The Community Engagement Center (CEC), a unit within UT Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, is moving from the Marvin C. Griffin Building to a temporary home in Centennial Towers, 505 E. Huntland Drive, on Monday, Nov. 27.
Since 2007, the center has been home base for community members and organizations at its East Austin location—close to the residents that it serves through a number of programs and initiatives. At its temporary Northeast Austin home, the center will continue its mission to serve as the front porch of the university and build mutually beneficial community partnerships, leveraging the university’s thought leadership and resources to support Austin’s most underserved communities.
“A relationship developed out of the DDCE’s desire to be planted in the East Austin community to connect, collaborate and collectively address issues of equity and access,” says Virginia Cumberbatch, CEC director. “The CEC has realized parts of its vision with the support and resources made available at the Marvin C. Griffin Building.”
Over the past decade, the center has progressed throughout the years—from the expansion of the Texas Grants Resource Center (formerly Regional Foundation Library) to the incubation of nonprofits including the Harvest Youth Foundation, Six Square: Austin’s Black Cultural District, and Mama Sana. The CEC is also home to the photo exhibition of the Prairie View Interscholastic League, Texas’ African American high school interscholastic league during segregation.
“The Marvin C. Griffin Building has been more than office space, it has served as ground zero for innovation, collaboration and transformation among community members and community organizations,” Cumberbatch says.
Community members and nonprofit professionals are encouraged to visit the CEC at its temporary space to explore its many offerings.
“We thank the leadership, board and staff of Ebenezer Baptist Church for being great neighbors and express our appreciation to the East Austin Economic Development Corporation for allowing us to build our front porch in the community on East 11th Street for 10 years,” Cumberbatch says. “We look forward to continuing to build sustainable and effective partnerships to build access and equity in Central Texas.”