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Public Good Impact: A Newsletter from the Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning

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The CCESL Green Suite is located in the Community Commons next to Starbucks (Room 1100)

ACE Student Scholar Grants

ACE Student Scholar Grants are available to support undergraduate community-engaged research or creative work projects that are faculty-mentored.

Community-engaged research and creative work projects are co-developed with community partners with a focus on being mutually beneficial and reciprocal. For example, a project might answer a research question that is important to the student researcher while also meeting a need that is important to the community. Potential partners include nonprofits, grassroots organizations, government agencies or entrepreneurs and businesses.

ACE Student Scholar Grants are available to DU undergraduate students thanks to the generous support of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations for DU Grand Challenges.

Check out some ACE Grant projects that students are currently working on:

We have two opportunities with upcoming deadlines for graduate, upper undergraduate students, and faculty members! Graduate students can now apply to be a Community-Engaged Fellow for the 2022-2023 academic year. Faculty members can now apply for the Community-Engaged Teaching Workshop in June. Click the image for details to each.
CE Fellow Highlight
My experience working as a CCESL Graduate Student Fellow in the Valverde Movement Project 
By: Jessica Villena Sanchez, Community-Engaged Fellow | PhD in the Department of Geography and the Environment

I joined the Valverde Movement Project (VMP) in February 2021. This project seeks to bring community health and wealth to Valverde, a historically marginalized and redlined neighborhood in west Denver. Through several community engagement events and constant communication with community leaders and members of the Valverde Neighborhood Association, VMP has worked to empower this community by uplifting their stories of resiliency, strength, and hope for a brighter future. VMP has also created a hub site where Valverde's stories of past promises, present opportunities, and future hopes are shared in the form of story maps. More recently, VMP is supporting Evon Lopez, a local community activist, in naming a pocket park located in Valverde in celebration of her parents who were also community leaders and, among other things, participated in Denver's Chicano Movement and she founded "Servicios de la Raza," an organization that provides mental health services to Latinx communities. 

Personally, being a part of CCESL's Fellow program helped me realize how relevant it is to do work that actively engages disadvantaged communities and uplifts their stories. CCESL creates a wonderful space to discuss the relevance of community engaged work that seeks to create more just communities by, for example, undesigning previous redlined constraints. As a Geographer, as an immigrant, as a Mexican scholar, I see how much we need to not forget about the history of our cities, listen to people's stories, and build trust with community members. I loved being a part of the VMP and CCESL's Fellow program, my only complaint is that I didn't join sooner!

CE Fellow Highlight
My experience as a CCESL Community-Engaged Fellow
By: Lusungu Chirambo, Community-Engaged Fellow | MA in Development Economics & International Development 

Working on my project with the fellows’ program has been one of the most remarkable experiences at DU. After being accepted into the program, I had mixed feelings because I thought it is something that I couldn’t manage. On the other hand, the mixed feelings came about as this was my first time working in a different cultural diversity set-up. I received overwhelming support beginning from the top-level management which was contrary to my inner fears. This really boosted up my confidence.

My 4 months working in the fellows’ program has been rewarding. I have developed skills in community engagement such as interpersonal skills which I believe will be an ideal for me even after graduating from DU. I have also come to appreciate the need for individuals to get involved in community engagement within different programs and platforms. Working with Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO) is also something rewarding for me as it has fueled my passion of helping girls realize they can become anything they want to become in life without anyone stopping them. I can’t say enough on how the fellows’ program has been an awesome experience and how I am now able to communicate with a diverse group of people in a team setting and virtual platforms.

Five Takeaways: Green Justice in Denver

On April 21st,  we had our third Fireside Chat in the What Is Community? Series, powered by DU Grand Challenges and their Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning. This Fireside Chat focused on the three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. Equity is central to sustainability, and we are gathering with individuals that are working to ensure everyone benefits from sustainability work! 

Our panelists were Kayla Fatemi, Evon Lopez, Monique 'Mo' Fair, Jorge Figueroa, and Lisa Reyes Mason. Watch the Livestream and explore all takeaways below!

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