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.

PA3481 The Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood: Where the World Meets Minnesota. 

The University's Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood: Where the World Meets Minnesota course is an immersion-style offering that parallels the immersion experience of study abroad course, and is focused on Minneapolis's Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. The course encourages civic engagement and provides an opportunity to learn and work in the Cedar-Riverside community while examining issues of leadership, power, cultural diversity, and social change. Students participate in discussion seminars, neighborhood excursions, and community work. Registration is open until May 3, 2019. 


Collaboration Wednesdays

Through 2019, Coordinator for Community Partnerships Merrie Bennasutti will host 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

University District Initiative Spring Walking Tours

Join Coordinator for Community Partnerships Merrie Benasutti on four walking tours of district neighborhoods spotlighting the success stories and opportunities involving community-University partnerships.The hour-long, themed tours beginning Wednesday, May 22 designed for University faculty and staff include guest appearances by University  and community members involved in community-engaged projects in each neighborhood. Each tour will culminate in an informal gathering with free appetizers at a local eatery.

Space is limited. Reserve your spot now. 

Cedar-Riverside: From Countercultural To Multicultural
 2 to 4 p.m.Wednesday, May 22
 Networking appetizers at The Red Sea

Prospect Park: Reimagining Development
 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 26
 Networking and appetizers at Surly Brewing Co.

Marcy Holmes: A River Runs Through It
 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 24
 Ntworking and appetizers at the Aster Cafe

Southeast Como: Green and Growing
 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, August 28
 Networking and appetizers at Chin Dian Kitchen


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