Dear AITF Members:
The importance of anchors to the future of communities has never been clearer. As we have been demonstrating since the onset of the pandemic, hospitals, universities, and cultural and municipal anchors have played a vital role in responding to dire circumstances. This is especially the case regarding community-centric anchor institutions, which meet the needs of underserved populations in their day-to-day operations.
The clarity of these circumstances inspired us to more directly explore how to influence policies that support anchor institutions to be democratically engaged partners in their communities. We have been distributing our inaugural policy brief, Pursuing Just and Equitable Communities, which we first released at the end of last year. All of you should feel free to distribute this brief widely, as it captures the essence of AITF’s thinking about the distinct significance of anchor institutions in the years to come.
This brief, which calls for a national Fund for Anchor Institutions and a National Anchor Institutions-Community Work Initiative, is the centerpiece of our upcoming webinar on April 19 at 1 pm Eastern, Anchor Institutions and Public Policy Toward Just and Equitable Communities. During this discussion, we will hear a national perspective from Kinnard Wright, Senior Grants Specialist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a local viewpoint from Tanisha Jumper, Director of Media and Communications, City of Tacoma. Neither Kinnard nor Tanisha is a stranger to AITF. Both have extensive experience working with anchor institutions. They will enhance our thinking about the necessary alignment between government and anchor institutions at all levels in order to pursue equitable growth in localities as we navigate an uncertain future. Please join us for this important and stimulating webinar. You can register here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEoce6qqz8sHdZzY1P9IGI4TrV2oq2_ZO3x
On another note, if you have not already done so, please find some time to read, Higher Education’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Here is the full reference:
Bergan, S., Gallagher, T., Harkavy, I., Munck, R. and Land, H.V. eds (2021). Higher education’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic – Building a more sustainable and democratic future. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Higher Education Series No. 25.
AITF is featured prominently at various points throughout this edited collection of articles. It includes chapters by many AITF leaders, including Ira Harkavy, Founding Director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships, and AITF Founding Chair; Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark, and AITF Advisory Council Co-Chair; Jim Harris, President, University of San Diego, and AITF Advisory Council Member; Paul Pribbenow, President, Augsburg University, and longtime AITF member and active participant in AITF’s Higher Education Presidential Subgroup; Henry Taylor, Professor, University of Buffalo, who is a Founding Member of AITF.
This is one more reminder that the deadline for submissions for the 2022 cohort of the Anchor Fellows Program is May 1. Please spread the word about this important program, as it is our contribution to the next generation of anchor leaders who share AITF’s values. See the announcement here: https://www.margainc.com/aitf-2022-fellows-request-for-applications/
Hopefully, many of you will be able to participate in our webinar and various other events throughout the year. We plan to hold a webinar in the fall, and our Subgroups are in the process of developing other programming as well.
Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) is continuing its commitment to inclusion and the advancement of minority-owned small businesses and professionals in the region through the launch of a new initiative, the Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator, powered by Interise. The program is designed for minority, small business owners who want to take their business to the next level within the region. This cohort style program will begin April 2021, and the application portal is live now. To learn more about GLI’s Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator and apply for the program, click here.
Bringing Theory to Practice (BT2P) is a national project headquartered at Elon University, supporting that community and advancing its work of change. BT2P has launched a new podcast, The Way Forward: Higher Education in a Time of Crisis. The first season of podcast features some of the most visionary and thoughtful voices in higher education. The first episode of the season is a conversation with President Freeman Hrabowski of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Coming episodes include innovative leaders like Chancellor Nancy Cantor of Rutgers University-Newark, creative institution-builders like Adam Bush of College Unbound, and radical public scholars like Michelle Fine of the Graduate Center, CUNY. The podcast is available on the Apple Store, Spotify, Stitcher, and Audible.