare Professionals
Community Educators Jenna Casey: Teaching at the Intersections of Education, Immigration, and Displacement
Kelly ErnstFriedman: Helping Community Relationships Bloom
Adrian Owens: Breaking Barriers in the Western Addition
Celi Tamayo-Lee: Organizing as Theory and Praxis
PROFILES IN COMMUNITY-ENGAGED LEARNING
BRANDI LAWLESS: EXAMINING ORGANIZATIONS FROM THE INSIDE Associate Professor Communication Studies College of Arts and Sciences Course: COMS 356: Organizational Communication Community Partners: Faithful Fools, Mission Graduates, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Generation Citizen Describe your service-learning or community-engaged courses. My primary SL course is Organizational Communication. I teach this every Spring and always work with the Faithful Fools and 3 or more other organizations. The goal of the class is to examine organizational contexts, hierarchies, culture(s), and systems of power. Students are able to observe key concepts (e.g. power distance) at the organizations they are working with and reflect on their understanding of how those concepts emerge in journal writing assignments. At the end of the semester, students take what they’ve learned and design their own nonprofit—they create a name, describe the need that it fills, explore the mission and values, and describe the culture and structure. Students present their visions to their peers and the community partners with whom they worked. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)? Students are able to both apply course concepts and better understand the communities they are a part of. Faithful Fools, for example, really works to take students who are uncomfortable even entering the Tenderloin, and transform their understandings of community, culture, poverty, and compassion. The community partners take away the direct service that students contribute, but beyond that, there are new relationships forged and commitments to the organizations and community that often extend beyond the classroom. My students have helped to plan, promote, and execute fundraising events, educate underserved populations, build civic engagement curricula for San Francisco schools, spread information about legal rights in the Bayview, and collect data to better serve the organizations they work with. Students feel accomplished when they can apply what they learn from their major courses in a way that benefits the communities around them.
What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? Honestly, the biggest challenge is giving up some of the control I have over what happens in my course. As a junior faculty member, I often became nervous about how a student’s service-learning experience would impact their overall appreciation for the course, which would ultimately be documented in my evaluations. I’ve learned to frame the service-learning experience differently because of this. First, I talk to students about how they will be witnessing the reality of nonprofit organizations—the reality being that almost every nonprofit organization in San Francisco is understaffed, overworked, and underpaid. When somebody doesn’t get to your email within 24 hours or asks you to stuff envelopes for a while when you arrive, it’s because they really need you. We talk about these examples in the context of organizational dynamics, which helps them to learn what we’re studying. I’ve also learned that it takes time to find community partners that work well with me and with my class. Because of the nature of my class, I can only select organizations that have a social justice mission and
What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses?
operate in a way that makes it easy for my students to observe the organization functions and structures. This has been an ongoing challenge. I have spent 5 years cultivating relationships with various organizations. Just when I think that I have found an organization that I work well with, fits the needs of my class, and has a need my students can help fill, the nonprofit can’t take on volunteers or merges with another organization, etc. This work is in flux and dynamic. As a community engaged educator, you cannot rely on pattern and routine. This makes every year’s task of finding community partners to work with a challenge. I’m so thankful that I can always rely on the Faithful Fools and Mission Graduates—two organizations that I’ve had a longstanding relationship—and hope that eventually I will have a handful of organizations with which my students can work.
First and foremost, start to build relationships with community partners early and often. The McCarthy Center was very helpful in facilitating these relationships. I met with staff to share what types of organizations I was looking for and they put me in contact with people I otherwise would not have been able to get connected with. I’ve also taken advantage of almost every mixer or workshop that the McCarthy Center has offered. I come out of each of these events reengaged, but also reconnected with new community partners who are equally empowered to do this type of work. It is important to take advantage of the wonderful professional development opportunities sponsored by the McCarthy Center—doing so has continually pushed me to connect teaching to research. Second, talk to faculty who have taught SL classes before to get the lay of the land. There can be some challenges, especially in the first semester teaching the course. Chances are, other faculty have had the same challenges. Moreover, we can work together to share our resources and build the best connections for the subjects at hand.
What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? Community Engaged Learning has a more lasting impact on our students. It is easy to talk about a concept in class, have students memorize it, and then regurgitate it later. It is more difficult for students to apply what they are learning in class and articulate its personal value. When I work with the Faithful Fools, they ask this question of my students: How is my well-being wrapped up in the well-being of the community members in the Tenderloin? Students struggle with this at first, but when they start to spend time in the community and build relationships with people in the TL, they start to understand a common humanity that should pull them out of our typical meritocratic, NIMBY-istic, neoliberal discourses. This transformation is so rewarding and inspiring.
PROFILES IN COMMUNITY-ENGAGED LEARNING
EVELYN I. RODRIGUEZ: A DOWN-TO-EARTH SOCIOLOGY Associate Professor Sociology (Chair) and Critical Diversity Studies Sociology and Critical Diversity Studies College of Arts and Sciences Courses: Community Organizing; Sociology Capstone; Asians and Pacific Islanders in US Society Community Partners: During Spring 2018 – Generation Citizen, Open Door Legal, Latino Outdoors, Glide Memorial, Mission Graduates, Breakthrough SF. During Spring 2017 – Generation Citizen, The Korematsu Institute, Samoan Community Development Center, CAAMFest, Kearny Street Workshop, Veterans Equity Center
The “Community Organizing” course is an elective course that focuses exclusively on studying and practicing community organizing. “Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in US Society” is a sociology elective that also serves as the foundational course for USF’s Asian Pacific American Studies (APAS) minor. It aims to, not just introduce students to the histories and social issues of “the fastest growing racial group in the United States” (Pew 2016), but to offer students a more comprehensive picture of larger US histories, by examining these through an Asian Pacific American lens. Additionally, since San Francisco has been such an epicenter of Asian Pacific American peoples, histories, and social issues, this course requires students to work for and with various API-centered community organizations throughout the semester—to take full advantage of the living histories that San Francisco is still creating, and to provide students with the fullest picture of “APIs in US Society” possible. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)?
Describe your service-learning or community-engaged course. The Sociology “Capstone” course is the final requirement for graduating seniors in the USF Sociology undergraduate program. All sociology majors who have not elected to write a senior thesis must complete this course to graduate. Because USF Sociology aspires to teach and practice “a down-to-earth sociology,” that enables students “to consider social theories and policies in terms of their implications for social justice,” Capstone draws on our entire curriculum to critically study contemporary social problems, and to explore academically and within our local community, how to effectively address these issues through social movements and community organizing.
Although teaching a course with a service-learning or community-engaged (SL/CE) component well is always more challenging than teaching a course without one, I continue to try and build SL/CE into my courses because of how much more it deepens student learning, and enables community partners to feel supported and valued by the USF community. For example, I “inherited” the SL/CE course, “Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in US Society,” when I just started working at USF, and still thought “service-learning” was just another name for course “volunteer work.” Knowing I would still have to regularly offer this course after I fumbled with the SL/CE requirement the first time, I registered for the McCarthy Center’s Spring 2006 Faculty Service-Learning Seminar. This ultimately enabled me to gain the vocabulary, knowledge, and hands-on experience to better design,
articulate, and implement service learning into my courses. After implementing the course modifications I designed in the seminar to “APIs in US Society,” I noticed that more meaningful relationships between students and community partners enhanced student understandings of our course materials (especially as they related to the contemporary lived experiences of the communities we study), enriched class discussions, and strengthened student reflections—not just related to our course, but regarding San Francisco, and the realities of working and collaborating with professionals and activists. Being more intentional about integrating SL/CE into my courses also alleviated the nagging sense that I was burdening community organizations by sending them students that required training and supervision that did not necessarily translate into quality support from our students. This is because—not surprisingly—better equipped and prepared students and more clearly-articulated SL/CE expectations empowered community partners to understand themselves as respected co-instructors, improved how students were integrated into organizations, and allowed partners to ask and trust students to do more and better kinds of work. And now that I have experienced SL/CE like this, I just can’t imagine students being able to meet learning goals for my SL/CE courses without the meaningful opportunities SL/CE offers them to engage with the communities we are studying in the classroom, in real-life and real-time. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? If you don’t count me not really understanding what SL/CE was when I first was asked to teach it (eek!), then I think my greatest challenge with SL/CE has been being able to reciprocate the extensive support community partners provide. For example, former SL/CE partners have asked, at different times, if they might be able to use campus space, or invite members of our campus communities to help staff one-time events that require substantial people-power. And with the campus’ space limitations and scheduling procedures, as well as the challenges to organizing students when they are not enrolled in a course, I sometimes feel like the relationship between the university and our community partners is really difficult to keep balanced and fair—like the university gets far more out of our SL/CE partnerships
than our partners do. I don’t feel like I’ve been able to adequately address this challenge yet; perhaps one way USF might be able to do so is to develop clear and codified guidelines for sharing campus resources with community partners, to demonstrate a real institutional commitment to working for and with our neighbors. What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? I am inspired to integrate SL/CE into my courses because I believe that the kind of social justice-centered education that I came to USF to teach demands that we not isolate learning to our classrooms—that we all develop the humility and skills to be students and teachers wherever we go, with whomever we’re with. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? To other faculty interested in integrating community engagement in their courses: DO IT!!! Your students will benefit. Your community partners will benefit. The University will benefit—because good SL/CE offers us an optimal way to provide precisely the kind of education that is supposed to set USF apart, an education that shapes “leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world”. Also: Know that you do not have to do this alone. The McCarthy Center is such an outstanding, rich resource for all SL/CE educators, on- and off-campus. Their programs have helped me with everything from SL/CE course design, to establishing partnerships, to student preparation and reflection—and are even now helping me to imagine what I might be able to ask of USF as an institution, to enable all of us to truly “offer… students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others”. So, contact McCarthy now! And allow yourself to benefit from the community and resources the McCarthy Center has built to help make SL/CE as useful and positive as it can be.
PROFILES IN COMMUNITY-ENGAGED LEARNING
MELINDA STONE: GROWING COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS Associate Professor Environmental Studies College of Arts & Sciences Course: Community Garden Outreach Community Partners: New Liberation Church Describe your service-learning or community-engaged course. Community Garden Outreach is a course that Seth Wachtel and I created 11 years ago when we first conceived of the Garden Project Living Learning Community (GPLLC). Eleven years ago the university gave their blessing for us to transform, with the students enrolled in the GPLLC, the approximately 1/8 acre plot at the eastern base of Lone Mountain set back and up from the education building parking lot. We inherited a kind of backwoods dumping ground, full of blackberry bushes and foxholes that ROTC used for trainings. Within a year the space was clearly on its way to become what it is today â€“ a thriving community garden open to anyone on campus. In the four years that the GPLLC was in play, the Community Garden Outreach (CGO) course worked with multiple partners, as we had students visiting numerous community gardens in the bay area to not only assist these vibrant spaces but to learn from them as well. The course was immersive in that way. The students volunteered at gardens and farms all over the bay area and the hands-on knowledge they gained out in the field all came back to our USF garden to roost. Everyone seemed to benefit. Community Garden Outreach continues. However, it is now offered through our Urban Agriculture Minor. We offer three sections of the course each semester and each instructor teaches it in their own unique way. However, the basic tenants are still at the heart of each class: grow food for community, learn to cook food for community. For the past six years CGO has focused on ensuring that the food grown in the USF Garden is enjoyed by the USF community through our monthly campus farm stands and our free community dinners at St. Cyprianâ€™s Church and New Liberation Church. We cannot grow enough food in our small community
garden to provide for our community dinners, so we teach our students how to glean food, and through this activity give them a first hand experience of food waste issues and how to mitigate them. We glean food from our campus dining hall. Food that would otherwise go to waste is saved and reincorporated into our monthly community dinner feasts. We glean from farmers markets and the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market. Produce that is perfectly fine but has lost its attractiveness is rescued and our students turn it into delicious soups, salads, stir-fries, and pizza toppings. It is a challenge and one of the most creative aspects of the class. I think our dinner making could make a very entertaining reality tv show, but that is not the point. The main focus is providing students with the space to rise to the occasion, take the skills they are learning and put them into practice to serve the community. Every dinner is different and every dinner tells a unique story. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)? For me I think the biggest positive outcome has been the
only way to teach students how to create community. It is messy, there is no right way, it requires patience, listening, observing and cooperative action. I truly believe that through Community Garden Outreach, students tap into a deep human need to connect to the soil that feeds us, recognize how we are beholden to the land, and we are only as healthy as the earth we are stewarding. We can read about all the problems, the challenges and all the issues facing us, and write critical papers about them. However, without considered action steeped in community spirit, we wither. It is important to have a balance. organic way that students in the CGO course create community. It is crucial for us as a society to learn how to work collectively, to come together, figure out what the task at hand is, what each of us has to offer, listen to one another, not be afraid to try new things, learn from mistakes, enjoy the process, and show up ready to engage for the common good. Our community partners, St. Cyprian’s and New Liberation Churches, love that we utilize their resources – kitchens and dining halls- to “minister” to the community. These churches, and many like them throughout the city, have dwindling parishes and do not have the energy to provide community services, so our partnership is a win-win. Our students learn community building and how to work cooperatively by creating a free community dinner from scratch each month and our community partners are thrilled that our students are breathing life into their churches. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers?
