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The Place-Based Justice Network currently has 24 active member campuses across the United States. 

PBJN Membership is Open Enrollment

Institutions of higher education who are engaged in or currently planning a place-based community engagement initiative are invited to join our national learning community. To become a member, institutions pay a $500 annual membership fee, agree to the Network’s purpose and values statements and submit information about their place-based efforts to appear on the Place-Based Justice Network website. Fees support the core administrative functions and staff of the Network and institutional outreach. All memberships are eligible for renewal on August 1st of each year. 

Read more about what Place-Based Justice Network Membership entails in this overview document: PBJN Membership Overview 2019.

To enroll, please reach out to Erin Burrows, PBJN National Staff Lead at 

Benefits of Network Membership Include:

  • Eligible to send one representative to the annual Place-Based Justice Leaders Retreat
  • Early access and discounted registration fees to the annual, national PBJN Summer Institute 
  • Full access to professional development Zoom calls
  • Access to phone consultations with experienced place-based practitioners
  • Leadership development via the shared governance of the Network.
  • Contribute to the national movement of anti-oppression through place-based community engagement by putting the Network values into action.

Responsibilities of Member Institutions:

  • Endorse and uphold the purpose and values of the Place-Based Justice Network
  • Provide institutional representation at the Summer Institute
  • Consider participation on one of the working committees
  • Consider participation and facilitation of future continuous learning Zoom calls
  • Consider hosting a future Leadership Retreat (December) or Summer Institute (June)
  • Invite colleagues at institutions who are engaged or interested in Place-based Community Engagement to consider attending a Summer Institute or becoming a member institution
  • Share resources including evaluation instruments, research papers, publications and other tools for distribution among Network members

Augsburg University 

Augsburg University is committed to participation as a contributing community member in the neighborhood we call home, Cedar-Riverside. The Sabo Center stewards this commitment by leading Augsburg’s university-wide place-based work and anchor institution strategy, as well as serving as the touchpoint for community-engaged learning in Cedar-Riverside and Minneapolis.

Creighton University

As part of our strategic plan, Creighton is working to establish place-based community engagement. We will be partnering with neighbors in North Omaha, a primarily African American area of the city. We are deciding if we want to make our PBCE initiative the "24th St Corridor," which also includes the Hispanic/Latino(a) area of the city. Whatever the initiative, Creighton hasa strong health care focus(medical, PT, OT, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing) and a law school in addition to graduate and undergraduate programs.

Drexel University

We focus on three dimensions of civic engagement: volunteerism/service, academic and research engagement, and institutional investment to support West Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Fairfield University

Our place-based community engagement initiative is anchored in a partnership between Fairfield University and Cesar Batalla Elementary School in the West End Neighborhood of Bridgeport, CT.

Fordham University

Fordham University's Center for Community Engaged Learning is committed to the mutually beneficial evolution of our partnerships in New York City, specifically in the boroughs of the Bronx and Manhattan where our campuses are located. The Center works to connect faculty leaders with community leaders in the development of civically-engaged student leaders. The CCEL at Fordham is exploring a place-based strategic initiative alongside our closest partner schools in the Bronx.

Georgetown University

Georgetown University is exploring a place-based strategy with several community partners in Washington, DC Southeast section of the city.

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga is currently in the planning phase for a place-based initiative.

Loyola University Chicago

The School of Education place-based engagement work includes a 7-year partnership with our local high school, Senn High School. The partnership features more than two dozen initiatives during each school year that support core strategies of teacher development, college access and success, and civic engagement. In 2017, the School of Education launched Schools 2020, an initiative in line with the university's 5-year plan to increase engagement in our local communities (Rogers Park and Edgewater) through partnership work in five additional schools. In 2108, Loyola University became the lead agency for five community schools efforts designed to transform neighborhood public schools into hubs of community development. Our relationships with partner schools are mutually beneficial and premised on strengthening academic achievement, social emotional development, and healthy communities.

Loyola University Maryland

The mission of Loyola’s York Road Initiative is to collaborate with neighbors and partners to produce positive change for all residents in the York Road communities of Baltimore City. At the direction of neighbors and others, the Initiative focuses on the educational development, health, and well-being of community residents, as well as on the economic viability of our neighborhoods, including our residential and retail establishments.

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University, with the help of CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA, has introduced the York Road Education and Service (YES) Program. With a vision to support college preparation and increased academic achievement in Baltimore youth, the YES Program has partnered with local charter schools, Govans Elementary and Tunbridge Public Charter. Having successfully launched a tutoring program in academic year 2018-2019, YES is expected to include a mentoring program in 2019-2020 and a health program in 2020-2021.

Pacific Lutheran University

Steeped in our Lutheran heritage, Pacific Lutheran University’s Center for Community Engagement and Service mobilizes students and faculty to participate in service-learning, community service, and community-based research to make Parkland a more healthy, safe and sustainable place to live. The Center has focused its efforts on three initiatives in the Parkland neighborhood that our University calls home: Education, Health, and Community Development. The Education Initiative includes over 200 PLU student tutor and mentors and 7 programs housed in 5 local schools in the Franklin Pierce School District. The Health Initiative
builds capacity with local community partners by engaging faculty and students in projects that enhance the food bank, community garden and community meal programs. The Community Development Initiative drives pilot projects and programs that model signs of hope for a thriving community ranging from small community-based events that strengthen the identity of the community to large-scale economic development projects that support Parkland’s long-term health.

Saint Joseph's University

Utilize Place-Based Community Engagement Process to identify community partners, strengthen our relationship with the Samuel L. Gompers Elementary School. Saint Joseph's University also seeks to duplicate the Gompers model with other local schools and community-based organization and integrate and coordinate community engagement efforts across all university departments.

