Community Engagement News

Community Engagement

Nov 01, 2021. 5 min read

Community Engagement Community Engagement News November 1, 2021

Collaborative Service Projects This Saturday Will Demonstrate Place-Based Emphasis of Community Engagement

Day of Service Marks Start of Barry Founders’ Week

Founders Week

Neighborhood beautification, school upkeep, and other projects planned for this Saturday will “demonstrate attention to place-based community engagement,” the organizers say. 

Founders’ Day of Service signals the start of Barry Founders’ Week 2021. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members will take part in collaborative service projects in the community, near the main campus. On campus, a group of youngsters will serve in the Barry Urban Garden (BUG).

The community project sites are the Hubert O. Sibley K–8 Academy, Gratigny Elementary School, Cristo Rey School, Stanton Memorial Baptist Church, and Sinai Plaza Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. 

Stanton Memorial and Cristo Rey are located in La Paloma, the unincorporated neighborhood adjacent to the city of North Miami. 

Founders’ Week honors the spirit of Barry’s founders and celebrates a longstanding tradition of service. This will be the university’s third annual Founders’ Day of Service. 

The group who will serve in the BUG will do so under the aegis of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, a Barry community partner.

Place-Based Community Engagement 

The 2021–2026 Strategic Plan for Community Engagement calls for the adoption of a “place-based” approach to community engagement within an “anchor institution” framework. This approach requires a long-term institutional commitment to mutually beneficially campus–community partnerships, with emphasis on clearly defined geographic areas.

In the strategic plan, the Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) says a focus on place-based initiatives is expected to contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhoods near the university’s main campus in Miami Shores.

Founders Day of Service

Campus Democracy Project Promoting Voter Education, Engagement

Election Hero Day

Today (Nov. 1) is Election Hero Day and tomorrow is Election Day. In the run-up to the elections, Barry’s Campus Democracy Project (CDP) has been promoting voter education and engagement. 

Local elections will take place in the Miami-Dade cities of Miami, Miami Beach, Hialeah, and Homestead. New Jersey and Virginia will have gubernatorial elections and California a governor recall election. 

Election Hero Day is one of the civic holidays on the CDP calendar. It is a special day to “celebrate the election administration teams, poll workers, and others around the country who help ensure voters can cast their ballots securely and successfully,” the national organizers have said.


Alongside county/municipal election clerks and directors, election office staff, and poll workers, the Civic Holidays organization has identified voters as election heroes.

Civic holidays are nonpartisan days of action aimed at strengthening and celebrating American democracy. They bring together a range of organizations and communities to work towards a nation where everyone participates and votes.

Other civic holidays are National Voter Registration Day, National Voter Education Week, and Vote Early Day. The CDP Committee has been celebrating the civic holidays either with in-person events or though social media postings.

Community Impact is One of Seven Categories of Awards for Community Engagement 

Community Engagement Awards

“Community Impact” is one of seven categories of community engagement awards for which nominations are being accepted.

The Community Impact Award is presented to individual students as well as student organizations for exemplary civic engagement—including service, research, and advocacy—that has a measurable impact on the community. 

Students, faculty and staff members, and community partners are invited to submit nominations by the last Friday of January.

The award winners in the Community Impact category in 2021 were Barry Service Corps Fellows Isaly Ortiz and Dai’ Jonnai Smith. 

A co-chair of the Campus Democracy Project, Ortiz served in elected and appointed positions with the Florida College Democrats and the College Democrats of America. Her voter advocacy efforts made her “a respected and recognized voice for the cause,” the award citation said. 

Smith distinguished herself through her advocacy in support of voter rights and policy changes regarding healthcare access for incarcerated women, as well as her leadership and participation in civic engagement projects locally and abroad.

Isaly Ortiz

Barry Service Corps Fellows Dai’ Jonnai Smith and Isaly Ortiz won the 2021 Community Impact Award for exemplary civic engagement.

The winners of the Community Impact Award in 2020 were Martina Muñoz, Pa Sheikh Ngom, and Chemistry Club; 2019—Paola Lopez-Hernandez and Antonio Rodriguez; 2018—Wills Compere, Presler Maxius, and Paris Razor; 2017—Naif Alkhathran, Jasmine McKee, and Paola Montenegro; 2016—Bethany Dill, Laura Gagliardi, Christopher Riker, Asha Starks, BarryU Softball Team, Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, Student Managed Investment Fund, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at Barry School of Law; 2015—Connor Randel and Quayneshia Smith; 2014—Hector Pizarro and Alejandro Tobon.

The CCSI will host Barry’s Ninth Annual Community Engagement Awards Ceremony on March 30. Nominations will be accepted also in six other categories: Community Partnership, Community-Based Research, Community-Engaged Scholarship, Community Engagement Educator, Service-Learning Faculty, and Engaged Department.

Additional information and the nomination forms are available from the CCSI at

CCSI Calls for Community Engagement Symposium Presentation Proposals, Poster Competition Entries

Community Engagement Symposium

The CCSI has issued a call for proposals for concurrent session presentations at Barry’s Eighth Annual Community Engagement Symposium. Proposals for entries in the Student Poster Competition are being accepted as well.

Students, faculty and staff members, and community partners are invited to submit proposals for presentations at the March 30 event. The Student Poster Competition is open to undergraduates only.

Proposals should be based on the symposium’s theme, “Effectively Balancing Community Impact With Student Learning Outcomes.” The submission deadline is January 28.

Additional information and the proposal forms are available from the CCSI at

Give Pulse

Big Brothers Big Sisters Buccaneer Partnership

Community Engagement News

BOOK CELEBRATION: President Allen, Provost Murray, and other university leaders joined faculty in celebrating the publication of a book on experiential learning authored by Faculty Learning Community members.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS: Barry will be represented among presenters at conferences this month and in January.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARDS: “Community Partnership” is one of the seven categories of community engagement awards for which the CCSI has called for nominations.

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

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