Smart Neighborhoods evolved out of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant support and the College’s plans to build College-community connections that emphasize civic responsibility and educational innovation. Supporting stronger relationships between the needs of community and the contributions of higher education institutions bridge social and intellectual barriers between campus and community.
|The Kellogg Project|
|An Extended Community of Learning|
Mobilizing Internet technology support and educational programs in the community provide access to advanced learning and communications technology, and establishes a base for expanded local entrepreneurial activity. By supporting the development of area businesses, non-profits, and individuals, Smart Neighborhoods invests in local autonomy and success while cultivating reciprocally beneficial relationships with the College. Smart Neighborhoods embraces the responsibility of sharing knowledge and honors the rich engagement offered by area residents as they initiate changes for themselves and their community. Smart Neighborhoods defines three overarching principles that guide this effort:
• Critical Transformation
The learning connections between the College and the city depend upon the integration of two processes: urban revitalization and a careful rethinking of liberal education for the 21st century.
Trinity must focus on fluid points of connection, rather than boundaries or fences, to define its relationship with its urban setting.
• Capacity Building
Sustaining an extended community of learning requires physical linkages, but also fundamental changes in exclusionary ways of thinking and acting. Trinity supports and develops inventive ways of educating students in the values of civic responsibility, and must also help neighbors acquire the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to reactivate the tradition of neighborhood responsibility and hope.
Currently, over 100 local organizations participate in the Smart Neighborhood initiative and benefit from Trinfo Café’s facility and programming. There are many opportunities for community outreach, campus jobs, and educational projects. Smart Neighborhoods focuses on Trinity’s immediate neighborhood to engage this community in developing computer technology and to provide teaching and learning opportunities for Trinity students and faculty. Thus, Smart Neighborhoods represents the cutting edge of socially conscious collaboration between academia and local neighborhoods.