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.


The Ginsberg Center cultivates and stewards mutually beneficial partnerships between communities and the University of Michigan in order to advance the public good.  We are committed to:

 

Principles of Community Engagement

We use the following principles to guide our work:

Centering on Reciprocity  

We strive for balanced impact in our partnerships, which means that students, faculty and staff, and community partners all have the opportunity to share their interests, goals, and expectations. University and community partners can achieve their goals through reciprocal partnerships.

 

Starting with Community

Our approach centers around community-identified priorities and how we can most effectively match University of Michigan resources and expertise to those of community partners working to address these priorities.

 

Fostering Long-term Partnership

We focus on stewarding long-term relationships with community partners that last beyond a particular project or engagement. As a project or partnership with an academic partner concludes, we connect community partners to additional university resources so other relationships and partnerships can flourish.

 

Balancing Power

Cultural humility requires a recognition of power differences and conscious attempts to balance these differences through reflection and learning.  Community members are recognized as active agents, who are experts in their own right, with deep knowledge about their communities and practices, rather than as sites of academic exploration or the passive recipients of university expertise.

 

Moving from Individual to Collective Action

We support coordination, collaboration, and increased coherence by bringing together parties with shared interests to amplify positive community impact. We leverage networks and illuminate multiple pathways of connection to allow students, faculty, and staff to contribute, throughout various levels of preparedness, career stage, and expertise.

 

Connecting Learning Across Contexts

We support students’ integrative learning across classroom, co-curricular, personal, and community settings. Reflection is a critical component of this integration throughout the partnership process to ensure connections are made across these domains before, during and after community engagement experiences.