University Learning Community Focuses on Buford Highway Corridor

The Work of Art in the World—The Art of Work in the World

Learning and leading together, building partnerships on Buford Highway

In Spring 2017, the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence and the Center for Civic and Community Engagement (Campus Life) will facilitate a University Learning Community focused on the Buford Highway Corridor, and organized around the theme of Art and Social Transformation. Participants will include students, faculty, staff, and community partners who are interested in learning together how to create excellent community-campus partnerships. As part of the learning community, we will identify several mutually agreed-upon projects that are informed by our discussions, readings, and listening to each other.  The projects may be initiated as part of the learning community but will likely extend beyond the spring 2016 semester. They may also lead to community engaged learning courses, directed studies, or other academic approaches. Funds to support successful completion of the projects or ongoing partnerships will be made available through the Center for Civic and Community Engagement in Campus Life and the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence. The CFDE and CCCE expect this pilot program to continue in future years with changing geographic and thematic foci.

General expectations of all participants:

  • Attend and actively participate in all four planned sessions.
    • Planning and Community Building Retreat
    • Three engaged sessions – one per month (February-April) with each session lasting about two hours
  • Participate in the exploration and practice of a commonly accepted set of values and standards for our group and concerning the engagement with the community.
  • Actively shape and improve the agenda for the three sessions during the semester and commit to a collaborative, open, and respectful work environment.
  • Participate in processes established by the group aimed at recording and sharing the experiences in this pilot.  This could include journaling, posting to a shared communications tool or other form of documentation (surveys, focus groups, etc.) both during the program term and at the end for assessment of the experience.
  • Engage outside of the scheduled activities with others in the community.  Project teams will emerge, working outside of the full group events to plan for next steps.  Readings or other “homework” will be part of the process to promote effective conversation.


  • Establish collaborative, generative, reciprocal, sustainable, and reliable partnerships among stakeholders at Emory University and the community partners, specifically the Buford Highway neighborhood.
  • Experience, learn more about, and improve pedagogies of community engagement.
  • Learn about best practices in building community partnerships.
  • Explore, analyze, and integrate the impact of the arts on social change.
  • Get to know case studies of life-changing arts projects in communities around the world.
  • Think about creative ways to assess complex university-community interactions and how to set specific, measurable goals and accommodate for the unexpected.
  • Work with a small team on a specific project idea directly benefitting the Buford Highway neighborhood.
  • Acquire essential skills in listening, teamwork, and project management.
  • Connect to a wide variety of people across Emory and Atlanta.

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