16:59 PM

CCESL's 2021 Community Engagement Virtual Showcase a Success

The University of Houston-Downtown's Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) recently hosted its 2021 Community Engagement Virtual Showcase to booming success. Between community partners, faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, total attendance reached 119 attendees.

Due to the pandemic, the event took place online. Attendees were able to use UHD’s CampusGroups application to view the showcase’s agenda, activity feed, speaker biographies, information about UHD’s community partners and more.

The two-hour event featured an introduction, a keynote address, and individual and panel presentations that celebrated the diversity of community-engaged, experiential learning at UHD. Participants saw and heard the stories from faculty, staff and students who are collaborating with community partners across Houston. These experiences spanned diverse curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular settings and are expansive in their positive social impact.

Of particular note was keynote speaker Selena Garcia – a UHD alumnae, activist, and agent of change – who spoke on her experiences as a DREAMER, her work with Camino a la Universidad, community engagement grants, and GatorServe during her undergraduate career. She also shared about how she now uses her voice to advocate for undocumented immigrants across the United States as an MSW Student Representative by endorsing and financially contributing to candidates who support social justice and the social work profession. Her speech addressed issues that affect underrepresented groups and underscored the role of students and other advocates of color in the country.

“It was exciting to share with the UHD community just some of the community engagement work our students, staff, and faculty have accomplished through the programs and projects of the CCESL. I hope something in the presentations inspired the attendees to become more engaged in their communities, no matter where they are, no matter how big or how small; and remember, if students don't know where to start, they can reach out to us at the CCESL,” said Caroline Smith, CCESL Assistant Director.

CCESL is an important component of UHD as it directly supports the mission and vision of the University by directly engaging with the community on various levels and by providing internships to students. Visit the CCESL website for more information.