If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together. - African Proverb
The Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) lives the lesson of this proverb, collaborating with all those who live in the communities we serve. As partners, we seek shared solutions to problems that impact us all.
The death of George Floyd has moved people of all races and ethnicities to respond to the atrocity of his killing with determination that this will mark the beginning of an end to the long and tragic history of racial injustice. Large crowds of peaceful protestors in communities across the nation have demanded a change not only in police practices but in our nation's priorities as a democratic society that demonstrates respect for all lives. CEI is committed to supporting these changes by applying the knowledge, creativity, and civic commitment of the University of Delaware to the critical challenges facing communities in Delaware and across the nation. No community challenge is more critical now than securing equal justice.
President Dennis Assanis has proposed that the university community can do better to support diversity and inclusion. The Community Engagement Initiative is committed to acting on effort. Our initial efforts include these:
- Our Partnership for Healthy Communities, Partnership for Public Education and Partnership for Arts and Culture, as well as our support for The Newark Partnership and the Wilmington Policy Partnership are all committed to greater equality and social justice.
- The UD Council on Community Engagement, which brings together representatives from all colleges and 45 community-facing centers and institutes, will be working with the Office of Equity and Inclusion to undertake specific actions to enhance diversity and inclusion on campus and in the communities we serve.
- The Community Engagement Scholars program will help students to learn, reflect and act on issues of racism and structural inequality. The program will sponsor a Town Hall to open an on-going dialogue and support participation in guided study focused on racism and the history of discrimination against black and brown people in the US. Students will be supported to participate in a summer service challenge in their hometowns.
This is a moment like no other. It is a time to go far together as a university community of caring faculty, staff, students, and partners to achieve positive, constructive changes in our communities that enhance the lives of all.