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Faculty of Social Work


University-community engagement often professes to center the shifting needs and issues that communities face but these are often pushed to the periphery in knowledge creation. The methods of engagement, research agenda, outcomes, as well as the measures of success are typically grounded in the academe and universities can almost always pinpoint immediate benefits for the co-creation of this knowledge. Universities are usually able to secure funding and gain prestige to undertake these engagements and projects are put forth as testaments of universities commitments to social change. Communities often struggle to do the same and many are often not equipped with the resources to translate the new knowledge into practice-based initiatives such as programming, funding applications for staffing, services and service delivery. While there are unquestionable merits in the longstanding histories of university-community engagements, more needs to be done for research to be mutually beneficial for both parties. This article outlines five key principles of social justice and inclusion as a preliminary stage of a conceptualized first step necessary to frame university-community engagement. It reiterates consultations with communities through research as a requirement to develop an actual model of university-community engagement to embody social justice and inclusion for true social change.


This is the Author Accepted version of a paper originally published in Social Work Education.

Available for download on Wednesday, August 07, 2024

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