This semester I have spent a good amount of time with my students engaging in something I call “mindful weeding.” We spend 20 minutes in silence tending to the garden, mostly weeding. It is through this tending that my students find a connection to nature and ultimately feel a sense of responsibility for it. Students ask me if they can come to the garden and tend to it outside of class time. Yes. Yes. Yes. I am seeing the benefits of this practice and am beginning to recognize that our community partners are also right below our feet – the rich soil feeds us in so many ways. We may be passing through, however if we connect to the earth here and feel the benefits of that connection, we know we can do it anywhere. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? Connect with professors who are teaching community engagement courses, talk with staff at the McCarthy Center, baby steps. A considered approach is important.
For me the biggest challenge facing me right now is that I no longer live in San Francisco. I am recognizing that it is very difficult to be the best community partner I can be when I do not live in the neighborhood. This dilemma is compounded by the fact that our community partners, St. Cyprian’s and New Liberation Churches, have parishes that commute on Sundays for church but are not present in the neighborhood the rest of the time. How do we create true community engagement when we are all commuting and are only experiencing the community for short blasts? To me it does not feel authentic. I am in the midst of addressing this, feeling very unsettled, and not quite sure what to do. What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? I love community-engaged learning because I feel it is the
PROFILES IN COMMUNITY-ENGAGED LEARNING
ROBERTO G. VAREA: COMMUNITY, RESISTANCE, IDENTITY, AND PEFORMANCE Professor of Theater Performing Arts and Social Justice Latin American Studies and CELASA, Director College of Arts & Sciences Courses: Latinx America: Performance and Culture; Performance and Cultural Resistance Community Partner(s): Galeria de la Raza, Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts, SOMArts, CounterPulse, Golden Thread Productions
tive on the place and meaning of performance in Latin/x American - Chicanx contexts is the notion that theater and ritual play a critical role in the affirmation of self and culture, resistance to oppression, healing of personal and social wounds, and in engaging the imagination to build an inclusive and richer place for all. There is no better way to truly understand much of what we cover than working alongside those who run the spaces that support Latinx-Chicanx cultural expressions in the city, predominantly in the Mission District or to us, La Misión. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)?
Describe your service-learning or community-engaged course. Community engagement has been at the heart of both my creative work and my work in the classroom. In courses such as “Latinx America: Performance & Culture” (LAP&C), community engagement becomes the natural bridge to connect my students with such context and content. In LAP&C students engage the theory and practice of Latinx, Chicanx, and Latin American cultural expressions. As defined in this class, the term “performance” includes much more than traditional theater productions and plays. Students are asked to study the subject with a broader lens that includes pageants and parades, rituals, and other spectacles associated with the life of the community. Underlying the course’s perspec-
As a professor who has also had a career in performance in community settings for many years, I very well know how challenging it is to sustain a non-profit cultural organization or project. While we are fortunate in San Francisco to have an Arts Commission that is truly committed to supporting a diverse creative landscape, cultural centers serving primarily communities of color are often among the ones that struggle most. It is amazing what the folk who run these spaces can do with limited budgetary resources. Being “overworked and underpaid” however, does take a real toll on them and their staffs. Community partner organizations like Galeria de la Raza or SOMArts have been relying on my students to support their work for many years. I have been assured time and again that if not for the presence of USF students “the outreach to make people aware about the play would have not happened,” or “the exhibit would have not been put up on time for our opening.” Our students often provide that critical extra support needed to be able to deliver their promised programs to the San Francisco communities that are most starved of them. One such example are the wonderful culturally-inclusive altares that until last year the beloved late Chicano artist and cultural leader Rene Yañez curated for the Day of the Dead at SOMArts, a task now undertaken by his collaborator and son, Rio Yañez. Students who
worked with René all these years learned first hand from the “godfather” of Chicanx artistic expression in our city, and benefited from insights in a real-life setting that no textbook or classroom environment could have provided. Where there were scarce before, now new resources flow. Current Galeria director Ani Rivera became aware of our graduate programs due to this relationship and obtained a degree at USF, where she returns to teach workshops to our students. There is an often invisible cultural ecosystem that we are all part of, that through community-engaged courses is being supported and restored. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? The challenges to sustain the community-engaged dimension of my courses are many, but they certainly do not outweigh the rewards. These range from working all the administrative aspects of having 30 to 40 students journeying back and forth to the cultural/arts spaces safely, to having to develop, on a cyclical basis, relationships with volunteer coordinators that –as a typical entry job in arts non-profits, eventually burn out and leave, or are replaced as they move up the ranks into other positions. When the latter occurs just before classes begin I have to scramble to make sure that everything will be in place to get started. It is common that a scheduled community partner visit to meet the students and do an orientation on the organization to give them context and get them enthused, has to be postponed or rescheduled, eating up precious time to get started. Then there are the issues relating to the anxiety that some students share about going to work at an organization focused on a community or ethnicity that they do not identify as their own. I listen with understanding to students who are even afraid to go to the Mission District because they “have heard stories” or have even been warned by others not to venture there for fear of violence. The real violence in the Mission these past years has been its centrality to the urban geopolitics of gentrification, and that too has been challenging as several organizations have been evicted, programs closed, and meaningful service-learning spaces disappear with them. When it comes to addressing challenges such as the loss of both staff or cultural spaces in the current economic climate, the barriers have been tough to negotiate from the classroom. In regards to what we can do to address the
other ones, I think that the answer for me falls squarely in the response to your next question. What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? The service-learning context makes it possible to offer a dimension to my course that is invaluable. We can discuss the role that Latinx-Chicanx and other such cultural spaces play or the impact they have on the life of the community all day long, but nothing compares to being there when it happens, knowing that you have played an important part in IRL (“in real life” as opposed to URL) to make it happen. I feel fortunate that devoting my professional work to the intersection of cultural expressions with violent social conflict has taught me so much. The power that art has to create safe spaces of understanding is priceless. Through art, people can mutually access a dimension of shared humanity beyond difference, while also re-thinking that very same difference as a community asset that, rather than being threatening to their lives, actually adds value to them. Creative work actually holds one of the most important keys to unlock entrenched divisions and stereotypes, opens a door to understanding, and allows for most meaningful discussions in the classroom. It is not uncommon to be told that some of these anxious students who, at the start of the semester shared their concern about entering a space they perceived as unsafe, actually keep coming back to these same spaces on their own, supporting these organizations as new patrons, and sometimes, even continuing to volunteer on their own. For Latinx-Chicanx students who have either become accustomed to defending their cultural spaces or who wrestle with the demons of self-hate in the context of
PROFILES IN COMMUNITY-ENGAGED LEARNING
structural racism, the impact is also profound. A deeper appreciation of their own cultural output illuminated in a most positive light, or a new vocabulary to engage these issues in a real-life or academic setting, is also an invaluable space of both self and community affirmation. The understandings that emerge from these experiences operate in multiple, complex levels, and are profoundly transformative and inspiring to most involved. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? Community engagement can be the invaluable safe space that a course can benefit from to allow students to gain unique understandings that can only emerge when theories and concepts meet the pot-holed pavement of real life. I am happy to shamelessly plug the McCarthy Center as a critical resource to help any intrigued faculty member learn how to integrate a community-engaged dimension to their course work and also learn best practices in the field. Volunteer workers are often the backbone of many community-based organizations. At a very difficult time when corporate, state, and federal funding for many of them has been dramatically cut, a community-engaged course can provide these organizations with a unique kind of â€œspecialist volunteerâ€? in our students, and through them, invaluable support. Community engagement work will ultimately be a unique reminder to our students (and faculty too!) of their need
to get their noses off the grind, and raise their gaze towards the ultimate goal and reason for their academic work and for the sacrifices needed to obtain that precious degree. They may be able to visualize themselves as professionals more clearly for the first time. Few things can help anyone succeed and thrive more than the sense of purpose that comes from that.
The Five Keys to High Quality CommunityEngaged Learning at USF For undergraduate courses to receive the Service-Learning designation, they must meet the following criteria: Mandatory Participation: The Service-learning experiences is mandatory for all students enrolled in the section. The number of required hours for a service-learning activity may vary by course and discipline, but must meet or exceed the minimum of 20 hours. Academic Connections: The service activity is relevant to the course content and is integral to the student’s achievement of course learning outcomes. Value-Added Service: Faculty and students collaborate with community partners to develop and implement service activities that meet community-identified needs and expectations while also providing robust learning experiences for students. The relationship between faculty and community partners should be equitable and reciprocal and produce mutual benefits. Reﬂection: Courses must include multiple opportunities for guided reflection to allow students to link course concepts and theories with “real world” experience, analyze pervasive social issues in light of direct engagement with community members and service providers, and examine how service experiences shape personal values and commitments. Examples of guided reflection may include written assignments, discussions, and simulation activities. Assessment: Course learning outcomes should reflect the necessary role of the service experience. Faculty should conduct ongoing and systematic assessment of the degree to which students meet course learning outcomes and community partner’s expectations. Students are not assessed or graded on completion of service hours.
PROFILES IN COMMUNITY-ENGAGED LEARNING
DANIELA DOMĂ?NGUEZ: RESPONDING COMPASSIONATELY TO COMMUNITY CRISIS Assistant Professor Counseling Psychology School of Education Project: Disaster Response During the Northern California Wildfires
Working on the ground, Counseling Psychology faculty, in the capacity of emergency-response leaders, modeled the provision of compassionate aid in the form of distribution of supplies, relocation assistance, case management, crisis intervention, and clean-up services. In partnership with local grassroots organizations, our faculty leaders, and student volunteers directed resources toward those who were most vulnerable and created safe and brave spaces in which wildfire survivors could process the loss, grief, and trauma they experienced during and after their evacuation. I believe that our response to the wildfires, a unique and transformative service learning opportunity, better positioned our student volunteers to be social justice leaders working to support those in crisis and on the margins. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your community project for students and community (partners)?
Describe your community-engaged work. In October 2017, wildfires raged through Sonoma County prompting a state of emergency and threatening communities and property around the University of San Francisco (USF) Santa Rosa Campus. These wildfires, the most destructive in Californiaâ€™s history, blazed over a period of 23 days, burned at least 245,000 acres, forced the temporary closure of our USF Santa Rosa Campus, and displaced several USF students from their homes. In my role as the Marriage and Family Therapy Program Coordinator at the USF Santa Rosa Campus, I organized and led a disaster-response team with a mission to assist fire evacuees and families residing in emergency shelters. This team consisted of faculty members from the Counseling Psychology Department, community leaders from Sonoma County, and student volunteers from the USF Hilltop, San Jose, and Santa Rosa campuses. In solidarity, our team joined hands and deployed to Santa Rosa immediately after the fires ignited.
