The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

The complex challenges facing our world today require robust solutions. At the Ginsberg Center, we are committed to bringing together partners to tackle these challenges together. Our mission is to “cultivate and steward equitable partnerships between communities and the University of Michigan in order to advance social change for the public good.”  Part of accomplishing this mission is bringing together stakeholders across the university and community to help amplify the impact that each of these groups could have individually through collaboration and education, elevating the collective impact of these groups. 

We use conveneings and collaboratives to bring together diverse groups of stakeholders with different types of expertise to develop new approaches to stubborn challenges. These bring together stakeholders from multiple areas: students and faculty from different fields and disciplines, community partners from local organizations, community groups, schools, and government agencies. Together, we share knowledge, build relationships, and devise new approaches to pressing local issues.

Convenings

These are events, or series of events, where people who have an interest or do work on a common issue can come together to find out what is happening on a topic of local interest. People can come together to understand the landscape of the topic, such as housing affordability, local journalism, or literacy.

Examples of convenings

  • Civic Engagement and local journalism: In response to the changing landscape around local journalism, Ginsberg helped bring together a group of funders, media organizations, and civic organizations to discuss collective concerns and ideas around transparency and accountability in government, through an educated and informed citizenry. This convening kicked off a multi-year effort to engage and activate a broad network of local stakeholders. 

Collaboratives

With a focus on sustained partnership to work on systemic issues, collaboratives center community-university partnerships by facilitating connections between one or more community organizations with UM faculty, students, and staff to tackle a shared challenge. Collaboratives can add coherence and coordination to amplify the impact of existing efforts on an issue or create a centralized hub and clearinghouse to make valuable skills more accessible. 

We facilitate two types of collaboratives: skill-based and issue-based. 

  • Skill-based collaboratives focus on capacity building for community partners and professional development for students by forming partnerships around skill development that is needed by community partners.  
    • Example: Community Technical Assistance Collaborative (CTAC) serves a universal need identified by community partners around data and evaluation. Students apply and develop their skills on real world problems, and community partners gain assistance on managing and communicating their data, while building capacity to continue this work.
  • Issue-based collaboratives focus on partnerships that form around a specific issue or topic elevated by the community that impacts many different groups in the community. Collaboratives are meant to be a consistent hub for work to happen, where community partners can identify relevant projects, share updates and results, or see what is going on with their particular issue. 
    • Example: Housing Affordability Regional Collaborative (HARC) In response to Washtenaw County’s intensifying housing affordability crisis, Ginsberg partnered with four local leaders in this issue to help coordinate and support local efforts. This collaborative adds coherence to the many different campus-community partnerships formed to address this challenge, and helps tell a collective story about tall the work being done

Collaboratives Descriptions

RECAP Education Collaborative

In 2018, the University of Michigan’s Center for Educational Outreach, the School of Education, and the Edward Ginsberg Center formed a partnership to strengthen and streamline their K-12 services and opportunities for the U-M community as well as provide clearer direction and guidance to K-12 schools and educational partners in Michigan. Later named “RECAP” to highlight the guiding principles for K-12 partnerships, these Centers’ collaboration shows the commitment to working with our U-M colleagues, K-12 schools and students to advance student learning and partnerships through the RECAP principles. Learn more about the Education Collaborative here.

America Reads Virtual Tutoring Program

In response to the changing educational landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ginsberg Center’s America Reads virtual tutoring program was created.The virtual program is an extension of a 20+ year program that typically meets in school. The program seeks to provide academic and social support for elementary students impacted by distance education, continued professional experience for college students, and an opportunity for the University of Michigan community to support the education of young people. This is a free service and is at no cost to tutees and their families. Families can register their children for the program and select the type of tutoring support to best meet their children's needs.

Contact us at ginsberg.matchmaking@umich.edu if you would like to learn more, join one of these opportunties, or explore other potential collaborations with us.