Community Engagement News

Aug 22, 2022. 5 min read

Community Engagement News August 22, 2022

Four Service-Learning Modules Being Offered to Students for Fall Semester

Food insecurity and the plight of displaced people among issues addressed

Service Learning

Students taking service-learning courses that include any of the modules will respond to a specific social issue. Service sites will include the Barry Urban Garden.

The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) is offering four service-learning modules for the fall semester. Each module addresses a specific social issue.

Th CCSI lists the modules as Food Security, People Power, Supporting Refugees and Displaced People, and Youth Development.

The Food Security module emphasizes the need for people to have access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Students will support local, national, and global efforts to address food insecurity and end hunger. Their service will include the maintenance of community gardens, including the Barry Urban Garden.

The People Power module will engage students in supporting interfaith, grassroots community organizing. They will assist Miami PACT (People Acting for Community Together) with seeking local policymakers’ commitments to addressing current social issues.

Students who sign up for the module concerning refugees and displaced people will provide service in partnership with Church World Service Miami, a local refugee resettlement agency.

Youth Development will involve tutoring elementary and middle-grade students as well as hosting mentoring and enrichment activities for community youth.

Each 10-hour module consists of an orientation session, collaborative service with community partners, and critical reflection through journaling.

“These modules are not meant to replace service-learning course components or service-learning projects planned by faculty members,” according to a statement from the CCSI. “The modules are available primarily to students who are required to complete service-learning as part of courses that have not yet gone through the SL designation process.”

In the statement, the CCSI said its staff would continue to provide guidance and assistance to faculty, as well as students, in support of service-learning, civic engagement, and student success.

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates relevant community service with coursework and critical reflection to enrich the learning experience, foster social responsibility and civic engagement, and strengthen communities.

Faculty interested in scheduling in-class service-learning presentations to students are asked to contact Dr. Heather Johnson Desiral in the CCSI at For answers to questions about service-learning, email Dr. Glenn Bowen at

Academic Year’s Deliberative Dialogue Forums Focused on ‘Resiliency in Times of Uncertainty’

Deliberative Dialogue Series 2022-2023

“Fostering Resiliency in Times of Uncertainty.” That’s the theme of the 2022–2023 Deliberative Dialogue Series, which will consist of four forums—two scheduled for the fall semester and two for the spring.

Forums will address the situation in Haiti, “learning losses” in the aftermath of COVID-19, the political divide in relation to race, and climate change.

Deliberative Dialogue is a series of facilitated forums eliciting “voices and views from campus and community.” Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community partners will take part in each of the 90-minute forums.

Deliberative Dialogue Schedule

“Haiti in Turbulent Times: Forging a Path Forward”
Thursday, September 22, 4:00–5:30 p.m.

“The COVID Slide and Digital Divide: How Do We Help Students Recover Learning Losses?”
Thursday, October 27, 4:00–5:30 p.m.

“Race Talk in Florida: Bridging the Political Divide”
Thursday, February 9, 4:00–5:30 p.m.

“Building Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change”
Thursday, April 13, 4:00–5:30 p.m.

For further information on the Deliberative Dialogue Series, contact Courtney Berrien, CCSI associate director, at

‘Civic Holidays’ to be Observed as Part of Barry’s Campus Democracy Project

Civic Holidays

As part of Barry’s Campus Democracy Project (CDP), various “civic holidays” will be observed this academic year. In addition to Constitution Day, the CDP calendar will include National Voter Registration Day, National Voter Education Week, Vote Early Day, and Election Hero Day.

“Civic Holidays are national days of action that can support nonpartisan democratic engagement on your campus,” ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge explains in a statement. “They bring together a wide range of campuses, organizations, and communities to build a democracy in which everyone participates.”

Constitution Day, September 17, is a “stand-alone” holiday. The four other civic holidays are promoted together through the Civic Holidays organization.

On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the final draft of the U.S. Constitution. Colleges and universities are required by federal law to observe Constitution Day.

National Voter Registration Day is September 20, and National Voter Education Week is October 3–7.

“National Voter Education Week helps to bridge the gap between registering to vote and actually casting a ballot,” the ALL IN statement says. “Voters can find their polling location, understand their ballot, and make a plan to vote in person or remotely.”

Vote Early

Election Hero Day is November 7. Election Heroes are election administration teams, poll workers, and others who help to ensure that voters can cast their ballots securely and successfully.

Vote Early Day 2022 is October 28. Most voters can cast their ballot before Election Day. Vote Early Day makes that process easier by helping all eligible voters understand their voting options while celebrating the act of voting early.

Election Hero Day, November 7, is an occasion to celebrate election administration teams, poll workers, and others around the country who help to ensure that voters can cast their ballots securely and successfully.

The CDP Committee is planning on-campus events to observe each day of action and will also celebrate the civic holidays via social media. The events are expected to include the annual Florida Ballot Forum during National Voter Education Week.

For additional information, contact the CDP Committee co-chairs, Dr. Sean Foreman ( and Skylar Smith ( or the Center for Community Service Initiatives (

We have moved

The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) recently relocated to the second floor of Thompson Hall.

The main office is Room 211.

Phone: 305-899-3696

Community Engagement News

COMMUNITY IMPACT: Undergraduate Melanie Morejon wants to make a difference in the lives of young women. She is committed to assisting with the transformation of “broken lives” into “productive, joyful young women.”

BARRY SERVICE CORPS: Community service positions are available to students who are eligible for Federal Work-Study. Students who accept such positions are enrolled in the Barry Service Corps, a civic engagement program.

Community Engagement News is a publication of the Center for Community Service Initiatives.

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