The New Solutions Journal recently published an article I wrote on “Community University Collaborations for Environmental Justice”. This piece lays out a model for deep, transformative, co-learning between community and university. It is based on the partnerships that I have been building at Tufts Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning over the past six years and which has resulted in the Co-Research/Co-Education Partnership (CoRE) model. My thanks go to the Tisch College for Civic Life, which provided me a Faculty Fellowship and a symposium to develop and share this model. The link to the article and the abstract are below.
Community–university collaborations for environmental justice have pushed the boundaries of the modern research university, yet remain rooted in a research frame. This article lays out a transformative co-learning model, which aspires to cultivate long-term, place-based, reciprocal partnerships where university and community co-produce knowledge and action toward a more just, sustainable, and democratic society. Starting with joint inquiry and planning, community and university integrate teaching, research, and service activities over a cycle of three to five years and, if sustained, coevolve in place over the decades. Co-learning partnerships can anchor transformational learning, support community-based research, address critical community issues, and diversify the university. Tufts Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning has recently developed a three-year co-learning partnership model with long-time partner Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Yet, challenges still remain in resourcing community partners, valuing local anchoring, aligning university rewards with co-learning, and ensuring that community benefits are prioritized.