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Announcements Event News

2nd Annual Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium a success

The 2nd Annual Place-based Community Engagement Symposium was a success last week. Participants engaged around the theme of “Listening, Learning, and Leading: A Place-based Approach to Promoting Public Responsibility and Community Engagement in a COVID-impacted World.” 114 registered for the two-day symposium.

The conference planning committee chose this theme due to their observation of the challenges posed by COVID-19; our community engagement landscape has evolved significantly, from decreased volunteer participation to heightened community needs.

Conference registrants helped shape this year’s symposium. The planning committee had over 60 questions submitted for our opening session and panel discussion. Plus, questions were arranged as discussion topics at the networking event on Thursday evening.

Audryanna Reed, Associate Director for High-Impact Practices, Co-initiative Manager of Engage Dallas, and Chair of the conference planning committee, shared, “Engage Dallas is grateful for the opportunity to bring together non-profit and civic leaders in Dallas as well as staff and faculty across SMU and Dallas College. Such inspiring words, cultural context, and critical challenges posed by our keynotes Latosha Bruff and Jerry L. Hawkins, M.Ed., as well as our panelists and workshop hosts!”

A copy of the program booklet is included below.

Reed and the conference planning committee are underway with year three planning. Building off the dialogue from this year’s conference, the theme will likely incorporate the concept of “under-championed communities,” which was prevalent in this year’s sessions. Reed says to expect a save the date soon for the November 2024 symposium.

This Engage Dallas symposium collaborated with Residence Life & Student Housing, The Budd CenterThe Office of General Education, the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, and The Center for Teaching Excellence.

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News Reflections

The Inaugural Engage Dallas Bus Tour

The inaugural Engage Dallas Bus tour took place on September 8. A total of 27 students participated and explored several historical sites around Dallas. We are so grateful to have partnered with Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation who led the tour. In many ways, the tour highlighted the way that race and race relations in Dallas have impacted the lives of many Dallas natives. The tour also adds clarity to Engage Dallas’ place-based approach to service.

The tour went as follows:

Stop 1: John Neely Bryan Cabin, Old Red Courthouse, and Martyrs Park.

Students reading about John Neely Bryan’s Cabin.

Stop 2: Allen Brooks Marker

Stop 3: Pike Park and Santos Rodriguez Memorial

Students at the Santos Rodriguez Memorial.

Stop 4: Freedman’s Cemetery and Memorial

Stop 5: Booker T. Washington High School, St. Paul United Methodist Church, and Old Moreland YMCA.

Stop 6: Dallas Heritage Village, Millermore Mansion, and Gano House

Stop 7: Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House

Group picture in front of the Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House.

In a post-event assessment, some of the students shared what they learned from the tour. One student shared:

“I learned about how gentrification of towns can affect racial demographics.” Another said: “I learned about important people like Juanita Craft and Santos Rodriguez.”

Other students shared what they liked about the event.

“I liked how we were able to see some landmarks, and information about important people that I didn’t know existed.”

Another student expressed, “I liked to see the women’s representation during that period [of time].”

We’d like to acknowledge that all students who participated earned 4.5 hours of general engagement that go towards their Community Engagement and/or Civics & Individual Ethics Proficiency.

We hope to make this tour an annual event.

Stay connected with us by following @smu.engage.dallas on Instagram!

 

 

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Event News

Registration open: 2nd Annual Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium

Hosted by Engage Dallas, in collaboration with Residence Life & Student Housing, The Budd Center, The Office of General Education, the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, and The Center for Teaching Excellence, this two-day event will take place on November 2nd and 3rd.

About the Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium

The Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium is a gathering of thought leaders, academics, community leaders, and nonprofit professionals from SMU and the DFW area.

This event is designed to explore the transformative potential of community engagement within specific geographic contexts.

Our goal is to delve into the strategies and innovations that have the power to catalyze positive change within communities, with emphasis on campus and community collaboration and sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships.

RSVP

Seats are limited, so please RSVP by October 20, 2023. You will be able to opt to register for one or both days.

