Civic Action Summit Explores What the World Needs From Higher Education

June 7, 2016

Summit1On June 2, 2016, administrators, faculty, staff, and students of CTCC’s member campuses, as well as community partners, gathered at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) for Connecticut’s first Civic Action Summit to explore and begin to address the question “What does the world need from higher education?”

Bethany Johnson-Javois, CEO of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network and Managing Director and ex-officio member of the Ferguson Commission, delivered a powerful and compelling keynote speech to address this central question. She discussed the importance of radical listening and working toward racial equity and liberation by being proactive, leveraging faculty/staff expertise, and solidifying meaningful community partnerships to sustain change. Johnson-Javois ended her address with a powerful quote and call to action: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”Summit3

The keynote was followed by a panel who responded to Johnson-Javois’ speech and addressed the central question themselves. The panel was moderated by Campus Compact’s President, Dr. Andrew Seligsohn, and included Johnson-Javois, as well as Denise Merrill, who is Connecticut’s Secretary of State; Yan Dominic Searcy, who is the Associate Dean of the School of Health and Human Services at SCSU; and Fahd Vahidy, who is an advisor to the Graustein Family. Conversations focused on strategies for developing a sense of urgency, utilizing resources external to higher ed, and including all constituents to make dialogues more effective.

Attendees then participated in workshops on themes which addressed the central question of the summit, where they were encouraged to collaborate with colleagues and think critically about how they can implement and utilize the information they learn to improve their colleges and communities. Workshops included the following:

We also joined together tohonor some of the great work of Connecticut’s higher education and civic engagement community. The 2016 CTCC Awards winners are:

Campus-Community Partnership: ENRICH, New London Public Schools and Connecticut College
Community Engaged Educator: Tara Jo HoSummit4lmberg, Northwestern Connecticut Community College
Community Engaged Scholarship: Dr. Jennifer McGarry, University of Connecticut
Campus Leadership Award: Central Connecticut State University’s Community Engagement Committee
Thank you to all who attended this event and made it a successful day of collaboration and discussion, and particularly the speakers, presenters, and award recipients.Summit2