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 defines quality community engagement as social action that strives for equal impact on campus and community. As the hub of the university’s interface between community and campus, the Center for Community Engagement emphasizes long-term place-based partnerships and anti-racist, inclusive frameworks. Community engagement at Seattle University includes but is not limited to Service-learning, university-assisted community schools, direct service, community-based research, advocacy, public scholarship, activism, and anchor institution strategies.
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.