With a $400,000 multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle University will significantly increase its outreach and engagement with its nearby neighbors. The University’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) will use the grant to build its capacity to involve additional faculty, staff and students in the lives and futures of low-income children, youth and adults living in the urban neighborhoods near the campus.

In the past four years, the Seattle University Youth Initiative has been improving the academic achievement of low-income children and youth in the Yesler neighborhood. However, the challenge of addressing issues beyond education—including health, housing and economic development—is fundamental if these children and youth are to succeed in their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

“Over the past year, we have partnered with the Yesler Community Collaborative (YCC) to address this challenge,” notes Kent Koth, CCE’s director. “Our goal is to unite local residents and other community leaders from many sectors in pursuit of a common vision of a livable and equitable greater Yesler neighborhood.”

CCE will use the grant funding to engage key leaders of various University academic and programmatic units in explorations of how they might further connect the University’s teaching, research and service efforts to the YCC’s ambitious neighborhood vision.

Kollin Min, Gates Foundation senior program officer for the Pacific Northwest pointed to the innovative partnership between Seattle University and YCC. “With YCC’s ability to bring people together, and the University’s talented academic community, their combined potential to build capacity for community outreach and impact merits our support.”

Specific activities will include community organizing, research and evaluation, incubation of innovative ideas and building capacity for collective impact. Learn details by clicking the link below:

SU and YCC - Capacity Building May 2015