banner for the place-based justice network that says about

Creation of the Place-Based Justice Network:

In 2014, teams from 12 universities gathered at Seattle University for a two-day institute to create a community-inspired definition of place-based work. Since the initial convening, teams from 25 universities have participated in three additional multi-day institutes organized by Seattle University and supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In February 2018, leaders from several member universities met to clarify the purpose and structure of what has become known as the Place-Based Justice Network.

Purpose of the Place-Based Justice Network:

Focusing on a place-based community engagement strategy invites institutions of higher education and their communities into a deeper examination of how transformation and change occurs on campus and in communities. This exploration often leads to an analysis of how to address historic and current systems that disenfranchise people based upon race, gender, class, national origin and many other personal and communal identifiers. 

Place-Based Community Engagement:

Kent Koth and Erica Yamamura define place-based community engagement as “a long-term university-wide commitment to partner with local residents, organizations, and other leaders to focus equally on campus and community impact within a clearly defined geographic area." It is within a collaborative interpretation of community engagement that the Place-Based Justice Network is built. 

Values of the Place-Based Justice Network:

  • We are committed to an anti-oppression framework that recognizes intersectionality.
  • We pursue partnerships and initiatives that are long-term, reciprocal, and grounded in a deliberative process. 
  • We emphasize actions that are defined by community-identified goals that foster self- determination.
  • We recognize that change occurs through continuous individual and collective learning and action.
  • We honor that this work involves openness, integrity and humility.

Stay in Touch - Join our Group on Linked In: 


Connect with other people invested in place-based community engagement across North America. Post relevant articles, videos, updates from your work and pose questions to the group for feedback. Open to all, PBJN membership not required: 

Benefits of Place-Based Justice Network Membership:

Place-Based Justice Network members participate in a collaborative and facilitated learning initiative to best develop and implement place-based engagement in their own community engagement program. Membership includes:

  • Access to monthly Zoom Call conference meetings. Zoom Call meetings are facilitated by network members and include conversation topics applicable to the network's mission. 
  • Access to a summer and winter institute for further learning. Institutes are typically 2.5 days long and include keynote speakers, plenary sessions, break out discussion and site visits. 
  • Access to participate in place-based justice network committee groups. Network members are invited to participate in all aspects of network activities and learning, members are invited to join sub-groups and planning committees.  
  • Access to partnering network member support. The place-based justice network employs a collaborative environment to create a communal conversation. Members are encouraged to utilize network member resources in pursuing their own field practices. 

Becoming a Place-Based Justice Network Member:

To become a member, institutions pay a $500 annual membership fee and agree to the network’s purpose and values statements. Fees support the core administrative functions and staff of the network and institutional outreach. To become a member, please contact Erin Burrows, - membership is accepted on a rolling basis and eligible for renewal each academic year on August 1st. 


Sign up to Receive our Monthly Newsletter

* indicates required


Email Format


Want to Get Involved?

ConnectSU logo