Building ProActive Communities for the Common Good through Higher Education

Mya Miller, Graduate Student Assistant, Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement, University of Indianapolis, Marianna Foulkrod, Director, Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement, and Derrin Slack, Founder and CPO, ProAct Indy.

The Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement at UIndy has been working closely over the past few months with agencies in Indianapolis to develop innovative, meaningful, and reciprocal online collaborations to accommodate current critical service-learning curricular needs at our institution as well as address some of the most current social issues in our city.

During this activity-based session, we will discuss approaches to innovative collaborations that look beyond the traditional experiences and encourage participants to re-define and rethink the positive outcomes of transitioning service-learning into virtual or hybrid opportunities for all involved. We will showcase some of the deliverables from critical service-learning projects in collaborations with ProAct Indy this past year, a nonprofit that connects schools, corporations, and nonprofits to empower youth to better serve our community.

Participants will have an opportunity to hear from a community partner that worked with UIndy to build Proactive Communities while engaging with our students and faculty in significant ways and learn about project management, how to customize experiences, and how to be innovative during these times of uncertainty.

The audience will participate in interactive activities that will highlight outward thinking and introduce them to the concept of Standing in the Gap. The activities will give participants the opportunity to foster new relationships that can potentially grow into reciprocal and innovative collaborations, as well as provide them with materials and tools. In this session, participants will participate in engaging activities, breakout rooms with peers, and facilitated discussion to gain tools to understand the inward and outward mindsets and their implications on results within a Proactive Community; Begin to assess the extent to which they are working with an inward mindset; Change their mindsets to become more outward; Re-conceive their jobs in the community and academia to make them more outward; Hold themselves more fully accountable; Work in a way that is more collaborative, fulfilling, and effective; Positively influence others to change; and address and resolve conflicts. This session will be open to all audiences.