Our disaster-response team observed how the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires exposed and amplified pre-existing inequities and injustices taking place in Northern California. With these inequities in mind, faculty and student volunteers discussed the presence of political neglect and oppression within emergency management agencies and brainstormed ways to challenge and resist prejudice within disaster-recovery systems. These intentional conversations facilitated studentsâ€™ understanding of the importance of delivering safe, responsible, equitable, and inclusive disaster-relief that is sensitive to power relations and that addresses the needs of disenfranchised communities. Sensitive to the needs of different groups impacted by the wildfires, our student volunteers became aware of the unique stressors and presenting concerns of immigrant evacuees. They learned that unlike other disaster survivors, undocumented family members do not qualify for some assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Therefore, our student volunteers and faculty leaders created a humanitarian
tiered response that contributed to the safety, economic stability, and psychological wellness of mixed-immigration-status families. This tiered response included: raising funds through compassionate crowdfunding to purchase gift cards for non-citizens; using social media to communicate with local agencies that funds were available, and using SMS to organize disbursement of supplies across local organizations. As a result of the successful implementation of these response interventions, our students established an extensive network of connections and productive collaborations with grass-roots organizations which facilitated the promotion of the fair, nurturing, and caring treatment of displaced immigrant communities. In the end, our students walked away understanding that as agents of social change, they had an ethical and professional responsibility to be in solidarity with communities on the margins and take collective action to address their unique challenges. What has been the most significant challenge or dilemma you experienced while facilitating your project? If you addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? In 2017, a significant portion of my work as a mental health clinician focused on stabilizing communities impacted by natural disasters. I provided support, case management, and crisis intervention services to survivors of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, the recent earthquakes in Mexico, and the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires. As a result of these disaster-response experiences, I learned that natural catastrophes are tragedies regardless of the location and the population they affect. I also became aware that facilitating the coordination, communication, and monitoring of disaster-relief teams can be uniquely complicated and painful when your community of students, friends, and colleagues is heavily impacted by damage and loss. In October, disaster unexpectedly and abruptly struck our community resulting in two faculty members and two students at the USF Santa Rosa campus losing their homes, and many more students witnessed destruction within their families or neighborhoods. I learned that when people you care for, such as students and advisees, are impacted to this degree, it is easy to become disoriented if you do not rely on your social support network as a first-responder and program coordinator. Although it was difficult to live through the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires, as a USF Santa Rosa Campus community, we reflected on our strength, resilience,
protective factors, and the privileges associated with having the ability to call on our friends and colleagues for assistance. For example, when we called on the other University of San Francisco campuses for support, we noticed the kindness and altruism of our USF institution and our ability to come together in times of crisis. All in all, I believe our students, faculty, and staff at USF Santa Rosa were able to reclaim their stories in the aftermath of fires in a way that appropriately represents their narratives of survival. What inspired you to implement community engagement strategies in your project? The inspiration to implement this community-engaged project as a learning experience emerged from the focus, passion, drive, and responsibility I see in students when they are called to social action. Student volunteers become versatile and flexible learners who value adaptation when disaster-recovery plans fluctuate as a result of environmental concerns or other stressors. Although disaster-response plans include detailed instructions and guidelines to ensure the protection and well-being of student volunteers, these instructions frequently change during the day given the complexities of humanitarian assistance. It is refreshing to see that students who sometimes struggle with transitions, adjustments, and alterations within traditional classroom systems, begin to embrace the notion that disaster-relief demands openness to uncertainty. With this willingness to adapt and improvise, student volunteers become more critically conscious, socially-responsible, and communi-
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ty-centered helpers with deeper personal, professional, and cross-cultural awareness. Some students have reported that exposure to course material “on the ground” was more influential, eye-opening, and transformative than exposure to course content achieved within the context of traditional lecture rooms. I am also inspired by the idea that students’ professional growth is further amplified by valuable mentorship and supervision opportunities that are available on disaster grounds as a result of the increased involvement of faculty members. As Counseling Psychology faculty members, we are in a unique and privileged position to offer supervision during emergencies given our expertise in the areas of crisis response, grief, and trauma. As a result of the close supervision we provide, students often share that they developed increased comfort in the area of crisis intervention, that they feel more comfortable working to alleviate distress in the aftermath of traumatic experiences, and that they have a deeper sense of their own strengths, virtues, capabilities, and resources. What advice would you give other faculty interested in implementing community-engaged projects? Faculty members are interested in promoting the health and wellness of the broader community; this is why many of us pursued a career in academia. Although we deeply
value dedicating our time to serving others, we are often busy with heavy workloads that confine us to our office and campus surroundings. Research, teaching, and multiple institutional service demands may inhibit faculty members’ interest in learning more about community engagement opportunities. Concerns about the possibility of adding tasks and responsibilities to an overwhelming agenda may also keep faculty members from signing up for community engagement opportunities. Like my colleagues, I often worry about spreading myself too thin and putting too much on my plate. However, in my experience, service learning and community engagement have lowered fatigue associated with the every-day demands of traditional teaching and scholarship. Though community engagement does require time, effort, and organizational skills that necessitate the expenditure of energy, in my opinion, helping to alleviate human suffering and working alongside generous and compassionate students and colleagues can re-energize you in significant ways. In my life, community engagement has increased job satisfaction and has served as a reminder of the values and priorities that brought me to academia in the first place. Adding community engagement to current course-loads has not resulted in compounded fatigue. Instead, being a first-responder and community engaged professor has added meaning and purpose to my work.
BELINDA HERNANDEZ-ARRIAGA: BUILDING COMMUNITY AND DISMANTLING BORDERS Assistant Professor, San Jose MFT Coordinator Counseling Psychology School of Education Course: Cruzando Fronteras, Understanding the Emotional Experiences of Children and Families Separated by Borders Community Partner(s): Iberoamericano Jesuit University
Describe your community-engaged course. My work in community mental health and the voices of the families and children I have worked with has pushed me to find ways to integrate their journeys into our class. As we prepare students to become healers in the community- I value opportunities to engage them to learn and serve diverse communities. In the MFT Community Mental Health class I teach, I have witnessed the personal transformation of students from classroom to community. When developing the Cruzando Fronteras Immersion Course, I was committed to finding ways our students could emotionally and spiritually cross borders to learn and engage with children and families. The Immersion course to Huejotal, Puebla connected two Jesuit Universities, USF and Iberoamericano, fifteen students and a rural community of
children in Mexico to journey together. The social justice foundation of the course was developed with a focus on service to the children of the community. The class had three main areas of focus- 1) Engaging in witnessing and hearing testimonios of the children and families through the use of art, community and familia 2) Creating counterstories of self as Clinicians, 3) Building community, tearing down border walls. Students and two faculty, myself and Dr. Daniela Dominguez, spent seven days in Puebla, Mexico, in the rural community of Huejotal. We worked with the children of the community, many who have had significant losses of family members- who have left to the United States or have passed away. Our work consisted of us going out with IBERO University faculty that have built trust in the community to work with elementary children. Their school was impacted by the earthquake in 2017 and as a result they have been displaced. Our project that we brought from USF to Mexico was called, “Mi Arbol y Yo” Through art, story telling, song, play and platicas- children shared with us their own testimonios of their life and who has rooted them in their development. Students planted trees together, drew and painted a collective mural, painted individual pieces of art depicting the children’s corazónes and what they hold. Our time with the children was spent in community engagement, understanding the emotional journeys they hold in their heart- missing and remembering their loved ones who have gone. USF students also engaged with IBERO faculty to learn more about migration and the challenges of families with loved ones in the U.S. Cultural wealth was also a focus of how we framed the families’ perspective. Finally, a process time of learning about one another and our own journeys developed in the circle of reflections we closed with daily. Immersing ourselves in Mexico flooded students’ sensory learning with indigenous knowledge that was both emotionally and physically lived and understood. For many this class represented the journey of their heart crossing borders- with seeds of community planted by the children.
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What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)? The students shared rich experiences that captured a spirit of solidarity with the children from Mexico. For the children and families we visited- along with Iberoamericano University, we brought a clear message of love for Mexico and the community. As students and faculty from USF, we were determined to share a spirit of care with them given the political climate that we are currently in. We witnessed tears and stories of strength rise from the Mexican community when we presented our commitment to solidarity with them. This visible exchange of care between ourselves and those we were on the ground with in Mexico was powerful and in many ways healing. So many of our students talked about feeling they needed and wanted to do more in response to the rise in antagonism against Mexican children and families. Other students that were part of the course talked about personal challenges of having their own families journey to the United States as undocumented. This course opened a space for students to reflect on their own parents’ journey as well as consider what the experience was like for so many that have been forced to leave their country behind for survival. Other students shared that their heart was opened to understanding the strengths and reality that so many children are living in rural Mexico, fostering a new compassion and desire to serve these same families in the United States. This course builds a foundation of community practice that is embedded in understanding the importance of assessing for basic needs, using art as an entry point for working with Latino families and exploring testimonio as a healing tool. All the students in the course talked about the profound impact this immersion experience had on their future practice as they become healers in the community. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? The greatest challenge for all of us was leaving the children of Huejotal, Puebla. We all felt very moved and saddened to leave them – as we developed a strong connection with them. In our time with them we worked hard to make sure they felt important and valued. We also saw the financial struggle they lived with- and this was hard for us- as we wanted to do more to help them. Coming home we were flooded with ideas how we could continue to make a difference, but the borders and distance between us seems so far to do all we would like. Our current plan is to do a
backpack drive for the children in the Fall and our hope is to continue this course every summer to continue our work and support of the children of Huejotal. What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? I am inspired to have the voices of the community speak to the students. There is no better way for them to learn than to engage directly with the community. I also believe that as faculty we have to move our students from their mind to their heart. I believe that when we engage our hearts we serve with a new spirit of care, empathy and understanding. Each time I take my students to the community or bring community members to them, they are inspired in new ways. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? Dream forward and dream big. When we have vision for our students to grow outside the classroom, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes it may seem intimidating to develop and create these courses, but we have to follow the vision that so many of us have. Take it one step at a time, don’t be intimidated as there are so many people that are committed to working with faculty to make these courses happen. A special thanks to Dean Shabnam Koirala Azad for believing and supporting faculty to develop special courses such as Cruzando Fronteras. Another special thanks to Kique Bazan and his staff at USF Campus Ministry who are there to guide the development of Immersion courses. The impact we can have as faculty and students to impact underserved communities is necessary and critical- our work to tear down borders can be understood by journeying with others outside classroom walls.
DARRICK SMITH: LEARNING FROM THOSE ON THE FRONT LINES OF SOCIAL CHANGE Assistant Professor Leadership Studies Co-Director, Transformative School Leadership Program School of Education Courses: Public Scholarship and Engaged Learning; Schools, Community, and Society; School Climate, Discipline, and Trauma Community Partners: SFUSD, OUSD Describe your community-engaged course. My courses require students to both reflect on their own experiences within the K-20 system as well as engage with the off-campus community to learn more about pressing issues within the education system. Each course requires students to complete assignments which position them to learn directly from educators and community members in the field. Most importantly, students are expected to engage community members and educators as integral parts of their learning experience. These are not exercises in observation, but rather exercises in learning the context and impact of particular social problems from those that fight on the frontlines on a daily basis. For example, students in the School Climate course are expected to write reflections on their childhood experiences with disciplinary approaches in their home and school. They also get an introductory session in the art of aikido to familiarize themselves with concepts regarding body language, emotional energy, and self-confidence. After reflecting upon the links between their personal experiences with discipline and how they have been socialized to address conflict, students also have an opportunity to hear from high school students and practicing educators as to what successful and unsuccessful strategies are happening in their schools. Students in the School Climate course also visit schools to get an idea of what is happening on the ground, but this occurs after processes of reflection and discussion have occurred. What is of particular importance in this class is that there is an appropriate amount of introspection done before students engage with the community. My hope is that this approach avoids a student analysis that relies purely on theory.
What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course(s) for students and community (partners)? As a professional school, the positive outcomes from our classes often need time to crystalize in terms of community impact. We currently have public service workers and university/ K-12 educators in schools doing good work and we are proud of that. As an engaged scholar, the work I do with educational institutions and historically targeted communities can also result in positive change, but I tend to leave the assessment of that work up to the communities and institutional leaders with whom I have partnered. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma youâ€™ve experienced while teaching your course(s)? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? Concerns about authenticity and exploitation are the two philosophical dilemmas I tend to face when designing courses that expose students to particular communities.
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Also, a student does not demonstrate worthiness or readiness to engage with communities simply based in their membership in the university community. The topics I teach often require a lot of framing and the communities to which I am connected are special places with enduring legacies of political organizing and education. I am very careful as to how much engagement I am embedding in my classes so as to not create a scenario in which I am placing people in community space for my own professional ego or concept of myself as an engaged professor. What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? USF as an institution of higher education is geographically, economically, and professionally positioned to extract information, expertise, and resources from surrounding communities. While courses can provide students with opportunities to engage these communities, universities are well positioned to engage in social change and community partnerships in ways that challenge the social, political, and economic mechanisms that regenerate poverty and all of the social inequities that students study on campus. Utilizing students as ambassadors or agents positioned as participants in community partnerships, does not supplement the absence of larger, politically risky university commitments and can simultaneously be used to soften the critique that community entities may have of universities as institutions for social justice.
Itâ€™s important that students understand that their learning process must include people from many backgrounds. Professors and peer-reviewed journals cannot be the only source of knowledge that they respect. Also, we learn from more than just reading and talking in class. Students have to engage with folks outside of the university community to balance out their viewpoints and remain grounded in the purpose of our work. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? Be creative and be authentic. Always respect the community and have realistic expectations when you design a project or assignment. Lastly, do your best to prepare students properly so that they are both humble and reflective throughout the process.
