July 2019 Newsletter

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It has been a busy summer here at CHER! This summer, we’ve been busy working on projects that bring together Trinity students, staff, faculty, and Hartford-area community partners. Students have been deeply engaged in public humanities summer research, volunteering in Hartford, attending workshops and lectures, interviewing community members, and having fun. Take a look at what we’ve been up to below, and if you or your organization are interested in partnering with CHER programs in the upcoming academic year, be sure to contact us.


Public Humanities Collaborative Students Use Digital Tools for Hartford and Faculty Projects

This summer, Trinity students in the Public Humanities Collaborative (PHC) have been delving into archives at the Watkinson, Connecticut Historical Society, and the Jewish Historical Society; interviewing members of the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities of Hartford; transcribing, analyzing, and creating data visualizations on urban displacement in New York and the global wine trade; and so much more. Each week, teams have presented to fellow students, staff, faculty, and community partners on digital tools they are using in their projects. Take a look at their resources on our blog.


Moving from Oral History to Social Change: Groundswell Oral Historian Fanny Julissa García Presents Public Workshop

Over 40 Trinity students, faculty, staff, community partners, organizers, artists, and teachers came to CHER to learn about using oral history for social change with oral historian Fanny Julissa García. Participants described the ways they see oral history going beyond the archive: telling the stories of black elders and sharing those within a family, working with young people in a classroom setting and allowing freedom of expression, imagining and understanding Hartford and Willimantic neighborhoods before urban renewal and displacement, destigmatizing abortion, and more. Take a look at our blog post (with resources) here.


Building Community at Place of Grace Food Pantry

This week, we visited Peyton and Alicia at the Place of Grace Food Pantry at Grace Episcopal Church on New Park Avenue where they volunteer their time every Thursday. Place of Grace provides grocery items every week to parts of Parkville, the West End, and Frog Hollow and they’ve held a partnership with Trinity College’s Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement for about 8 years. Peyton and Alicia say for them, it’s deeper than volunteering: getting off campus in Hartford has taught them a lot. Take a look on our blog.


Trinity Community Resident Door-to-Door Survey Results Coming in September

This summer, Action Lab Director Megan Brown and student researchers Mabel Silva ‘20 and Karen Navarrete ‘20 teamed up with community interviewers to conduct a door-to-door survey, in Spanish or English, with over 100 residents of the 15-block area around Trinity College. Survey questions focused on residents’ perceptions of their neighborhood, their local information networks, and their familiarity with Trinity’s partnership programs. The goals of the study are for Trinity to regularly listen and assess how our neighbors perceive our institution, and to reflect on better ways to use our limited resources to strengthen mutually-beneficial partnerships. The study was funded by Trinity’s Office of the President, Office of Community Relations, and the Dean of Faculty. Stay tuned for a public report on our findings, and community events to share and discuss next steps, in late September.


Does Money Matter for America’s Students? School Finance and Educational Inequality Researcher Professor Bruce Baker Presents at Trinity

Last week, we were lucky to be joined by Rutgers University Professor Bruce Baker, a leading researcher on school finance and educational inequality. Trinity College students, faculty, staff, community partners, and community members came together for a special lecture on inequity in school finance and implications that has in Connecticut and Latinx communities. Take a look at Professor Baker’s slides, a video recording of the lecture, and a repost of the Connecticut Education Association’s blog post about the event. 


MakerspaceCT Welcomes Partnerships with Trinity Faculty, Staff, Students

Dave Tatem, a Trinity College Instructional Technologist and CHER Advisory Board member, recently toured MakerspaceCT, a 25,000 square-foot hands-on collaboration space located in the historic G. Fox Building in downtown Hartford. Read what he learnedabout how Trinity faculty, staff, and students can partner with their program.


Beatrice Alicea Promoted to Assistant Director of the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement

The Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER) at Trinity College congratulates Beatrice Alicea on her promotion to Assistant Director of Community Service and Civic Engagement! Director Joe Barber (pictured above) said, “Beatrice will play an important role in strengthening and growing a number of Trinity’s ongoing community engagement efforts.” Read more about Beatrice and her new position here.


Learn How to Design a Communications Plan for Community Engagement

Erica Crowley, the Communications and Data Assistant at CHER, recently presented a one-hour interactive workshop on “Designing a Communications Plan for Community Engagement” for a gathering of the Community Engagement Professional Network (CEPN), sponsored by Campus Compact for Southern New England, and hosted at Quinnipiac University. She walked us through the steps behind clarifying your mission, designing a content calendar, and matching various digital and print platforms with different types of audiences. Learn more here.


CHER Director: Jack Dougherty
CHER Communications & Data Assistant: Erica Crowley
Community Learning Director: Megan Faver Hartline
Community Service and Civic Engagement Director: Joe Barber
Community Service and Civic Engagement Assistant Director: Beatrice Alicea
Liberal Arts Action Lab Director: Megan Brown
   Communications and Program Assistant: Morgan Finn
Trinfo.Cafe and Office of Community Relations Director: Carlos Espinosa
   Program Manager: Arianna Basche
Urban Educational Initiatives Director: Robert Cotto Jr.