The Permeability of Space: Place-based Justice Efforts at an Urban University

by Raymond Barclay

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In this podcast, Kent Koth, a national leader in civic engagement and place-based justice efforts, discusses how Seattle University is embracing its context and developing a series of place-based planning and outreach initiatives to create permeability between its campus and the local community. 

The goals of the campus-based participatory strategy are to bring about deeper integration with its local community as well as enhance its community-based efforts by addressing more substantively the local economic, environmental, and social justice needs of its community.

Kent Koth is the founding Executive Director of the Seattle University Sundborg Center for Community Engagement. Kent is leading an effort to create a national network of universities pursuing place-based community engagement. Kent co-authored the book Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education (Stylus 2018).

About the Sundborg Center for Community Engagement

Founded in 2004, the Sundborg Center for Community Engagement connects Seattle University students, faculty, and staff with families, youth, community-based organizations, government institutions, neighborhood leaders and others through direct service, philanthropy, activism, policymaking, social entrepreneurship, and community-based research.

Inspired by the University’s Jesuit Catholic ethos, the Center strives to lead as an anti-racist organization working toward a 2030 place-based vision that leverages the University’s resources to advance justice, remove institutional barriers, and educate changemakers.

A central focus of the Center’s work is the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI). Since 2011, the Youth Initiative has united the campus and its wider community to enhance SU students’ learning and provide a “cradle to career” pathway of support for children and their families living in a two-square-mile neighborhood adjacent to campus. Find out more:

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