LARA BAZELON: DEFENDING HUMANITY IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM Associate Professor of Law Director, Criminal Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinical Programs School of Law Courses: USF School of Law Criminal & Juvenile Justice Clinic; USF School of Law Racial Justice Clinic Community Partners: San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, ReStore Justice (nonprofit), private practitioners who ask that we represent clients pro bono who would otherwise have no legal representation Describe your community-engaged course. In the USF School of Law Criminal & Juvenile Justice Clinic (CJJC), second and third year law students represent adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanors and delinquency offenses in San Francisco Superior Court. They also assist Professor Kate Chatfield and her organization, ReStore Justice, in representing San Quentin inmates at their youthful offender parole hearings. Once students obtain their Practical Training of Law Students (PTLS) certification from the California State Bar, they handle—under the direct supervision of USF law professors—all aspects of the client’s case, including client and witness interviews, investigations, court appearances, client counseling, motions practice, suppression hearings, motion to return property hearings, trials, appeals, and writs of mandate. In the Racial Justice Clinic (RJC), second and third year students work at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office in the bail unit, which is currently leading the charge to eradicate California’s money-bail system. The money-bail system pegs charged offenses to set amounts of bail. These amounts are far too high for poor clients to afford. As a result, wealthy clients can bail out and poor clients cannot, regardless of whether they are dangerous or pose a threat to the community. Other RJC students are assisting death row inmate Kevin Cooper’s legal team and are representing two young men of color charged with expellable offenses in campus disciplinary proceedings. Students in the CJJC and the RJC attend a weekly seminar together and come to class prepared and excited to
participate in a robust discussion. The seminar features a number of guest speakers, including public defenders, private defense counsel, prosecutors, judges, and community advocates, all of whom share their expertise and engage in a discussion with the students, who are assigned readings in advance. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)? Last semester, the CJJC students were successful in getting charges dismissed against a client who was not guilty of the charged offenses. It was a complicated case that took more than a year of litigation and numerous pretrial motions. At the end, the client and his family were profoundly relieved, and the client was able to move forward with his life without a criminal record. PROFILES IN COMMUNITY-ENGAGED LEARNING 19
This semester, CJJC students partnered with the Public Defenderâ€™s Office to successfully argue a motion seeking the return of a clientâ€™s legally prescribed medication, which the police seized and refused to give back. The CJJC is currently litigating six more of these motions to return property. Other CJJC students are representing two prisoners in San Quentin who were convicted of serious crimes as teenagers and given life sentences in their upcoming Youthful Offender Parole Hearings. Students in the Racial Justice Clinic assist the law firm Orrick in its representation of death row inmate Kevin Cooper, who has always asserted his innocence. The RJC students are currently representing two clients of color in campus disciplinary proceedings who are facing serious consequences, including expulsion. One case was resolved through a disciplinary probation sanction, which will allow the student to continue with his education. The other case is ongoing. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma youâ€™ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers?
What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? My students and our clients inspire me every day to be a better teacher and lawyer. That goal cannot be achieved without incorporating larger themes of racial, social, gender, and economic justice into our classroom discussions and our courtroom advocacy. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? Reach out to community leaders, activists, and experts in your field. Invite them to be guest speakers so that the students have a wide range of perspectives and are exposed to new ideas and potential career paths. Check in with your immediate community: your students. Ask: what issues concern you most? What particular issues would you like to learn more about? What can I do to help you achieve your learning goals? Then take their feedback and incorporate it into your course. Learning is a two-way street.
To be transparent and realistic with my students about the pervasive problems that plague our criminal justice system, particularly racial bias, which infects the system at every level from arrest to setting bail and through sentencing, while conveying the message that the students have the power as advocates to make a difference in individual cases.
A photo of my five students and me from the fall 2017 semester.
A photo from the victory party with our client after his case was dismissed (fall of 2017 as well). In addition to the 2017 clinic students, two clinic students from 2016 are in the photo as is Professor Kate Chatfield.
ENGAGE SAN FRANCISCO: A MUTUALLY TRANSFORMATIONAL COMMUNITYCAMPUS PARTNERSHIP Vision, Context & Goals Vision: Engage San Francisco is an intentional, systematic and transformative university-community initiative that will achieve community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth and families in the Western Addition through student learning, research and teaching consistent with University of San Francisco’s mission and vision 2028. Engage San Francisco is hyper-local in its focus, asset-based in its philosophy, and multifaceted in its approach. Context: The Western Addition and the University of San Francisco are deeply interconnected, not just geographically, but through history and intergenerational relationships. As the City’s first university we are uniquely situated to address issues related to the poverty and inequality in the Western Addition, and we do this in partnership with residents and service providers who work to address a lack of access to high quality, affordable housing, healthcare, and education. This initiative draws upon the history of community engagement at the University of San Francisco and recognizes the unique potential of working with residents to achieve community-identified goals. Goal: Contribute to and support a vibrant, thriving community for children, youth and families in the Western Addition. To achieve this goal, Engage San Francisco will work in partnership with Western Addition community-based organizations, agencies and offices of the City and County of San Francisco, philanthropists, and community residents to respond to community-identified needs that focus on the strategic areas of emphasis. Goal: Enhance student learning and faculty research in the Jesuit tradition with key connections to University of San Francisco’s Mission and Vision 2028. Engage San Francisco is inherently an interdisciplinary initiative that strives to be connected to every school and college at USF and include thoughtful preparation for students and faculty to work collaboratively with the Western Addition.
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JEAN-MARC FULLSACK: FEEDING THE CITY AND THE SOUL Executive Chef instructor Hospitality Management School of Management Course: Introduction to the Healthy Cooking: Serving Vulnerable Populations Community Partners: Campus Ministry, St. Ignatius Church Shelter Meal Program
(2) diabetes and (3) heart disease that are influenced by our modern food culture. This course also has a Jesuit-driven service component where students work with the St Ignatius Church Shelter Meal Program to feed homeless people in three shelters located in San Francisco in order to gain hands on experience and engage the community. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)? Students feedback indicated they were inspired to change the way of cooking and eating for themselves, family and patients towards greater use of healthy ingredients. Students gained confidence in working as a team serving a large quantity of meals in a homeless shelter. The St Ignatius Church Shelter Meal Program participants were happy to see the Millennial generation become more engaged in helping their community in feeding homeless and vulnerable populations. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma youâ€™ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers?
Describe your community-engaged course. Introduction to Healthy Cooking: Serving Vulnerable Populations, is a course that is a collaboration between the School of Nursing and Health Professions and the Hospitality Management program. This course teaches students basic nutrition and cooking skills to help them prepare food targeting three major diseases: (1) cancer,
One of the challenges today is that we live in a world of convenience; and processed foods are contributing to the present day health crisis. Through this course, we want to help students retrain their palate and learn how to appreciate natural, healthy flavors through cooking. To give our students a strong foundation in understanding food, we teach them classical cooking techniques using healthy ingredients to create a complete meal based on expertise I gained from my career as a classical trained chef and health care industry expert. When students realize that healthy cooking is not only delicious, but affordable and not as exclusive as one believes, they are inspired to improve their health and othersâ€™ health through their food and dining choices.
What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? In our courses, we want to foster leadership, creativity and initiative through collaborative cooking to produce a healthy meal. I believe these are lifelong skills that are applicable to your personal life and professional career. Hospitality and Nursing/Wellness is about making people happy and healthy, including yourself. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? My advice would be to add a service component to your class, as it brings value to your course. I would recommend reaching out to a non-profit or a homeless shelter manager and asking them how USF students can help with their operations. A service component gives students a positive experience by assisting a community in need and providing an opportunity to bond together from being involved in such a project.
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COURTNEY MASTERSON: GOING BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE Assistant Professor Organization, Leadership, and Communication School of Management Course: Management and Organizational Dynamics Community Partners: Mission Economic Development Agency Going Beyond the Bottom Line: Management and Organizational Dynamics (BUS 304) I am proud to say that USF’s School of Management encourages students to think about the world of business in ways beyond the traditional bottom line. As a faculty member, I have the joy of challenging students to think critically about the role of business in society and the financial and non-financial value that organizations have the power to create. I believe Management and Organizational Dynamics (BUS 304) is space for students to humanize employee interactions and carefully consider vital issues including leadership, teamwork, well-being, diversity and inclusion. Through readings, discussions, and activities inside and outside of the classroom, I try to challenge students to think critically about management issues and reflect on the different ways in which organizations can interact with and create value for their stakeholders. Community-engaged learning is central to the course as it enhances students’ understanding of organizational life. It is an opportunity for students to get outside of the classroom to observe the world of work in action and apply our course concepts. It is also a way for students to face uncertainty and manage situations of ambiguity. For many students, the CEL project is their first experience in a work environment, first time engaging with members of the San Francisco community outside of USF, or first time entering particular neighborhoods. These new experiences offer a wealth of growth and development for the students as well as for myself as an educator.
Creating a Partnership: MEDA In terms of partnerships, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of incredible community organizations in the Bay Area and have experimented with different models over the past few years (e.g., direct on-site service, team projects). My course partnership with the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) is one that I particularly appreciate as it continually creates new spaces and connections to explore. MEDA’s mission is to “strengthen low-and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development” (http://medasf.org). They seek to support and empower community members through programs that address an array of economic issues including housing, financial capability, business development, and workforce training. I was first introduced to MEDA by Fernando Enciso-Márquez and am grateful for the path he set in motion.
What began as an email has turned into a mutually beneficial partnership. It was immediately evident that MEDA and its employees are smart, passionate, and care deeply about improving the well-being of the families of the Mission neighborhood. In this same spirit, they embraced the opportunity co-create a CEL experience
MEDA”. Manny worked as a Tax Assistant where he served as an incredible mentor to the Spring 2018 USF Students. He describes the best part of his job as, “simply giving back to the community here in the Mission District and all around the Bay Area providing this excellent service for free for the community.”
Cultivating Mutually Beneficial Experiences
Each semester, I strive to create shared and mutually beneficial experiences for students and our community partners. This involves working with MEDA to develop student projects that address MEDA’s organizational needs and, at the same time, challenge students to develop new skills and knowledge.
CEL experiences are not linear or predictable. As an instructor, I try to prepare as much as possible but remind myself of the need to be flexible when my plans fail (which they will!). There is always a series of unknown events that will arise! I try to model patience and understanding for students so that they too will do the same. I tell students and continually remind myself that you must be open to new people, ideas, and perspectives; demonstrate respect toward others; and practice self-awareness. I encourage students to view each challenge as a learning opportunity and to focus on the meaningful connections that can be cultivated during the experience vs. stressing about how they will complete their hours. The CEL project is not a perfect process; rather, it is a journey that will be shaped by many moving parts. And, the greatest learnings often come from navigating the messiness of the experience.
As the largest free tax service in the Bay Area, MEDA offers students a unique opportunity to become certified tax preparers and gain experience working directly with a diverse population of community residents. When partnering with MEDA, students develop valuable skills and knowledge related to taxes and, at the same time, deepen their understanding of critical economic issues impacting thousands of Bay Area families. During the 2018 tax season, the students contributed to MEDA’s completion of more than 4,000 tax returns! Students often enter this experience with doubt and anxiety regarding their ability to conduct tax returns and effectively communicate with MEDA’s clients. However, the immense support provided by MEDA’s staff quickly puts students at ease, builds their confidence, and creates memories of pride and joy. It’s inspiring to witness students engage in the work and come to identify with MEDA’s mission. As an illustration of these connections, Christina Corona (USF 2018 graduate) and Emmanuel (Manny) Cancino (USF 2017 graduate) are two USF students who took their relationship with MEDA to the next level. Upon completing their CEL projects, Christina interned for MEDA’s Business Development Program which strengthened her commitment to MEDA and the non-profit community overall--”I was able to enjoy my time at MEDA with a large staff of employees that made it feel like home, where everyone had something to teach me while being 100% supportive of my potential, that made me want to continue my career in a non-profit like
Celebrating the Experience At the end of the semester, I dedicate time to celebrating the CEL project with students and community partners. We come together to reflect on the experience and bring attention to individual growth and collective accomplishments. Every student is asked to stand-up and deliver a 2-minute speech to our partners that describes a memorable moment. In doing so, students reveal how they overcame their concerns and fears, formed unexpected relationships with community partner staff members and clients, and came to view societal issues from different perspectives. It is also a time to show gratitude as a meaningful experience requires a great deal of time and support from our community partners. If you are curious to learn more about MEDA, come join us at our next celebration!
