University District Initiative

Engagement between the community and the University comes in many forms and offers opportunities for students, faculty, and staff of the University to work in partnership with the surrounding communities.

The University District Initiative aims to develop strategies with the goal of strengthening community-University relationships and offering systematic ways for community members, students, faculty, and staff to access and share information. This place-based initiative focuses on the neighborhoods directly adjacent to the University's Minneapolis campus.

Through 2018, intiative coordinators are hosting Collaboration Wednesdays, informal weekly gatherings at local coffee shops for community members and University faculty and staff seeking information about partnerships. Times and locations follow: 

First Wednesday of each month—Hard Times Cafe, 1821 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis

Second Wednesday of each month—Black Coffee and Waffle Bar, 1500 Como Ave. S.E., Minneapolis

Third Wednesday of each month—Seward Coop Creamery Cafe, 2601 E. Franklin Ave. Minneapolis

Fourth Wednesday of each month—Cafe Alma, 528 University Ave. S.E., Minneapolis

Community Partnership Coordinator Merrie Benasutti will lead a spring semester course entitled The Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood: Where the World Meets Minnesota (PA3481). Based on the immerision principles of a study aboad experience, the course encourages civic engagement and will provide opportunity to learn and work in Minneapolis's Cedar Riverside community while examining questions of leadership, power, cultural diversity, and social change.

To learn more about University District Intiatives, email Merrie Benasutti, Community Partnerships Coordinator.