Building the Neighborly Community in the Age of Trump: Toward a University-Community Engagement Movement 3.0

Building the Neighborly Community in the Age of Trump: Toward a University-Community Engagement Movement 3.0

Gavin Luter (University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA) and Henry L. Taylor (University at Buffalo (SUNY), USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0280-8.ch006

Abstract

With no moral compass, the current higher education civic engagement movement has wreaked havoc on inner city communities, especially for low-income people and people of color. This chapter explains why this happened, who it benefits, and why it largely continues unquestioned. A bold new vision is charted for higher education's civic engagement movement that is built upon principles of systems change and a fundamentally reimagined version of cities founded on social justice. Theoretical and practical solutions are also discussed.
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The Neighborly Community Paradigm

The neighborhood is a critical feature in the university-community engagement movement because it is the prime determinant of one’s life chances, well-being, and socioeconomic outcomes (Galster, 2019; Chety, Hendrin, & Katz, 2016; Sampson, 2012; Sharkey, 2013). The neighborhood is as a force field where an interactive relationship exists between people and place. People act on place and place acts on people. In underdeveloped communities, the place has an undesirable impact on people by creating obstacles that thwart their quest for well-being and desirable socioeconomic outcomes (Galster, 2019; Sampson, 2012). The foundation of racial and social class inequality in the United States is found in these underdeveloped communities. Therefore, you cannot build a just metro-knowledge city or nation without their radical transformation (Sharkey, 2013). For this reason, the university-community engagement movement centered on the transformation of underdeveloped communities into neighborly communities.

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