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MARCO TAVANTI: BRIDGING LOCAL TO GLOBAL REFUGEE SERVICES Professor Public and Nonprofit Administration School of Management Courses: Humanitarian Emergency Management – Refugee Service – Academic Global Immersion Program Community Partners: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS-int), Centro Astalli (JRS-Italy), Caritas Roma, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR-Italy), Save the Children - Italy, Doctors Without Borders (MSN-Italy), Community of Sant’Egidio, Refugee Transition, Catholic Charities San Francisco, Upwardly Global, Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI)
organizations like Refugee Transition, Catholic Charities, Upwardly Global, and the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI) to improve their management effectiveness and share their work in an annual MNA symposium called USF4freedom. Students primarily learn from experts, practitioners and refugees in Europe but also use this transformational experience to shape their understanding here in San Francisco, reflect on these issues in their professional and personal networks, and provide services to partnering organizations through their management studies and competencies. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)?
Describe your community-engaged course. The Academic Global Immersion Program in RomeItaly (#AGIRome) is an international component of the community engagement program on refugee and forced migration management at USF. The program started in 2014 to serve community-based organizations engaged in refugee service, forced migration policies and anti-human trafficking. It was designed for graduate students in the Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) and later extended also to public administration (MPA), business administration (MBA), organizational development (MSOD) and Migration Studies (MIMS). The AGI-Rome includes both global and local community-based organizations that can benefit and connect with our programs and consulting services. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we work with local
For students, the AGI-Rome program has been impactful to understand the complexity of forced migration and how adequate policies for welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating can be beneficial to our economies, communities and also security. They have shared this information through infographics, projects, conferences and publications such as those presented at the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) held at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) in June 2017. Students have published their studies on human trafficking and others have shared their infographics with partnering nonprofit organizations who use them for educational programs and marketing. When students come back from the international immersion they work collaboratively with local community-based organizations, NGOs as well as social enterprises, to organize with me an annual conference focused on a specific topic connected to the course. The experience of engaging local community around cross-sector solutions to migration integration, refugee protection and human trafficking prevention are shared in the USF4freedom.org website. Students also share their personal and professional perspectives during the international experiential learning immersion in the blog agirome.blogspot.com. Here some of them share how the audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican and his message for refugee and migrant rights is impacting them beyond religious beliefs. For community-based organizations, we have been
to partner with key organizations like the Jesuit Refugee Service. It would also need to be more visible through the USF communications channels to make it available or expanded to other Jesuit colleges and universities. The other major challenges are how to encourage student who probably can afford to participate in the program but do not see a connection in their career interest. Another challenge is how to provide financial support to students who are interested in this experiential and international service-learning opportunity but may not have the funds to pursue it. What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? contributing to their need to improve their marketing material and social media messages, and for assessing and preparing the organization’s capacity to measure their social impact. We have been doing this by selecting follow up projects where our students, guided by our expert faculty, engage with organizations like JRS and CERI to develop logic models, identify appropriate indicators and build dashboards to help their directors and administrators monitor their performance. Our contribution may be small, but it is a significant response to the needs of our selected partnering organization so that they can advance their professional capacity to serve society effectively in the delicate fields of refugees, migrants and victims of human trafficking. The partnership with selected nonprofit organization goes beyond this course. It is usually integrated into other experiential learning courses of the MNA program like the Practicum and the Capstone, which offer these organization a more in-depth analysis and reporting on social impact analysis and nonprofit data analysis. See some examples from the MNA blog usfblogs.usfca.edu/nonprofit. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? The greatest challenge to running this program has been how to institutionalize this opportunity and make it more recognized and accessible to students. A small but meaningful program like the AGI-Rome needs to become an integral part of the USF mission as it represents many of our core values. It is recognized as an Arrupe Social Justice Immersion, but it could and should be better integrated in the fabric of our curricula and cross-disciplinary capacities
When I was working at Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL), I learned from my mentor, Dr. Philip Nyden, that universitycommunity partnerships are the core of our academic activities. I have worked on many international poverty reduction projects while also striving to build organizational capacity and influencing systems change. To me, service learning and community engagement are not an addendum to my career – they are at the core of who I am as an academic, professional and global citizen. Teaching in a Jesuit institution that shares these values for social transformation and social justice inspires me to continue this work with my students and our community both locally and internationally. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? I understand the struggles that faculty may have integrating service learning and their already demanding tasks of teaching, research and university service. This integration appears to be even more challenging for tenure-track faculty. I would advise them to seek mentorship from their fellow USF colleagues who have successfully integrated their academic work with community engagement while also succeeding in advancing their promotion, tenure, and career. University administrators could also better recognize these innovative university-community programs which engage students and faculty on participatory action research and other teaching-research outcomes that impact our communities, especially those initiatives that tackle crucial societal problems. This is our identity as a Jesuit institution dedicated to the education of women and men for others and with others.
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JO LOOMIS: NURSING AT THE MARGINS OF RURAL HEALTH CARE Assistant Professor Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice, Nurse Practitioner Programs School of Nursing and Health Professions Course: Primary Healthcare: Community Partnerships Practicum Community Partners: Kings Canyon Unified School District, Adventist Healthcare, Save the Children, various local health clinics
Describe your community-engaged course. After a leadership trip by USF administrators, deans, and other school leaders to the California Central Valley in 2012, an interest in forming an ongoing community healthcare partnership resulted in the development of a three-week cultural and clinical immersion course for NP students, Primary Health Care: Community Partnerships Practicum. Rather than fly to provide care in faraway regions of the world, NP students come to the rural Central Valley, four hours away by automobile from the busy urban San Francisco area, but worlds away in terms of economic, academic, social, and healthcare advantages. This course
is offered for NP students in the middle of their clinical coursework and is available for 1, 2, or 3 weeks, with 1-3 credits. If taken for the full three credits it could replace the summer-long clinical course, and sometimes allows for more flexibility in the student schedule. Students live and work in the area with a variety of clinical opportunities, such as precepted experiences in various rural health clinics, and ‘pop up’ clinic opportunities I create such as health fairs and foot clinics for homeless people. Students also meet with local government and community leaders to discuss healthcare needs and particular challenges of the region. They tour the area, making note of disparities in an impoverished rural community compared with the urban setting. A highlight of the experience is often the 5-day clinics in school auditoriums where NP students perform preschool and sports physicals for school children. This year, our 5th summer, we expect to serve over 700 students during a single 5-day period. New this year, I have invited Master of Public Health (MPH) students to come to our site to work either with our students on potential projects or to partner with our community partners for projects that would be beneficial to the agencies as well as provide the learning and final project development for the MPH student. In the works are also collaborative projects between law students and our school families, and University of the Pacific dental students, who may come to help with screening or supportive services for our partners or the students we serve in the schools. This partnership promises rich student experiences as well as community service for years to come. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)? The school district has told us they rely on our help to get children ready for the start of school each year; and they’d miss us if we didn’t come. Pediatric clinical sites are particularly difficult to find for NP students, and this immersion satisfies a majority of those requirements for the Family Nurse Practitioner track. Students have told us this is a favorite and most valuable part of their learning. One of our goals is to encourage students to
consider taking employment in this resource-poor area after graduation. This is another service we can provide to the population where providers are in lower supply. NP students also serve as role models to high school students who might consider careers in healthcare, so this intensive serves to develop a career pipeline from school to service in the area. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma youâ€™ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? The biggest challenges are certainly developing short term clinical sites for NP students in local clinic settings throughout the region. Meeting and finding clinic staff who are willing to take on students is always a challenge, but it is harder long distance. We are even finding some misunderstandings and prejudices against nurse practitioners in the rural areas so creating and building relationships is very important.
What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? These experiences are exactly the type that students will face after graduation so this â€˜real worldâ€™ clinical experience within the context of faculty mentorship is important as it shapes the student readiness for community engagement. A major goal at the heart of my teaching philosophy is active learning for adult learners. I believe that students will learn better through a process where the student is an active participant. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? Know that developing academic-community partnerships takes time and careful nurturing. The rewards are great and certainly worth it, but careful planning and commitment are needed.
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DAVID A. MARTINEZ: MAKING HEALTHCARE ACCESSIBLE AND EFFECTIVE Assistant Professor Clinical Psychology PsyD Program School of Nursing and Health Professions Projects: Camphora Wellness Project; PsyD Practicum Community Partners: Camphora Camp, San Francisco Community Health Center (previously Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center) Describe your community-engaged course. There are two community-engaged projects in which students participate. The first, the Camphora Wellness project, is a project that I co-lead with Dr. Dellanira Garcia. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, the goal of this project is to assess the needs of a community of Latinx farmworkers in the Salinas Valley and to provide basic physical and mental health screenings. The community is primarily made of first and second generation people of Mexican descent. Clinical psychology doctoral (PsyD) students and nursing students have participated in the development and implementation of the project. This is an ongoing project that began in Fall of 2014. The second one is with the San Francisco Community Health Center, which is a community partner of the USF School of Nursing and Health Professions. SF Community Health Center provides primary care and mental health care to LGBTQ communities and people of color. The site and I collaborated in the development of the practicum placement for psychology doctoral students. Here, I provided clinical supervision and training to clinical psychology PsyD students who provide mental health services to patients at the center. Additionally, I worked with a PsyD student on a project that aimed at analyzing baseline psychosocial variables of the Trans:thrive program, a social support program that serves transgender people at the center. We also developed a database to help with the program evaluation process of Trans:thrive. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your projects for students and community (partners)? There are many positive outcomes for the community partners and for the students. I think that one of the benefits for the students at both placements has been to
work from a social justice perspective, a central tenet of USF. At Camphora we have been able to establish a good relationship with the community, and recently Dr. Garcia and some students were able to provide some basic health screenings to the community. Students have also been able to learn the CBPR process and collaborate with other colleagues. One student successfully submitted an abstract to a research conference where she will be presenting this summer. The partnership with SF Community Health Center has led to a very substantial increase in the centerâ€™s ability to provide mental health services to their patients. Additionally, the center has been able to further develop their infrastructure so that they are able to properly evaluate their trans:thrive program. For students, they have been able to gain valuable clinical experience undertaking complex cases. Additionally, students have gained research experience by analyzing the association of psychosocial predictors of substance use among transgender patients and submitted an abstract to a research conference for the near future.
family and I arrived to United States from Mexico not speaking English when I was in the 7th grade. My first interaction with the healthcare system in the U.S. was challenging in that my mom took us to the doctor to get our physical in order to enroll in school. I clearly remember that there was no bilingual staff available; and my mom turned to me to help translate. I also had an extremely limited English proficiency. I remember feeling helpless. A visit that would normally take an hour or so, lasted a few hours because we had to wait until a bilingual staff member was available. This experience, in addition to others that I’ve had throughout my life, made me ask myself “how many people have similar or worse experiences as a result of language limitations and lack of culturally appropriate care.” As a result, my goal is to develop, implement and provide culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions to Latinx communities; and to train future health care professionals to do the same. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while implementing your projects? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? Community-engaged works comes with many challenges; and this is likely due to the many moving parts that it takes to start, carry-out, and complete a project. One of the big challenges that we have faced is conflicting schedules between an academic institution and the community partners. In order to overcome this challenge, we have maintained open communication with the university administration so that proper support is provided to the faculty and students during the times that fall outside the academic calendar. It has been extremely helpful that the university is committed to developing these partnerships and experiences for our students. Another issue that has presented a challenge to our projects has been the staff turn-over at the community sites. This is something that slows the project down at times and something that we, faculty, have no control over. However, we use the changes at the community sites as learning lessons for us and the students engaged in the project. It is very important to not let these changes discourage faculty and students.
What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? Community-engaged work is very rewarding and also challenging. Communities like the ones with whom I work have been historically underserved and marginalized. Additionally, these communities often feel like “guinea pigs” based on past experiences when academic institutions go in to the community, gather their data, and leave without any follow-up. My hope and advice for faculty who want to implement community-engaged learning is that they truly partner with the community and make a long-term commitment. In other words, that they see the community as an equal contributor to the project from beginning to end and that they are fully committed to the work with the community and to the teaching of students.