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Announcements Boaz Commons Cockrell-McIntosh Commons Community Partners Event McElvaney Commons MHPS Commons News Reflections

Big iDeas from SMU Students

The 2023 Big iDeas Case Study Competition, hosted by the Housing Unification Board in collaboration with the Office of Engaged Learning and Engage Dallas, was a resounding success with four student projects receiving funding to support a community engagement event with one of their Commons’ Engage Dallas Community Partners. This year a total of $6,500 was allocated to the four winning Commons to implement their pitched events. 

Cockrell-McIntosh Commons received $500 to create college preparation baskets for the students of LNESC who are planning to start college in the fall. SMU students dropped off baskets filled with dorm and basic school supplies as gifts to the students who were attending LNESC’s College Signing Day event. 

Boaz Commons received $1,000 to support the planting of a fig orchard on site with their Community Partner, Our Saviour Community Garden. Boaz was able to purchase a tiller to help with preparing the plots to plant the trees. Nine students attended the planting event where they helped to plant the trees and set irrigation to ensure that the plants would flourish.

Boaz Commons Residents with tiller bought for Our Saviour Community Garden
Boaz Commons Residents with tiller bought for Our Saviour Community Garden.

McElvaney Commons was awarded $2,000 to support Brother Bill’s Helping Hand (BBHH) with implementing their Neighbors Day event. McElvaney was able to sponsor the health and fitness stage where local neighbors were able to attend free Zumba and fitness classes during the event. SMU students served with BBHH staff to help manage the event and ensure that all neighbors had a fun and healthy experience. 

Mary Hay, Peyton, Shuttles (MHPS) Commons took home the grand prize of $3,000 to implement their “Storytime!” event with their community partner, Heart House. MHPS residents led Heart House students in a lesson on one of four stories: Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Coco, and The Little Mermaid. All students got to take home a copy of their book along with a craft that corresponded with their particular story. Manju Warrier, Director of Teaching Programs at Heart House, shared that their “students had so much fun touring the campus, participating in the activities, and interacting with SMU students. We are so grateful for our partnership with Engage Dallas and are excited for future partnership opportunities.”This was the second year that MHPS was able to partner with Heart House to bring students to campus and Student Director, Ruhani Ahluwalia, hopes that the partnership will continue next year. 

Heart House students posing on campus with MHPS Commons residents on campus tour of SMU.
Heart House students posing on campus with MHPS Commons residents on campus tour of SMU.

Engage Dallas would like to, once again, extend their deepest thanks to the Housing Unification Board and the Office of Engaged Learning for a wonderful event. We cannot wait to see what amazing events are dreamed up for next year’s event! 

 

Categories
Event News

Engage Dallas Hosts the Second Annual One Night for Dallas Reception

On April 20, 2023, Engage Dallas hosted its second annual One Night for Dallas: a celebration of SMU’s students, staff, faculty, and community partners serving Dallas. The event was held in the ballroom of the Hughes-Trigg Students Center, and guests were treated to a light reception and dinner before the program began.

The evening started with inspiring words from SMU’s Vice President of Student Affairs, K.C. Mmeje, reminding us that while we are celebrating our work this year, there is still plenty to learn and do. His words were followed by our three keynote speakers for the evening: Dr. Crystal Clayton, Executive Director for the SMU Hegi Family Career Development Center, Courtney Cuthbert, Chief Operating Officer for Brother Bills Helping Hand, and Tammy Johnson, Executive Director of Empowering the Masses, who shared their inspiration for service and encouraged the audience to find the source of their own passion.

One Night for Dallas also allowed students to share their service successes. Student leaders from Mustang Heroes, Alternative Breaks, The Big Event, and Engage Dallas provided an overview of their programs and revealed how many hours they spent working with community partners on and off campus this academic year. Together, they hosted over a thousand volunteers and were able to reach out to the broader campus community to encourage service and engagement.

The end of the night concluded with the Service Awards. One Night for Dallas features five unique awards each year, honoring student volunteers, student leaders, and community partners. The final award presented was the Outstanding Community Partner award; it honors two partners who actively participated in SMU’s service programs during the 22-23 school year. We are excited to congratulate For the Love of the Lake and Brother Bill’s Helping Hand for their amazing partnership!

We thank all our volunteers and attendees, congratulate all our award winners, and are ready to see you on April 9, 2024 for One Night for Dallas!