AECF Launches Effort to Help Universities Strengthen Local Communities

AECF Launches Effort to Help Universities Strengthen Local Communities

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has selected thirty-one institutions to participate in a new effort aimed at helping colleges and universities leverage their capacity to strengthen local communities.

A joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) and the Democracy Collaborative, which have been working with the foundation to help "anchor" institutions such as hospitals and universities use their intellectual, social, and financial assets to catalyze economic opportunity in low-income neighborhoods, the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative will encourage participating institutions to share insights and lessons learned in areas such as goal setting, data collection, and stakeholder engagement, with the goal of advancing their work as community anchors.

"U.S. colleges and universities collectively employ over four million people, spend over $43 billion each year, and hold over half a trillion dollars in their endowments," said Ted Howard, president of the Democracy Collaborative. "Imagine if those resources were invested in our nation's most underserved communities. The potential is enormous."

"Whether public or private, our members share a sense of obligation to their communities," said CUMU executive director Bobbie Laur. "This initiative will guide universities across the country to expand current collaborative work and to form more strategic partnerships that improve economic and social well-being."

For a complete list of participating institutions, see the Annie E. Casey Foundation website.

"New Initiative Harnesses Higher Ed’s Role in Strengthening Local Communities." Annie E. Casey Foundation Press Release 05/04/2018.