What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? Experiences that I’ve had in my life have led me to pursuing community-engaged research, clinical practice, and teaching/training. I had first-hand experience when my
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DHARA T. MEGHANI: PROMOTING RESILIENCE THROUGH EARLY PARENTING CHALLENGES Assistant Professor Clinical Psychology PsyD Program School of Nursing and Health Professions Projects: Parentline Seminar; Infant Mental Health: Clinical Implications and Practice Principles Community Partners: Noe Valley Pediatrics, Recess Urban Recreation, PREFund, Our Family Coalition, DayOne Baby, Hilltop High School
training and experiential practice that occurs over the course of a semester or longer, depending on the studentâ€™s desire to continue. Practice opportunities include engaging with new parents through a variety of modalities (e.g., phone, email, video conference, and support groups) about developmental and emotional concerns that can affect the formation of healthy infant-parent relationships. Students apply the knowledge and skills they learn in seminar, individual supervision, and relevant scientific and theoretical literature in infant mental health to support caregivers on topics such as infant fussiness, sleep difficulties, parental stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship conflict. Parentline also frequently receives requests to provide informational workshops, facilitate support groups, and deliver staff trainings within community organizations serving expecting and new parents. Students are supported through the Parentline seminar to design and deliver these presentations, which further solidifies their content knowledge, challenges them to present to diverse populations, and strengthens their teaching and public speaking skills. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your course for students and community (partners)?
Photo credit: Milan Bhatt
Describe your community-engaged course. Parentline is telehealth counseling service I founded in 2016 with my colleague, Paulina Barahona Noseda, M.S. I started Parentline at USF to serve two primary purposes: a) to create an accessible, universal service that bridges prenatal and pediatric care by providing non-judgmental, evidence-based and free support to parents encountering challenges in the early developmental period (birth to three years), and b) to offer a unique, innovative supervised training opportunity for our students that will provide them with knowledge, skills, and practice in Infant Mental Health, a sub-specialty in which there is growing demand for skilled clinicians. Interested students apply for and join the Parentline team after they successfully complete my Infant Mental Health elective. Parentline seminar is a combination of didactic
Parentline has been positively impactful for students, our community partners, and the caregivers that we serve. Students are exposed to the field of infant mental health, an area within psychology that many did not know existed prior to graduate school. Specifically, they use telehealth to deliver Brief and Strategic Therapy, which is an increasingly popular modality for health care delivery and may be especially the case for new parents for whom leaving the home may be a challenge. Parentline seminar also prepares interested students to become clinical research assistants in an ongoing study examining the effectiveness of Parentlineâ€™s innovative practices. Further, studentsâ€™ experiences with expecting and new parents have lent themselves to the development of related dissertation topics with high clinical significance and potential for impact. Finally, students recognize the need for greater preventative efforts in the earliest years of life
referral source is word of mouth and social media parenting forums in which local parents recommend Parentline as a resource when they notice others are struggling with developmental, behavioral, or emotional concerns. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers?
and have shared that their future career aspirations will be shaped by their eye-opening and rewarding work with diverse individuals and families in the community. Our community partners include pediatric practices, parenting resource centers, and non-profit organizations. We have had incredibly positive feedback regarding Parentline students’ presence, and this has been reinforced by a growing desire for our services from other organizations. To date, Parentline has alleviated the high call volume for advice regarding emotional and behavioral concerns of patients at Noe Valley Pediatrics, which is our primary referral source. One of the advice nurses there states, “we send you our most challenging [non-medical] cases,” demonstrating trust in Parentline and our students to provide sound, evidence-based and complementary support to their pediatric patients. Parentline has also been able to sustain and support the creation of weekly new parent and baby support groups free-of-charge in partnership with Recess Urban Recreation and PREFund, non-profit organizations in Potrero Hill. The families whom our students serve are clearly the greatest beneficiaries of Parentline. New parents are validated in their vulnerable states and have voiced their gratitude for having an easily accessible service with “no strings attached” where they can solicit guidance, receive reassurance, and gather insights about their baby as well as their own development as a parent. Our second highest
Since Parentline is relatively new and continues to develop as a standalone service as well as a CE course, one of the primary challenges has been balancing time for program development and training students. Program development and outreach are essential in our initial growth phase as these activities generate opportunities for students to apply their skills. This challenge was met by engaging the first two cohorts of Parentline students in program development alongside their didactic and experiential training. Whereas the students were eager to begin directly supporting parents, they appreciated participating in and witnessing the formation of Parentline. Students learned valuable skills such as networking, creative outreach and marketing, and were exposed to realities inherent in creating a new program with limited funding and staff. Additionally, bringing Ms. Barahona Noseda on board to train students in brief therapy, the primary modality of Parentline’s services, was crucial in distributing the workload, and also gave students another clinician and mentor from whom to learn. Another challenge has been addressing the common student concern about how to effectively support families across a range of developmental and emotional difficulties with which students may be unfamiliar. Self-doubt is frequently experienced throughout one’s clinical training, particularly when working with a new population or clinical diagnosis, and I have accordingly placed greater emphasis on reflective supervision in my courses. In group and individual supervision, I encourage students to “locate themselves” within the therapeutic relationship, giving them permission to acknowledge the role of their personal histories, values and emotions, which typically surface when working intimately with new families. Although this supervision style may be uncomfortable for students, it ultimately facilitates an understanding that empathic, attuned support may not always come in the form of the right ‘answers’ or ‘advice,’ for uncertain, new parents, but rather through validating and exploring underlying concerns and fears about how to best care for their child. I have also
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increased observation and role-playing opportunities in the seminar which helps calm anxieties prior to encountering a first case.
accept that the community-engaged course will not be perfect the first time you teach it! •
Seek guidance and mentorship. It is tempting to let ideas for community-engaged courses go by the wayside, especially without a compelling case or direction to turn them into reality. Talk with peers who have been successful with their courses in order to identify concrete and reasonable steps that are within your capacity to accomplish. Mentors can help dialogue with you about how to integrate community-engaged pedagogy that is within the scope of your expertise and professional trajectory, if this is a concern.
Listen to student feedback. Whereas the intent of the course may be largely focused on providing a service or supporting community partner(s), it will be successful only to the extent that the students are aligned with the goals and feel that they are participating in a worthwhile learning experience. Additionally, students’ creative energy may be especially piqued in such courses where they are connecting classroom learning to community-based application, and they are likely to have suggestions and recommendations for the project/course that could improve the experience of everyone involved.
What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? Becoming an effective, culturally-sensitive clinical psychologist, particularly in underserved communities, which is the focus of the USF PsyD program, depends on varied practice opportunities. The American Psychological Association, which is the accrediting body for clinical psychology training, has highlighted the shortage of early childhood mental health practitioners and recommends more specialized training in psychology programs. I have witnessed this shortage firsthand in settings where the well-being of high-need families with young children was unfortunately delineated to systems poorly equipped to respond adequately. Many clinical psychology trainees are unaware of the field of infant mental health and have had few opportunities to practice dyadic work prior to their clinical internship or postdoctoral fellowship. Absent this exposure, students can become dissuaded from attempting to work with families (certainly, it is not for everyone), and worse—lack confidence that they would be capable or successful in this field. I am inspired to provide opportunities for students to experience working with this population in a relatively ‘low stakes’ environment with the support of formative feedback and ongoing training. I also feel strongly that students benefit from “real world” examples that stretch beyond clinical textbook theories and case examples, given that they are operating in a society with attitudes, values and practices in flux. It has been especially motivating to observe our students deliver accessible care that is effective, evidence-based, and impressionable on the communities we serve. What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses? •
Be flexible. Working with community partners to establish specific learning opportunities for students can be unpredictable and challenging, but also equally stimulating. Although typical university courses thrive on a structure and rhythm to help students meet learning objectives, leaving space in the syllabus for unanticipated opportunities and missteps is essential and can be highly instructive to faculty and students alike. As with other courses,
Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good was established in 2002 to provide USF students with public service and civic engagement opportunities; and to support USF’s undergraduate servicelearning requirement. Since the Center’s inception, staff have provided pedagogical training and resources to faculty and community partners, maintained and facilitated mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships,
and implemented service-learning orientations and reflections for students. In recent years, the McCarthy Center’s role has expanded to include coordination of Engage San Francisco, a multi-faceted and dynamic campus-community partnership with the Western Addition neighborhood. The Center also works with administrators to develop and implement effective institution-wide systems and practices in faculty development,
student preparation, and assessment of learning outcomes and community impacts. Mission: In order to fashion a more humane and just world, the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good educates leaders committed to lives of ethical public service by implementing academically rigorous programs, cultivating authentic community partnerships, and creating transformational experiences.
USF Service-Learning by the Numbers Service-Learning has been a core requirement for all USF undergraduates since 2002. Students participate in service-learning across a variety of disciplines in our College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing and Health Professions, and School of Management. These academically rigorous courses integrate real-world experiences ranging from tutoring at an after school program to conducting policy research in a state legislator’s office to collaborating with advocacy groups for an on-campus teach-in. • Number of students enrolled in SL courses in 2017-2018: 1,971 • Number of hours of service (approximated) that students completed through SL in 2017-2018: 49,275 • Number of courses with SL designation in 2017-2018: 71 distinct courses (198 sections)
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KATHLEEN RAFFEL: DEVELOPING COMMUNITYRESPONSIVE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS Assistant Professor School of Nursing and Health Professions Projects: Behavioral Health Fieldwork I, Behavioral Health Fieldwork II, Capstone
of organizational operations. Students see first hand that
Community Partners: This spring we have 27 different community partners working with 29 different MSBH and MPH-MSBH students Describe your community-engaged course. The goal of the MS in Behavioral Health (MSBH) is to deliver a rigorous yet pragmatic academic program with a focus on teaching students the skills they need to promote social justice, address disparities, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of social service and health care systems. The MSBH curriculum is tightly integrated, and courses are linked within and between semesters. An essential component of the program is a 300-hour internship spread over two semesters. Students are placed in a wide range of organizations such as schools, clinics, public health departments, and other community-based programs throughout the Bay Area. At the beginning of the fieldwork sequence, the student, USF faculty member and agency preceptor work together to identify an appropriate project that will serve the interests of the organization and its stakeholders. Then, each student takes the lead on completing the project and writes a capstone thesis. This course provides students the opportunity to apply their classroom learning and simultaneously get feedback from USF faculty and fieldwork organization staff. In the spring of 2018, we had 29 students doing fieldwork in 27 different organizations. What have been the positive outcomes or impacts of your projects for students and community (partners)? One of the elements we stress in our courses is the importance of designing programs that meet the needs of the community and can be sustained. We require students do a thorough analysis of their project’s “customers” and other stakeholders before their projects get underway. Based on these assessments, students have created classes, educational materials, quality improvement plans, and other deliverables that have become an ongoing part
using best practice approaches to program planning, implementation and evaluation improves products and outcomes. In addition, students learn to use good teamwork and communication skills to complete their projects in a timely fashion. Since many of the community partners have limited staff with the skills our students bring, the time and assistance of the students often enables the agency to complete needed initiatives they wouldn’t have been able to accomplish otherwise. What has been the greatest challenge or dilemma you’ve experienced while teaching your course? If you have addressed this challenge, how did you do so? If not, what are the barriers? We do our best to match student interests and their self-identified learning objectives with the needs of the community organizations. This can be very labor intensive
when so many different students and agencies are involved. Some organizations have become regular partners, requesting students annually. But most are new each year. Finding new community partners and building these relationships requires substantial time if we want to insure that the placement is a good fit for the student and the organization. Even with our best efforts, some fieldwork placements prove more successful than others. Every year, we have to adjust fieldwork assignments during the fieldwork sequence due to changes in preceptors or agency operations; this can prove stressful for students and USF faculty, but we treat it, whenever possible, as an opportunity to instill resilience. Some projects are inherently easier to complete than others. This can create challenges if students feel their workload is substantially different from that of classmates. Another challenge we encounter is that most of our students are working at least part-time in addition to attending school. This means that their fieldwork responsibilities (8-10 hours per week) must be met while also keeping up with all their other commitments. On occasion, we are able to set up a fieldwork placement at the student’s place of employment. However, this is usually either not possible or appropriate, and students are faced with a particularly demanding two semester sequence. All of the students are taught together in their fieldwork seminars. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. It is challenging to oversee so many very different projects at once but extremely satisfying to observe students learning from each other as they apply the same classroom learning to serve so many different populations, problems, and organizations. Students use the classes as workshops to provide technical assistance and moral support to their peers, and we all celebrate together when the school year ends and the final capstones are presented. Working with students on such diverse topics also means that support needs and final papers are unique; submitted assignments are all different, making them both more interesting to read but also more challenging and time consuming to grade. To address some of these challenges, we currently divide the students into sections (four this year) that meet simultaneously. During half of the class time, we meet in small groups which allows more individualized attention and interaction and then convene as a large group for more didactic content on topics such as conducting survey research or running focus groups. This approach helps us manage the grading workload, group students by interest area (older adults, Hispanic community, etc.), and take advantage of faculty
Marie Bouchard who did her project to reduce the stigma around stress urinary incontinence in female athletes.
expertise in teaching particular topics. What inspires you to integrate community-engaged pedagogies into your courses? I love teaching the fieldwork course sequence. In the first weeks, students are nervous about joining the organization and taking on their own projects. The learning curve is steep, and students aren’t confident that their theoretical skills really “work.” At that point, faculty help the students learn to live with ambiguity and the messiness of being in an agency, interacting with clients, and sorting out all the possible ways a project can be tackled. But, by the middle of spring semester, the students see the pieces falling into place, and the enthusiasm and self-confidence builds. By the end of the second semester, the students take great pride in their projects and their comprehensive thesis showcasing their work and professional writing skills. I believe that this interplay between the classroom assignments and their immediate application in real world settings is at the heart of producing skilled professionals ready to “change the world” after graduation. It is rare to have the opportunity to mentor students so intensely over several semesters but seeing their personal and academic growth is incredibly satisfying and I feel privileged to be part of this journey.