Saint Mary's College of California

Growing out of Campus Compact's Civic Action Planning process, the College has identified four communities for our place-based efforts. The work is catalyzing the efforts of students, faculty, staff, and community partners and is connected to the undergraduate core curriculum.

Santa Clara University

Thriving Neighbors Thriving Neighbors is an engaged teaching, scholarship, and sustainable development program that links Santa Clara University with the five, predominantly Latino, immigrant neighborhoods that make up the Greater Washington community in San Jose. The mission of this program is to advance the community and its people by promoting economic pathways, skills / training, and supplemental youth education to advance school readiness, support ongoing achievement and enhance access to post-secondary education. The program utilizes the collaboration between community, faculty & staff, and students to create
initiatives for the betterment of the community as a whole. Our partnership with the Greater Washington community works in solidarity with community members to promote respect for human dignity, and create sustainable program models that improve community and university outcomes while making the community a more just and sustainable place.

Seattle University

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. The Center encourages all forms of community engagement including direct service, philanthropy, activism, political participation, social entrepreneurship, community-based research, and advocacy. 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.

Touro University

Our mission at Touro University California is the following: Touro University California provides graduate and professional educational excellence in the fields of Health Sciences, Public Health, and Education. The TUC learning experience is student-centered, enriched by focused research and scholarship, and prepares professionals for rewarding lives in service to others both locally and around the globe. We prepare individuals who will be socially just and who will serve with under-served populations. We focus a lot of this effort on the City of Vallejo including a Student Run Free Clinic, a Mobile Homelessness Medical Clinic, a Mobile Diabetes Clinic, and general events throughout the community, health organizations and schools.

University of Maryland, Baltimore 

The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) leverages the intellectual, economic, and human resources of the University of Maryland, Baltimore to improve quality of life in West Baltimore and beyond. “Community engagement” at UMB refers to a wide spectrum of activities ranging from direct service to institutional policy change to community organization. The team’s work focuses on three issue areas: (1) Public health and wellness, (2) education and workforce development,
and (3) economic and community development.

Find Out More: WebsiteTwitter 

University of Pittsburgh 

Pitt Neighborhood Commitments build stronger communities and a stronger University based on long-term place-based partnerships. In partnership with local communities, the University is making a minimum 15-year commitment of investment, infrastructure, programming, and dedicated staff in neighborhoods such as Homewood and the Hill District. Our neighborhood commitments are anchored by a series of neighborhood-based Community Engagement Centers. These centers serve as a front door to Pitt and serve as a symbol of our desire to build relationships, collaborate, and partner. Neighborhood Commitments is a program of the Senior Vice Chancellor’s Office, housed in Community and Government Relations.

University of San Diego

The goal of CASA’s Youth Engagement Initiative (YEI) is to provide reciprocal learning experiences with a community of learners who are creative, critical thinkers and whose sense of compassion calls on them to form a more just society. The initiative has work-study students and student leaders who are trained to be classroom and afterschool mentors and spend 8-10 hours a week in a K-12 community site, with a community partner in the role of a co-educator and the students are given a chance to recognize the high-impact of place-based initiatives in closing the opportunity gap that exists in our current K-12 education system. Program support and resources are focused in Linda Vista and support classrooms, after school programs, counselors, resource teachers, and extra curricular activities that promote social and emotional wellness. USD students work with community co-educator partners to create programs that incorporate critical pedagogy that is culturally responsive.

University of San Francisco

Engage San Francisco is an intentional, systematic and transformative university-community initiative that will achieve community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth and families in the Western Addition through student learning, research and teaching consistent with University of San Francisco’s mission and vision 2028. This university-wide initiative supports African American neighbors living below San Francisco’s poverty level to achieve their full potential in education, health, career development, and housing. Goals Engage San Francisco has two key goals: Contribute to and support a vibrant, thriving community for children, youth and families and the Western Addition Enhance student learning and faculty research in the Jesuit tradition with key connections to the University of San Francisco’s Mission and Vision 2028.

University of Washington - Othello Commons 

Othello-UW Commons adds value to existing and new community-engaged initiatives between the University of Washington and Southeast Seattle communities. Our Guiding Principals Involve and engage community partners, prioritizing community-informed work that aligns with the mission of the University of Washington Foster and engage in just and equitable relationships between the community and the UW Be transparent and accountable in a spirit of mutuality and solidarity

Whitworth University

Since 2004, Whitworth University has committed to serve the West Central neighborhood of Spokane, located approximately seven miles from its campus. With the goal of growing reciprocal and sustainable relationships between the university and neighborhood, Whitworth’s West Central partnership initially invested service-learning programs, university research, and human capital in its partner neighborhood. The partnership was rooted in the vision of Christian Community Development (CCD), and still upholds elements of CCD philosophy in its strategic planning, alongside principles of Asset-Based Community Development. With funding from the Dornsife Foundation in 2015, the partnership has grown to include a focus on university investment of capital resources, purchasing, and human-resource assets in West Central to build on the community’s existing strengths. Today the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement connects the resources of the campus and West Central to build knowledge and grow a strong neighborhood.

Want to Get Involved?

Place-Based Justice Network Structure:

The Place-Based Justice Network is a loosely structured coalition among universities and colleges and their communities. As the Network continues to evolve three working groups provide leadership and structure. These groups and their members include:

National Staff Lead: Erin Burrows, Seattle University  

Network Steering Committee

Continuous Learning Working Group

Summer Institute Content and Planning 2020

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