On April 29, the Ginsberg Center partnered with the School of Education (SoE) to convene a conversation among education-focused community organizations and SoE faculty and staff to enhance connections and establish a foundation for future collaboration. More than 30 stakeholders came together at the United Way of Washtenaw County to connect on a range of issues, the core of which involved identifying common aims that connect community need, faculty research interest, and teacher education.
Feedback from community members, like D'Real Graham from Ann Arbor's chapter of 826Michigan, was overwhelmingly positive. Says Graham, "This meeting allowed us to gain important insight from existing and newly established academic service learning partnerships. We benefit so greatly from check-ins and visioning sessions like this one."
Representatives from the Ginsberg Center and School of Education both expressed optimism that the momentum from this conversation will result in meaningful projects that will benefit students, faculty, and the community. Elizabeth Moje, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Associate Dean for Research and Community Engagement, says, "The School of Education is grateful for the Ginsberg Center and for the many community groups who expressed an interest in working together to develop community-based opportunities to learn. The partnership with the Ginsberg Center will help us serve community partners with our scholarship and practice while we also educate University of Michigan students to be teachers, school leaders, education scholars, and informed citizens. Our students, staff, and faculty have much to learn from and, we hope, much to offer our communities."
Mary Jo Callan, Ginsberg Center Director adds, "We're so thrilled by the positive feedback we're hearing from participants. Our goal is to continue to identify intersections between local community needs and faculty work and to create spaces for cultivating and broadening partnerships."
The Ginsberg Center is currently collecting in-depth feedback from participants in order to shape future planning and identify next steps.