What advice would you give other faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their courses?
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Our two-semester fieldwork experience is a labor intensive but essential component in our professional graduate program. Most programs would not want (or need) to undertake such a time consuming commitment. But, I think that there are many ways to build connections between the classroom and the community. I find that assignments that require students to interview patients, clients, community members or professionals are often very valuable. Shadowing experiences can also help students “walk in someone else’s shoes.” While these activities are not service learning, I believe they help students shift their focus from school to community and deepen their academic learning. While guest speakers can be a wonderful way to enrich a class session, getting the students off campus to interact directly with others adds another dimension that can push an even greater change in perspective. Bina Solanky (center) with her preceptors Barry Stenger (left) and Lydia Bransten (right) from St. Anthony’s. Bina helped St. Anthony’s develop an operational plan for a proposed safe injection site in the Tenderloin.
Alexandra Karmanova who is conducting research to learn more about the safety concerns of older guests at St. Anthony’s dining room.
JENNA CASEY: TEACHING AT THE INTERSECTIONS OF EDUCATION, IMMIGRATION, AND DISPLACEMENT Community Engagement Manager Mission Graduates Partner Courses: Mission Graduates has partnered with 20 USF professors in the past 5 years in courses such as Sociology Capstone, Rhetoric of Social Change, Communications, Organizational Development (undergraduate and graduate level), Art and Design, Computer Science, Ethics, Catholic Social Thought, Public Relations, Urban Education
Describe how you integrate USF students into the work of your organization.
Number of years working with USF: 5
Our mission to support more Latino and immigrant students on the path to college begins in kindergarten at Mission Graduates, partnering with San Francisco Unified Schools to provide a comprehensive academic enrichment program after school. Each semester, we invite USF students to join our classrooms to provide our students individual attention to not only complete homework, but also to develop a love of reading, STEM, and the Arts. As our students learn more about the path to college, exposure to USF students creates an opportunity to see themselves as future college students.
Organization Mission Statement: Mission Graduates increases the number of K-12 students in San Franciscoâ€™s Mission District who are prepared for and complete a college education.
As a local community partner with a mission to increase access to higher education, we see the great value in partnering with local colleges and universities. Through direct service and larger-scale projects, USF students have had a profound impact on the lives of our students and families.
Once our students reach our college-access programming, the support of USF students has allowed staff to create workshops that better prepare students to be the first in their family to attend college, communicate essential resources to our college-bound students, and connect through social media. USF students have played a significant role behind the scenes as well. Developing in-kind donation plans, creating collateral for events, assisting with fundraising strategies, and researching resources to bring into the classroom, students, individually and in team-based projects, have shared their own talents with our students and families.. What social justice issues do students learn about through working with your organization? Mission Graduates feels that education and the attainment of a college degree is a social justice issue at its core. College access, and ultimately college graduation, is the strongest tool we have to level the playing fields for Latino and immigrant families within a generation here in the Mission District. Our programming ensures that students and families are working towards a future that includes young
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people from the Mission District reaching their full potential and attaining a college degree. And while we strive to ensure our students get every opportunity, we also know they face many obstacles along the way. Economic justice issues come to the forefront as our families feel the effects of unstable housing and job insecurity, as well as new immigration policies that threaten their place in our community. During a semester, students are exposed to many of these issues. In the classroom, they observe students beginning their educational career at very different language and literacy levels. Working one-on-one with a young student struggling in the classroom, USF students are able to help complete homework, while putting into context the societal factors that make our work an issue of education equity rather than equality. We see this throughout our pipeline of services for Mission District students - supporting students of color and first-generation college students on the path to college, ensuring equal opportunities for our youth. Mentoring a student who will be the first in their family to attend a four-year university, USF students are able to share their own experiences with students from our community - and understand the challenges many face such as immigration policies and access to resources. Through all of these challenges our students and families face, it is always so important to recognize community struggles, but also see the amazing assets and strengths that allow our students to persist on their way to becoming the first to attain a college degree. In what ways do you function as a co-educator, helping students to learn about your organization, the people you serve, and broader social justice issues? For many, the Mission District is a neighborhood to visit in San Francisco. It is easy to enjoy the taquerias and take a walking tour of the murals without connecting with the community that calls this place home. Partnering with Mission Graduates programs through community-engaged learning gives students a chance to experience diverse cultures and the community first-hand, while giving something back to the Mission. Working with the immigrant and Latino community we serve, students are encouraged to make connections with students and families different from their own. This personal
interaction puts a face to many issues, like the housing crisis and community displacement, immigration and deportations, and poverty in a wealthy city like San Francisco. Through our partnership with USF, Mission Graduates has worked with several Advocates for Community Engagement with strong commitments to social justice in the Latino community. These three Latina women brought an essential perspective to our partnership - as educators of their peers and role models to our students. Because of their own personal connection to the work, we created a space for students from similar communities to give back to students much like themselves, but also an opportunity for those from different communities to share their skills and talents with our families. Describe a particularly successful community-engaged learning collaboration you’ve had. Over the years, I’ve been particularly impressed with projects that begin from a place of collaboration - where I am able to share needs with faculty and find students who are interested in working alongside my team to meet those needs. Many of these projects focus around communications and storytelling. As a small nonprofit, the time and resources to share out our successes are often limited. Working with several different departments, projects that highlighted student achievements always stand out. The ability to capitalize on university students to help us tell our stories in new ways results in valuable content. Teams have also created social media campaigns to engage donors, and multimedia collateral for our fundraising efforts. This past semester, a public relations course gave students the chance to contribute to a communications campaign from start to finish, while supporting the outreach and visibility of one of our signature events. I learned a lot from this project in particular - the research, strategy, and execution of event promotion.
What do you think makes community-engaged course collaborations successful? I’ve found that when there is intentional collaboration and planning, community-engaged courses can have a lasting impact for all involved - faculty, students, and community partner. Thinking of each as an equal contributor to these learning experiences helps shape the projects and outcomes. I appreciate the chance to speak with professors, learn about their learning goals for the semester, and find ways to incorporate a new perspective on social justice issues through service. Designing projects that relate to course content has led to a stronger partnership. And when speaking to our own needs, the ability to “pitch” to students, finding what sparks their interest, has always led to more engaged student-led projects. We understand there is a lot we can learn from USF students, and finding ways to put their lived experiences and skills to work leads to a stronger impact on our work. And in allowing students to see themselves as agents of change, and partners in the work we are doing, community engagement becomes more than just an assignment, but an integral part of their college education. What are your hopes and expectations for how USF can enhance community-engaged partnerships with your organization and others in the future? We’ve been fortunate to work with students over the years that show a real dedication to our work in community. After a semester of learning together, the opportunity to continue to partner with us would be a great extension of their course. Continued course credit could make this a possibility - turning the personal connections into a longer-term opportunity. I’ve always appreciate the continued connection to the McCarthy Center staff and faculty - chances to share out successes and learn together. It is wonderful to connect with other community partners - both in the classroom and out.
And in working with graduate-level programs, Mission Graduates has benefited from a higher level of engagement of student teams. In the past, these projects have focused on integrating new fundraising models into our annual plan, replicating a pilot volunteer program, as well as creating volunteer recruitment and retention plans that will convert our volunteers into sustained supporters.
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KELLY ERNSTFRIEDMAN: HELPING COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS BLOOM Executive Director CommunityGrows Number of years working with USF: 5 Organization Mission Statement: To cultivate healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities. Describe how you integrate USF students into the work of your organization. This year, CommunityGrows was fortunate to work with three amazing USF students who were volunteering in our gardens as a part of their student service learning courses. All three students worked with Anna Luberoff, Garden Programs Manager at Rosa Parks Elementary School, in facilitating the garden education and nutrition lessons to the students. In all of our classes, youth learn about things like solar energy, plant growth from seed to sprout to harvest, birds and insects, garden care, nutrition, recycling, composting, and water conservation while increasing their teamwork and collaboration skills. During their service hours, USF volunteers helped support garden-based lessons, led small breakout groups, assisted in classroom management, and supervised students as they learned how to plant, harvest, and care for the garden. In addition to their responsibilities, these volunteers served as both mentors and positive role models to our students. We were very grateful to have them in our classes this year and the kids really enjoyed working with them as well. CommunityGrows has also had the pleasure of working with campus partners on community projects, most recently with the Leo T. McCarthy Center during the Buchanan Mall Garden Workday volunteer event this past April. In addition to our environmental education and nutrition programs, it is a priority of CommunityGrows to keep our community spaces open and inviting, so collaborative volunteer projects, such as the garden workday, are a great opportunity to connect with USF and surrounding community members while also working together to complete maintenance and beautification projects in the Western Addition and Hayes Valley neighborhood.
What social justice issues do students learn about through working with your organization? CommunityGrows, a project of the Tides Center, has provided outdoor-based youth development services to residents of San Franciscoâ€™s Western Addition neighborhood since 1994. It was founded as the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Parks Group to renew and reclaim Koshland Park in the Western Addition. Once that was complete, the group began providing free weekly garden classes to local children. Since then, it has built and renovated eight additional community gardens. Working closely with Western Addition residents, teachers, and community leaders, the group identified significant unmet needs among low-income and youth of color in San Francisco. A lack of local green spaces, parks, and gardens means too many young people miss out on the chance to connect with the natural world and develop eco-literacy. Too many youth lack easy access to fresh, affordable produce, and eat unhealthy diets. Because they live
in areas with high rates of unemployment, San Franciscoâ€™s low-income urban teens often struggle to find jobs. The organization refocused its mission to reaching underserved children and teens, and in 2007 changed its name to CommunityGrows. We began offering free weekly youth development programs using the garden and kitchen as a tools to teach health and wellness to local youth. During their service hours and through community events, it is our hope that USF students and campus partners feel connected with our mission and our commitment to addressing social justice issues such as environmental equity, food justice, stewardship, and nutrition and wellness within our community. As they volunteer, USF students learn first-hand about these issues with our students and take an active role in addressing some of the inequities. In what ways do you function as a co-educator, helping students to learn about your organization, the people you serve, and broader social justice issues? We consider ourselves connectors and collaborators engaged in co-powerment with our community and the youth we serve. We hold pop-up cooking demonstrations, (co)host garden workdays, and participate in community events such as the Choose Peace Not Violence Festival, National Night Out, the Backpack Giveaway, and others. During these community events, USF students and campus partners can learn about our mission, our programs, and our students. Volunteers can even actively participate in carrying-out our goals through garden workdays and cooking demonstrations. USF students who volunteer regularly in our programs also learn alongside students as educators teach subjects like environmental stewardship and food justice. Volunteers who work with the BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens) program, in particular, are exposed to more mature topics and delve deeper into issues of environmental equity and other social justice topics.
returning to the garden. Some of them even speculated that preparations for prom might be the reason she was unable to attend classes that week, not quite understanding that she had graduated from college. The USF student worked very well with kids and, in addition to being an amazing role model and mentor, she helped our garden educator greatly in delivering the curriculum and giving students more individual attention since they could be broken into smaller groups. She was a wonderful addition to our team. What do you think makes community-engaged course collaborations successful? I think our USF collaboration is a successful one because it truly is a service-learning opportunity- a two way street where USF students genuinely enjoy being in the garden and working with the kids, learning first hand about their experiences and challenges, and the kids get the opportunity to learn from the USF students and gain additional mentors. It is definitely rewarding work, even if it is sometimes difficult to hold the younger kidsâ€™ attention. And despite having different majors and study focuses, our classes offer a lot of learning opportunities, and each volunteer has seemed drawn to a particular lesson depending on their own interests. For example, one nursing student thought the garden classes were a great way to get kids interested in health, wellness, and the outdoors at an early age in fun and active ways. Other volunteers, in contrast, have been more drawn to the environmental stewardship and conservation aspects of the program. All in all, there is something to interest everyone who joins the program.
