The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) serves as UT Austin’s “front porch.” This center fosters mutually beneficial community-university collaborations that further the university’s mission to serve Texas and beyond, with an emphasis on historically and currently underserved communities.
CCE’s Front Porch Gathering Series represents UT’s open door to the Austin community. These events connect UT faculty and resources with engaged community members and organizations in an effort to identify strategies, align efforts, and foster collaborative relationships that result in action. The monthly gathering works to address issues of equity, disparity, and access in Central Texas.
Upcoming Front Porch Gatherings
Connecting UT Students to Community Priorities: Direct Service and Leadership Programs
Thursday, April 13, 2023 (6:00 – 7:30 pm)
REAL Learning Academy Cafeteria
William Cannon Campus
6405 S IH 35
Austin, TX 78744
In collaboration with our long-time community partner Dove Springs Proud, UT’s Center for Community Engagement is excited to invite you to our upcoming Front Porch Gathering, Connecting UT Students to Community Priorities: Direct Service and Leadership Programs. This event will be held in Dove Springs.
Based on community priority responses, we are introducing attendees to the work of CCE’s student engagement and leadership programs. During this Front Porch Gathering, we will hear directly from student leaders and the CCE staff who manage direct service opportunities with communities locally, nationally, and internationally to discuss how Student Engagement programming connects students seeking volunteer experience with service-based community organizations.
We will also facilitate smaller break-out groups for community members to share and identify direct-service opportunities for students in the surrounding Central Texas area and provide input on additional ways these programs can continue to connect with and support the priorities of the surrounding communities.
RSVP by Monday, April 10, 2023
Dinner will be provided
Previous Front Porch Gatherings
Revisiting Priorities to Ensure Successful Community Partnerships
On Thursday, October 20th, The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) gathered at the John S. and Drucie R. Chase building to reassess community priorities. Community members from neighborhoods throughout the Austin area participated in a series of conversations about leveraging the existing strengths and resources within their neighborhood to support equitable change.
Read a recap of the event here!
A Movement Not A Moment: Reflections, Outcomes, and Strategies for Sustained Civic Engagement
The Center for Community Engagement hosted a community-wide discussion on effective strategies for civic engagement in historically marginalized communities.
The dialogue focused on various ways to engage, support, and highlight the critical issues most relevant to our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent completion of the 2020 census, and November local and national elections.
This event was held in collaboration with community storytellers Gavino Fernandez, Jr. and Priscilla Hale, the Institute of Urban Policy, Research, and Analysis at the University of Texas at Austin, and MOVE Texas.
Read a recap of the event here!
Meet our Community Storytellers
Gavino Fernandez, Jr. — Community Organizer & Coordinator, El Concilio
Mr. Gavino Fernandez, Jr. is an Austin native. He was raised around “Hungry Hill” near Ortega Elementary School back in 1960 and later moved to Barrio Unido near Zavala Elementary School. He attended Allan Jr. High School and graduated from Johnston High School in 1972. After graduation, Mr. Fernandez joined the Brown Berets and then went on to work at Zavala Elementary School through a federal grant for a bi-lingual education program. He also attended Austin Community College the first year it was created.
Mr. Fernandez then worked for the Austin Parks and Recreation Department at community recreation centers in East Austin, organizing youth and adult sports programs for 17 years. In 1991, he was hired by then Travis County Commissioner of Precinct 4. He governed alongside Chief of Staff Marcos de Leon for 4 years.
Currently, Mr. Fernandez volunteers for LULAC District 12, a Latino civil rights organization, on raising scholarship monies for LULAC high school graduating members entering college. Mr. Fernandez also serves as the LNESC-Austin Advisory Chairman and as the Coordinator for El Concilio, a coalition of Mexican-American landowners de East Austin.
Mr. Fernandez loves working with people and is a proud uncle to over 70 nieces and nephews.
Priscilla A. Hale — Community Organizer & Executive Director, allgo
Priscilla A. Hale, MSW is currently the Executive Director of allgo and has been with the organization since 1998. She has extensive experience in the areas of community organizing, production of cultural work, nonprofit administration, program development, and implementation.
She is an East Austin, Texas native who identifies as a Black Lesbian, mother, daughter, sister and grannie Cilla. She earned her Masters of Social Work Degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX, and her Bachelor’s Degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.
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