Community Engagement Grant Recipients

2015 Grant Recipients

** Note: Grant recipients are asked to wait one year before re-applying **

Congratulations to the USF faculty, staff, students, supporters, community partners and their stakeholders who received five (5) inaugural campus-community partnerships under Engage San Francisco last June. Each of the five partnerships below applied for and have been awarded Community Engagement Grants for their unique projects that seek to support community-based learning, research and activities in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood.

Handful Players’ Arts Education Internship Program
Ms. Judith Cohen, Executive Director, Handful Players
Ms. Christine Young, Assistant Professor, Theater Program, USF

Handful Players, committed to the development youth in San Francisco's Western Addition through the vehicle of musical theater, will collaborate with USF’s Performing Arts & Social Justice (PASJ) program to create an arts education internship and community service project for PASJ students with a theater concentration. USF students will have the opportunity to work directly with underserved youth and observe and be mentored by professional teaching artists in Handful Players’ after-school and summer musical theater programs at the Western Addition Beacon Center.

Shake-It-Up: Study Guides and Workshops
Ms. Sherri Young, Executive Director, African American Shakespeare Company
Ms. Bria Temple, USF Student, School of Education and School of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Arturo Cortez, Lecturer, USF School of Education

A committee comprised of teaching artists, educators, youth representatives and service-learners will develop content and techniques to enhance life-long creativity and learning through the arts. The group will develop two new study guides for The Tempest and Xtigone (new adaptation based on Antigone); the group will also review and refresh the African American Shakespeare Company’s Cinderella study guide for K - 5th grade. These resources will simultaneously build and strengthen reading and comprehension skills by using theater games, drama techniques, and study guide content for students. The committee will provide content, tests games and exercises for the classroom, and incorporate learning materials and quizzes for the study guide.

Strengthening Community Engagement and Best Practices in the SF Western Addition by Identifying Needs through Networking and Photo Voice Experiences 
Dr. Betty Taylor, Professor, USF School of Education
Mr. Rodney Chin, Executive Director, Buchanan YMCA
Dr. Hayin Kim, Director of Community Schools, SFUSD

This project will identify and develop a pilot community-based participatory collaborative team project within the Western Addition community of San Francisco concurrent with the University of San Francisco’s core values and strategies of community engagement and the community’s identifiable needs. The project creates a two-pronged qualitative research approach to the development of community partnerships by “giving voice” to individuals, groups and agencies and organization that do not usually have a voice within their community to organize collaborative change. The communication networks and partnerships are strengthened through community Blog sites and gathering stories through the methodology of participatory photography (Photo Voice). Specifically, the project will engage families and young people, community organizations and USF faculty and students in a collaborative partnership. The results of the project will provide a platform for facilitative community conversations and empowerment of those individuals and groups that are often perceived as marginalized in our society.

The Village Project: Aspects of Success
Dr. Terry Patterson, Professor, USF School of Education
Ms. Adrian Williams, Executive Director, The Village Project

This project will assess the effectiveness of various components of the Village Project, a decade long independent activity led by community activist Adrian Williams. The Village Project provides diverse activities and counseling for youth living in public housing in the Western Addition. Both Dr. Patterson and Ms. Williams will participate in the design and implementation of a systematic assessment of the various activities to determine their differential effectiveness, with the goal of placing more resources into them, de-emphasizing those that are less effective, and developing new ones. Dr. Patterson and Ms. Williams will work together to implement findings and publicize them to the local and professional communities. Dr. Patterson will also engage graduate students in service-learning of community advocacy and research methods, and ask them to commit to ongoing engagement.

Young African Americans Re-Connecting with African Traditions
Dr. Pascal Bokar Thiam, Lecturer, Music
Archbishop King, Church of St. John Coltrane

The purpose of this project is to bring young African American boys and girls of the Western Addition to understand, appreciate and reconnect with some of the cultural traits of West African Culture. This program will strengthen their sense of identity in an American society that has removed them culturally from their historical cultural base and sacred traditions. Strong identity is the engine of positive motivation and young African Americans need to reconnect with a sense of cultural traditions and values that go beyond the American existential timeline so they can overcome the obstacles of racism and indifference from a stronger internal space of identity. This course provides an insight on the cultural contributions of Africans and African Americans of the Diaspora through History.