Describe a particularly successful community-engaged learning collaboration youâ€™ve had. During our Spring semester, a USF student joined our Wednesday garden classes, volunteering 3-5 hours of her time each week. This volunteer had a wonderful personality and was very engaging in the garden classes. The kindergarten students absolutely adored her and, following her final day the week before, asked whether she would be
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In return, CommunityGrows is grateful to have such a positive system of support from the USF volunteers. With their help, CommunityGrows staff is able to give more individual attention to each student during the garden lessons and a second set of eyes is never a bad thing in these outdoor classrooms! Additionally, with the help of USF volunteers, maintenance projects such as watering, weeding, and planting go much quicker, freeing staff time to work on curriculum and programming. What are your hopes and expectations for how USF can enhance community-engaged partnerships with your organization and others in the future? As mentioned previously, we are extremely grateful to the volunteers we have had this year in our garden education classes. Students of such caliber are always welcome to join our team. In the future, it would be wonderful to see students coming to join our organization from fields outside of
the environmental or health majors. CommunityGrows is continually striving to connect with the community through various mediums. Volunteers with knowledge in graphics, website design, communications, videography, business, and others would be highly valued by our team. Two of our top priorities at this time are funding and awareness. We need help to support our programs, pay our educators a living-wage, support our teens with competitive stipends, pay for field trips around the Bay Area, and other programmatic and administrative costs. We are also looking for people to help share our story and impact. Not enough people know about CommunityGrows, and whatâ€™s more, not enough people know about these awesome kids who deserve the same outdoor and cooking educational opportunities that others are able to experience. Thus, to achieve some of these goals, diversifying the types of volunteers coming into our program would be a huge benefit to our organization.
ADRIAN OWENS: BREAKING BARRIERS IN THE WESTERN ADDITION Community Relations Director Success Centers Number of years working with USF: 3 Organization Mission Statement: Empowerment through Education, Workforce and the Arts Describe how you integrate USF students into the work of your organization. Success Centers work with the McCarthy Center as the Nonprofit Partner with the AmeriCorps VISTA Program (VISTA Program). We are going into our third Program year with the VISTA Program; and I have been the site supervisor responsible for making sure our VISTAS have what they need to complete their projects. We assist and host students, administrators and professors with special class projects as well as open the Career Center for the Western Addition neighborhood walks hosted by the McCarthy Center. In our first year with the VISTAS Program we worked with Jackie Brown, a USF MPH Student who played an important role with the development of our community outreach program, Breaking Barriers. This program was designed for the person who struggles with barriers in education, employment, criminal background, housing instability, and mental wellness. With Jackie’s assistance we were able to host six Community BBQs in the Western Addition and engaged over 600 community members in total. Also, with Jackie’s support we were able to establish off site office hours at Plaza East Apartments and Westside Courts to provide employment services for all residents. In our second year we added Michael Anderson, BA in Journalism and Media Studies, to the Success Centers Family. Michael has helped the Success Centers continue their partnerships with USF. Recently, he facilitated bringing in Criminal Justice Professor, Luis Daniel Gascon and his students who were taking his Juvenile Justice course. The esteemed Success Centers Executive Director, Liz JacksonSimpson, led an amazing panel wherein the USF students were able to dive deep and get first-hand accounts of the ways local non-profits such as the Success Centers were making strides to create equity within our Juvenile Justice system. Michael has also designed workshops and
professional development training for the Success Center’s GED program as well as its Job Readiness Training program. What social justice issues do students learn about through working with your organization? Although Success Centers’ expertise is rooted in workforce and education, our knack at building trusting relationships with the communities we serve is what we like to call our “Secret Sauce.” We are charged with doing outreach in 10 housing sites in the Western Addition. During our office hours at Plaza East Apartments, one of the last housing sites to be converted to a Government funded section 8 based subsidized housing program (RAD), we found that residents were unable to focus solely on their employment needs due to habitability issues in their homes and problems with communicating with the property management company to bring resolve.
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We worked in partnership with San Francisco Housing Development Corp., Community Housing Advocates and the San Francisco Housing Authority to begin working on solutions to their problems. As a results, we were able to help start and facilitate conversations with all parties in hopes of bridging gaps and bring some resolve. Since that time, improvements were made and the communication is much more productive. We are still supporting Plaza East Apartments with various services and continue to work with residents as needed. In what ways do you function as a co-educator, helping students to learn about your organization, the people you serve, and broader social justice issues? Besides our work with the Vista Program, this past year I was invited to be a part of the University Council on Community Engagement. At these meetings we discuss ways in which we could help bridge the gap between community members, USF staff, students, and professors in hopes of making new strides to integrate both worlds for a mutually beneficial experience. I have also had the pleasure of speaking with USF students one on one and in large group settings about the work we do in the Western Addition. Being a native San Franciscan from the Western Addition, I have also shared with students my personal experiences growing up here and how the changes have significantly impacted this community in particular. This is part of the reason why I am so committed to the work we do; it’s personal for me along with a few of my colleagues who have also grown up in the Western Addition and share the same sentiments. Describe a particularly successful community-engaged learning collaboration you’ve had. The Vista Program would be our most successful collaboration to date. Both volunteers have contributed significantly to Success Center’s role in the Community and San Francisco at large. The McCarthy Center and the Success Centers have collaborated on numerous hands-on events such as the “Clean-Up Day” at Buchanan Mall through their mutual partnership with “Community Grows” and “Citizen Film”, two local San Francisco organizations. There, USF staff and alumni joined the Success Center and other community partners for an afternoon of planting and revitalizing the Fillmore District’s beloved Buchanan Mall to name a couple. USF has also supported our community
events by assisting with the planning and execution of the Breaking Barriers events. What do you think makes community-engaged course collaborations successful? I believe it is the alignment of beliefs of the McCarthy Center and Success Centers desire to help those who are in need of support in the areas of education and employment. What are your hopes and expectations for how USF can enhance community-engaged partnerships with your organization and others in the future? One cannot weigh the potential future achievements that will stem from the current partnership between the Success Centers and USF’s McCarthy Center, but one can be assured that the magnitude will be great. It is a rare occurrence in life when preparation meets opportunity. In most cases there is one but not the other. This is not so with Success Centers and the McCarthy Center; opportunity has presented itself at the perfect time for two highly prepared candidates to embrace under one goal.
CELI TAMAYO-LEE: ORGANIZING AS THEORY AND PRAXIS Field Organizer San Francisco Rising Community-Engaged Courses: Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars Number of years working with USF: 1 Organization Mission Statement: San Francisco Rising is a grassroots alliance that has united to make lasting change in San Francisco. Our members represent the rising majority of the city – low income and working class communities of color – who contribute to the wealth and unique beauty of this city but have not benefited from its prosperity. We have a longterm vision for the city and we are in it, together, for the long run. We are uniting African American, Latino, Chinese and Filipino communities and leaders from across the city to create a new, community-based political infrastructure capable of running sophisticated electoral operations each election cycle, and winning. Describe how you integrate USF students into the work of your organization. The work of our organization is to organize with immigrants, working-class people, and people of color to build up our collective consciousness and political power in San Francisco. USF students spent hours each week directly practicing all the elements of organizing. They called young San Franciscans, surveying them upon the issues that affect them most. They gathered petition signatures and conducted presentations for a measure that would create universal free tuition in California’s public state university system. They called City College union faculty to spread the word about the campaign. They tabled on campus to register their peers to vote locally.They supported events that facilitated Know Your Rights workshops and Direct Action trainings in the wake of the anti-immigrant policies being piped down from the federal government. They welcomed audience members during a city-wide, community-led mayoral forum. These activities were the building blocks to the long term arc of enfranchising our communities, whether it was through increasing access to higher education or increasing the electorate of young people of color. The students’ time and
energy multiplied our organizational reach and turned them into more action-oriented change makers. What social justice issues do students learn about through working with your organization? The design of the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars program is the right formula for integrating theory and praxis. While students were studying how to become an organizer, how to form a strategy and campaign plan, they were helping build the College For All campaign. They learned about the history of public higher education in California, including the fact that it was free until the Reagan administration and a slew of neoliberal policies allowed wealthy citizens to pay less and less taxes. They studied the results of those events in the data: racial and class disparities, government spending on incarceration and war. This also set a stage for understanding the importance of registering their peers to vote, knowing that today, millenials make up one-third of California’s population and 7 out of 10 of them are people of color. These issues framed the potential for political power through grassroots PROFILES IN COMMUNITY-ENGAGED LEARNING 47
organizing, especially among students, by involving their peers in petition gathering and political education. I also had the pleasure of co-leading a workshop on gentrification in San Francisco with Maria Zamudio, the campaign manager of the Plaza 16 coalition, for the EMDS students, the same week they were reading There Goes The ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification From The Ground Up by Lance Freeman. Students, who were placed at several grassroots organizations in San Francisco, were tasked with tracing the roots of gentrification in the city back to the foundations of this country and everything in between. They pointed out policies such as exclusive post-WWII G.I. bills that left out black veterans and social events such as the technology booms in Silicon Valley that have contributed to chronic displacement and disenfranchisement of people of color while facilitating unequal advancement for white and wealthy people. Students critically discussed the larger systems of capitalism, white supremacy, and inherently, genocide, that make way for a status quo supporting gentrification today. Specific events of redevelopment in the Western Addition and the Fillmore made these issues more personal as these are USF’s adjacent neighborhoods. In what ways do you function as a co-educator, helping students to learn about your organization, the people you serve, and broader social justice issues? Organizing is a process of learning by doing, playing out in a climate of collective learning that diverts many of the hierarchies in which knowledge is conventionally passed on. I was one of many co-educators among our community allies, along with staff organizers of our member organizations. The organizing processes remind us of the imperfect and perfect behaviors of humans. I trained students on petition gathering and how to agitate their peers, educating them on grassroots legislative strategy and the history of public higher education struggles in California. Simultaneously, their own shared stories and ability to connect their community’s experiences to the content are what put these skills and histories into meaningful context. Setting up environments for reflection, role-play and pair-work also happen in this work. Through the students’ participation in a community-led tour of San Francisco, hosted by SFRising’s member organization, PODER; and supporting the community-led mayoral forum, they were met with struggles of working-class people,
immigrants, and people of color in the city. Their support during a Bay Resistance training further connected these struggles to a global context. Describe a particularly successful community-engaged learning collaboration you’ve had. The greatest success of our collaboration with the EMDS program was the students’ work on the College For All campaign. After weeks of learning about the campaign and training on how to obtain petition signatures, they set up a regular weekly tabling time on campus to register students to vote and collect petition signatures to make college tuition free at the California state public university systems. In student feedback, the EMDS interns were surprised at their own ease with getting people to sign the petition once they had gotten over their anxieties of approaching students. What do you think makes community-engaged course collaborations successful? What makes community-engaged course collaboration successful is the relationship between the organization and the program, and the ability to sync class curriculum with lived experiences and actual work in the community.
This is particularly important for organizing which is oftentimes romanticized into a savior-complex escapade. In actuality organizing is a lot of data entry, bothering strangers, and follow up with people over email and phone. It also is a lot of personal, internal and emotional work that allows for organizers to work effectively and meaningfully with others. It is these repetitive tasks completed with deep care and detail - that allow our communities to go to the streets, demand more during public comment, vote in an informed fashion, and maintain relationships with each other.
What are your hopes and expectations for how USF can enhance community-engaged partnerships with your organization and others in the future? I am very excited that San Francisco Rising will be collaborating with the McCarthy Center again next year, hosting a Community Empowerment Activist in its pilot program. The fact that students are paid to spend 8 hours a week to participate in organizational work is a win-win situation for the organization and the student. I am excited to continue to involve the USF student community in electoral organizing in San Francisco, while educating them about what is at stake locally, statewide and globally.
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"This publication highlights the work of faculty community partners who contribute to the broader movement of fulfilling the public purpose...
Published on Sep 11, 2018
"This publication highlights the work of faculty community partners who contribute to the broader movement of fulfilling the public purpose...