Concord Neighborhood Center
2021 Outstanding Community Partner of the Year Concord Neighborhood Center in Indianapolis, and their Executive Director Niki Girls, nominated by IUPUI.
Indiana Campus Compact is honored to recognize our community partners without whom none of this work would be possible.
We recognize the incredible dedication and work that our partner institutions’ community partners put into co-educating their students, and we know that whether we talk about community service, service-learning, community-based research, or any other form of community engagement, institutions are not doing the work alone. It is only accomplished through strong reciprocal partnerships with community organizations.
For over a decade, Concord Center has been a community-based classroom for students from IUPUI’s anthropology and museum studies departments. That partnership made possible two books, a program in the award-winning Spirit and Place Festival, museum exhibits, a multi-generational reunion and more. In their nomination letter, Susan B. Hyatt, Professor and Chair in the Anthropology department, and Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, Chancellor’s Professor and Director of the Museum Studies Program, said that, “In 2010 and 11, Concord Center hosted the ethnographic methods class where we met weekly to document the importance of inter-racial relations in the history of the neighborhood. Having a base on the south side was a boon for the success of the classes as current and former residents regularly stopped by, sharing memories and allowing students to interview them.
We also initiated events that we called “scana-thons,” where southsiders were able to stop in and have their old photos and other memorabilia scanned and cataloged while they waited. The interviews and material were used in our 2013 publication, The Neighborhood of Saturdays: Memories of a Multi-racial Community on Indianapolis’ Southside. Then, in 2014, a Museum Studies class used the material collected by the anthropology students to put together an exhibit called Split but not Separated, which added to the story of the dispersion of neighborhood residents created by the construction of I-70. These collaborations led to a reunion of neighbors from before the construction. The students who had participated in past projects at the Center joined us for an evening in which we shared the story of the Concord Center and the very special role it has always played in bringing people together across racial, ethnic, and religious boundaries.