Founded in 2004, the Center for Community Engagement is a dynamic outgrowth of Seattle University’s Jesuit Catholic tradition and mission of “educating the whole person, to professional formation and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world.” The Center serves as the main entry point for students, faculty and staff who want to engage in the local community. The Center also acts as the focal point for community-based organizations and government institutions seeking University support to address unmet community needs.
Seattle University and the Center for Community Engagement broadly defines community engagement to include community-based research, diversity and inclusion strategies, service-learning, public scholarship, university assisted community schools, anchor institution strategies and volunteerism. As the hub of the universities interface between campus and community, the Center for Community Engagement encourages all forms of community engagement such as direct service, philanthropy, activism, political participation, social entrepreneurship, community-based research and advocacy. The Center and the University, place a particularly strong emphasis on long-term community partnerships focusing equally on campus and community impact.
The Center's signature focus is the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI). Since 2011, the Youth Initiative unites the campus and its wider community to enhance Seattle U students’ learning and improve the academic achievement of 1,000+ neighborhood youth from low-income backgrounds. The Center pursues SUYI’s goals through a holistic approach focusing on strong schools, stable housing, access to health care, safe neighborhoods and living-wage jobs. Learn more about the Seattle University Youth Initiative.