The VCU Division of Community Engagement celebrated its 10th anniversary on May 3, 2017 with a special ceremony honoring a decade of community engagement work with an eye towards the future.
Several supporters of VCU’s community engagement work spoke at the event. President Michael Rao opened the ceremony and introduced Mayor Levar Stoney, who called these community-academic partnerships the “foundation for the city’s future.” U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia recorded a video message for the event recognizing the community engagement work of VCU and the Carver Neighborhood Partnership, of which he was involved in his former positions as Richmond city council member and mayor.
In addition to recognizing the work of the past decade, the VCU Council for Community Engagement used the ceremony as an opportunity to award the 2017-2018 grant recipients. The Center on Society and Health’s latest partnership was among this cohort of grantees, in which the VCU Council for Community Engagement awarded its one millionth dollar.
The Center’s new partnership involves collaborations with Engaging Richmond, as well as Embrace Richmond, the City of Richmond Office of Sustainability, and the Wilder School of Government and Public Service. The project, Asset-Based Community Development: A Model for Community Strengthening, was one of three VCU Partnership Grant Recipients awarded this year.
The grant application process was competitive and rigorous, and included an application and an interview with a panel of approximately 15-20 faculty and staff from VCU. Engaging Richmond team member Chimere Miles attending the interview and spoke eloquently about how this partnership can continue to shed light on how to leverage the assets within the community for positive change.
The grant’s Principle Investigator, Dr. Meghan Gough, was additionally recognized that evening by the Council for her commitment to community engaged research at the University. She was one of only four VCU faculty to receive this distinction.
The Center on Society and Health is grateful for this opportunity to build new partnerships across departments and schools within VCU and to strengthen relationships between the university and the community. To follow our progress on this project, follow our blog here and visit the project page on our website.