The Community Classroom
To further our mission and to continue our efforts to serve as the “front porch” of The University of Texas in the Austin community, the Center for Community Engagement has built a new program series called the Community Educational Exchange (CEE). CEE is defined by a series of courses offered to community members and residents that are taught by UT faculty, staff and community partners. These classes are designed to marry theory and practice and to offer a specific skill, knowledge, or expertise to support the work of Austin community members engaging with advocacy/activism efforts, or other community-based work. It is our goal to break down the barriers that can come when working and learning in a formal educational setting and create a reciprocal and dynamic space that informs exposure, dialogue and best practices. We will work toward giving community members relevant content, organization and project exposure, community knowledge and hopefully inspiration to advocate for themselves, their community and build access, equity and capacity. These courses are meant to be accessible and thus are $50 or less for 8 weeks and are structured to create an exchange amongst community members and community though leaders.
Community Housing Hub
Where we live matters. Our access to a quality education, employment, quality food and a healthy environment are often predetermined by our zip codes. Yet in one of the most innovative cities in America, Black people and other communities of color face consistent inequitable access and provision in the housing market. It is imperative that individuals not only have access to affordable and equitable housing, but are provided the resources to maintain their homesteads in the communities they’ve helped build and cultivate. Austin has the opportunity to reconcile its long-standing history of segregation, (that what institutionalized after the development of the 1928 City Plan) displacement and the development of inequitable communities east of I-35. The University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) Center for Community Engagement’s Community Housing Hub will serve to disrupt these political and social practices by working alongside vulnerable communities in the following areas of focus: research, preservation and advocacy. Engage more, here:
Community Language Lab
As the city of Austin faces unprecedented growth it must commit to developing intentional and nuanced resources that meet the needs of every community member. Language accessibility is critical to engaging all communities in important city conversations. With more than 22% of Austin’s population not speaking English as a first language, true equity, accessibility and cultural competence must include developing the tools to meet these linguistic needs.
The Community Language Lab would seek to offer free language resources to community organizations and citywide efforts best positioned to serve Austin’s most linguistically isolated and vulnerable communities
Front Porch Gathering
As the “front porch” of The University of Texas at Austin (UT), the Community Engagement Center (CEC) initiates and stewards successful community-university partnerships that connect the resources of the university with individuals, groups, and institutions in historically and current underserved Austin communities. CEC’s Front Porch Gathering represents UT’s open door to the Austin community, providing time and space for community collaboration. Designed to activate more than just dialogue, the Front Porch series connects UT research and resources with engaged community organizations and community members to identify strategies, align efforts, and foster collaborative relationships. The monthly gathering works to address issues of equity, disparity, and access through active engagement.