At the USU summer meeting, we partnered with APLU’s Council on Engagement and Outreach, to dig deep into the topics of resiliency and partnerships. From that meeting, we developed two checklists to help institutions strengthen their resiliency. Our second checklist, below, compiles strategies and tactics to strengthen university-neighborhood partnerships.
Checklist 2: Campus-Community Relationships to Build Resiliency
Where to begin
Start with existing relationships, then expand networks intentionally with inclusion in mind, thinking outside the box in terms of partnerships (leadership, partners, and people).
Be deliberate in addressing racial equity and social justice in plans and strategies, or they will not impact those goals. Effectively link between racism and resilience.
Know the end game
Get to the root cause of stressors, its’ easy to get lost in the symptoms.
Equity is the nucleus
Understand vulnerable communities surrounding and on campus and include them in planning and practice.
Knowing the history/background is useful to guide toward a new direction; Use in framing to garner support
Start the conversation with data, but don’t end with it.
Engage the municipality, which is critical for a share purpose
Have strategies for getting those not ready to the table
Acknowledge everyone’s humanity and default to good intentions.
Create Rapid Response Teams for Hot Issues (e.g. conflict resolution, hate speech)
Consistently, respectfully challenge the status quo
Connect stories and communication to the human experience