The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

Mission

Our mission is to cultivate and steward mutually beneficial partnerships between communities and the University of Michigan in order to advance social change.


Based upon this mission, our vision is for inclusive democracy; thriving, diverse communities; and equity and social justice.


Seven core beliefs guide the Ginsberg Center's work:

Learning and Consciousness Raising. We believe an integral part of higher education is the learning that occurs through service and community involvement, results in the critical understanding of social issues and develops a deeper commitment to justice.

Social Justice. Our work reflects the vision of a more just society. We seek to address the root causes of social inequality by challenging the personal beliefs and social systems that create it.

Ethic of Service. We believe that each of us has the ability and power to influence our global society, positively and negatively. Therefore, we seek to promote an ethic of life-long service and social responsibility. Through education, reflection and community partnerships, we empower individuals and groups to identify and respond to oppression and inequality, to bring about fundamental change in social systems and commit to a life-long investment in service and social responsibility.

Personal and Professional Development. We believe in challenging individuals to explore and develop their values and identity by providing meaningful opportunities for personal, professional and intellectual growth. These opportunities for growth include community involvement, issue education, critical reflection and leadership development.

Community Partnership. We believe that our service in the community must engage community members as equal partners. We actively involve the voices and perspectives of community partners in our work at the Ginsberg Center: in training students, setting goals, planning events and developing programs. We value the expertise of our partners and stakeholders, and base roles and responsibilities on each partner's capacities and resources. We share accountability, risks and costs of our partnerships.

Authentic and Diverse Coalitions. We believe that social justice is advanced when we identify our commonalities, build upon our strengths, and engage our differences. Our efforts to build authentic partnerships and coalitions across social, economic and geographic boundaries and roles are sincere and based on engagement, honest and open dialogue, mutual respect and shared vision and goals. We seek to foster collaborative decision-making and a collective vision, resulting in solidarity within and between groups of students, staff, faculty and community members.

Integrity of the Ginsberg Center. We believe that our commitment to service and social justice mandates that we live our core values and act with respect, honesty, trust and fairness. We strive to communicate authentically, make decisions collaboratively and share knowledge and resources. These actions are essential to maintaining the integrity of the Ginsberg Center, living by our core values and furthering our collective vision of social justice and equality.


Our Impact

Check out the local and global reach of our work and explore Student Voices, where students share stories about how the Ginsberg Center has impacted their journey.

 

 

Some highlights of our work:

- 3,985 University of Michigan students served in our programs and services in 2014-15, together devoting 26,829 hours to positive social change.

- 32 Training sessions in 2014-15 which prepare students to be thoughtful participants in community engagement experiences.

- Support for faculty and staff that spans 19 departments and schools across the University of MIchigan campus.

- Nearly $250,000 in support to student organizations since 2003 through our grants program.