UMW’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is up and running, strengthening ties between Mary Washington and the greater Fredericksburg area.
The newly launched center held its first Day of Service in August, sending first-year students to volunteer in the community doing riverfront cleanup, tree mulching, animal shelter support, and more. The CCE showcases civic and community engagement opportunities and fosters partnerships that enhance student learning and encourage positive social change.
The center fits into a larger national movement to make community engagement a top priority at higher education institutions.
“At UMW, we have a tradition of working in and with our communities,” said Sarah Dewees, CCE’s associate director. The center provides an infrastructure to support, promote, and enhance the service and volunteerism already being done by students and employees. It also assists faculty who have long incorporated community engagement into their teaching and research, and those who wish to start.
“We’re lucky to have James Farmer’s legacy here,” Dewees said of the late Mary Washington professor and civil rights icon who inspired the creation of COAR – Community Outreach and Resources – the student-run organization adopted by CCE. “He taught us that social justice includes both organizing and good works.”