The Swearer Center works to connect the capacities of the university and community to address inequalities in our society and communities; create, share, and apply knowledge for the public good; and educate and prepare students for lives of effective action.
The following principles guide the work of the Swearer Center:
- Collaboration and partnership: Both the University and community hold extensive knowledge and resources. We strive to work through a model of respect and cooperation, establishing long-term relationships and jointly defining, implementing, and evaluating all efforts.
- Critical thinking and reflective practice: Building on Brown’s educational philosophy, Center initiatives encourage intellectual integrity, interdisciplinary connections, and self-reflection.
- Capacity building and sustainability: The scope and urgency of inequalities require us to pursue actions that build individual and community capacity to achieve significant and sustainable outcomes.
The Swearer Center utilizes the following strategies to achieve its goals:
- Focus resources and facilitate connections for problem solving specific community issues by combining community assets, research and evaluation, action, policy work, and leadership and advocacy.
- Convene students, faculty, staff, and community partners for dialogue, education, scholarship, and action on public issues.
- Provide a continuum of structured opportunities, advising, and support to help students and faculty 1) engage effectively in the community; 2) integrate personal, community, and academic goals and work; and 3) develop knowledge and capacity for reflective practice and community impact.
- Contribute leadership and knowledge to the field – both in the communities in which we work and in the larger field of the study and practice of education.
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