What is Community Engagement?
Community Engagement describes the collaboration between CU Denver and local, national, and global communities for the mutually beneficial exchange through partnerships and collaboration (adapted from Carnegie 2006). In all of our work, we emphasize university-community partnerships that are collaborative, participatory, empowering, systemic, and transformative. Through the Student Life & Campus Community, we offer a variety of programs that get students involved in communities to explore social, cultural, and environmental issues while also learning about themselves and their role in a global community.
Our mission is to develop CU Denver students into advocates of sustainable change through service and collaboration with communities to address social, cultural, and environmental injustices.
Community engagement is approached from a justice-based and asset-based perspective.
Based on this approach the following principles guide engagement:
- Experiential & Reflective Learning
- Collaborative & Reciprocal Relationships
- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
- Student Empowerment
- Sustainable Change
Benefits of Engaging in Our Community
- Meet the unmet needs of one’s own community.
- Students bridge the knowledge they receive in classrooms with hands-on everyday experiences within the community.
- Students have a meaningful and enjoyable experience while meeting and networking with others who share the same values.
- Gain experience with relevant social issues impacting their community.
- Engage in leadership development.
- Explore and get exposure to possible future careers and like-minded professional organizations.
- Witness firsthand the positive impact they have on their community.
- Enhance your overall education and experience. Remember, potential employers are looking for the well-rounded individual who can make a positive impact in a variety of different settings.
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Words used by Lilla Watson, Aboriginal elder, activist and educator from Queensland, Australia
An active citizen is someone who freely offers his/her/zir/their services without pay to meet the needs and build the
capacity of the community. It can mean spending two years as an international development worker in the Peace Corps, a week in a community with Lynx Alternative Breaks, several hours on Saturday planting trees in a local park, time organizing an event with your faith organization, or an afternoon helping members of your community. Active citizenship may include:
- Philanthropy: Give to organizations, individuals, and entities that are engaged in creating positive change.
- Service: Engage in direct service that promotes sustainable change in solidarity with fellow community members.
- Accountability: Create a network of social change agents the support, hold accountable, and work in solidarity with each other for social justice.
- Advocacy: Advocate for the rights, advancement, and values of individuals, and communities to build a movement of social justice and change.
#LynxEngage | Community Engagement Events:
Lynx Day of Service is Friday, September 21, 2018, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM on the CU Denver Field | Lynx Day of Service is a day of volunteerism in the local Denver community for incoming, first-year students. First-year students engage in volunteer projects with fellow students, student leaders, faculty, staff, and alumni. As new Lynx, students gain an understanding of CU Denver’s commitment to engaging in and building our local community.
The following events are tentative due to our internal leadership changes. Please check later for updates:
Social Impact Fairs | Every Semester, over 60 community organizations come to campus to share about their
organizations and opportunities for students. This is an opportunity for students to learn about careers that contribute to soocial good and how they can get involved. Organizations will represent a variety of interest areas from women, medical, homelessness, youth, literacy, interpersonal violence, poverty, and more.
Stop & Serve | Everyone has five minutes to give! Service projects are held on campus throughout the year to benefit a local community organization. Past projects have been making blankets for Children’s Hospital Colorado, making personal care kits for those experiencing homelessness, and supporting an anti-bullying campaign for local schools.
Make a Difference Day | As the largest day of community engagement nationally, CU Denver serves with community organizations throughout the local Denver area to support them in their missions and build community.
Lynx to the Community | National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate CU Denver’s engagement in the community Including a day to volunteer with local community organizations.