Hands-on Interdisciplinary Learning

Our cross-disciplinary programs mean that we get to think together about social problems from different perspectives, and that students and faculty come together with new ideas, backgrounds, and skills. Working people; young people; and Black, Indigenous and People of Color are at the forefront of social change in the United States and elsewhere, now and for a long time. Community-engaged, hands-on learning to transform where we live is a proven effective student learning practice at universities. Community engagement emerged as an academic movement in the 1960’s and grew in strength throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, yet full academic programs based on this type of meaningful, community-based learning were rare until recently. Our strength-based, interdisciplinary approach to understanding urban environments means that if you are a college student who grew up knowing first hand the struggles and strengths of these communities, or if you are an individual who has been interested in seeing society’s problems through a similar lens, your perspectives are value-added in our classrooms and projects.

Our Vision

A sustainable hub for urban change-makers, an enduring and robust institution that authentically and mutually meets the needs of multiple WCU entities and Philadelphia neighborhoods and organizations, where a deeply multiracial and cross-class alliance of youth and adults with a multiplicity of professional expertise and live experience engage in practices to further develop their own and each other's abilities to leverage assets and resources in and outside the community to cultivate security and vibrancy, trust and relationship, and equity and power.

Our Mission

To support the building of power for Southeastern PA metropolitan communities, specifically but not exclusively global majority/communities of color and low-income urban communities, through providing together new and mid-career urban community change professionals -- particularly urban youth workers, artists, and cross-sector racial and economic justice workers -- credential-bearing educational pathways and supportive, healing spaces and opportunities for renewal.