Transforming student learning. Deepening faculty engagement. Partnering with the community to address identified needs. These aims drive the work of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement.
We believe that this high-impact, transformative learning about social issues can change our community and our world. When faculty and students join community partners for collaborative and sustained exploration of community-identified needs, or test knowledge in a living laboratory with tangible results, everyone benefits.
We forge long-lasting partnerships in which local organizations teach and learn alongside our students and faculty, and benefit from shared resources and ideas. We connect our local partners with students and faculty in a variety of ways, from comprehensive neighborhood-based civic-engagement programs to issue-based initiatives, to even one-time volunteer opportunities for campus organizations looking to give back. And, we often call on community experts in their fields to join us for discussion and action around pressing social issues.
The Student Experience
Through civic engagement, we want our students to understand the ways that difference, privilege, and power work in their own lives and in our society. We ask them to broaden and deepen their thinking about complex and interconnected social issues affecting our world today. We prepare them for lives of active citizenship and active learning.
This kind of civic engagement is integral to a University of Richmond education, fostering social responsibility in our students and preparing them to lead lives of purpose. Along the way, we ask our students to reflect on their experiences, asking themselves such questions as:
- How has your background shaped you and your understanding of the lives of others?
- What connections can you make among the issues you are learning about?
- How will you apply what you have learned beyond this experience?
- What questions will you seek to answer? Where will you look?